The conference, which focused on international product safety and restricted substance lists (RSLs), drew 337 registered attendees with more being turned away at the door of the packed Ruposhi Bangla Hotel ballroom.
The day-long event kicked off with a keynote address from Commissioner Nancy Nord of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, which Seferian said was “one of the highlights of the event.”
Following the keynote address was a series of panels on a variety of product safety topics, with the need for proper communication throughout the supply chain being highlighted as a consistent theme throughout the day, particularly with regards to chemical management practices, ranging from RSLs to testing to regulatory compliance.
“This is the approach WRAP takes when it comes to social compliance as well. Done right, it’s all about proper management systems and is driven by effective communication,” said Seferian.
Seferian participated in a panel discussion titled “Corporate RSLs & Establishing a Chemically Compliant Supply Chain” along with Niraj Singh of Levi Strauss & Co, Lal Udagedara of Li & Fung Sourcing Bangladesh and Borg Norum of Colombia Sportswear.
At the end of the day, Seferian facilitated a conversation on corporate sustainability with Sridevi Kalavakolanu, the Director of Ethical Sourcing for the Indian Subcontinent, Middle East, Africa and Europe for Wal-Mart. The discussion focused on how brands can move toward sustainable sourcing and manufacturing processes. Conference attendees live tweeted from the event, quoting Seferian as he set the stage for the conversation by describing his understanding of sustainability as being about “how we [can continue] to produce and consume without compromising our children’s ability to do the same.”