Challenge the Fabric aims to scale impact through collaboration. The pioneering cross-industry initiative is a unique platform that enables the entire supply chain of man-made cellulosic fibres (MMCF) to meet, collaborate and create change.

CTF invites industry leaders and stakeholders from the fashion, textile and forest industries shaping the industry of tomorrow.


What is MMCF?

Man-made cellulosic fibres (MMCFs) are a group of regenerative fibres that are conventionally derived from wood, and in some cases from other sources of cellulose such as cotton rich textiles or for e.g. agricultural waste. Through different manufacturing processes, the cellulose is dissolved then extruded into a variety of fibres including viscose, lyocell, acetate, cupro and modal. MMCFs have the third largest share in global fibre production after polyester and cotton. They are a set of fibres with increasing importance and great potential from a sustainability perspective if the cellulose is sourced sustainably and/or derived through recycling processes, and the processing chemicals are handled properly.

Hosted by Ekman Group and organized together with the Swedish Fashion Council (SFC)

Challenge the Fabric is hosted by Ekman & Co, a global sales and marketing organization, strategically aligning buyers and sellers of forest products around the world.

CTF is organized by the Swedish Fashion Council (SFC), an industry organization that works to promote, educate, and innovate the fashion industry for it to become competitive, sustainable and relevant in our changing world.

Around the globe, companies turn to Ekman for market guidance and knowledge. Since our incorporation in Sweden 1802, Ekman has earned a solid reputation for reliability, competence and service. Our highly competent and motivated staff, long history in the marketing and sales of forest products, and experience in creating solutions for related financial and logistical matters, help us live up to this reputation. Ekman offers a wide range of services, covering the entire forest products supply chain and we contribute valuable market intelligence to each stage of our business partners’ enterprises.

At the core of Ekman’s strategy is our focus on building long-term partnerships with business partners. The transparency we operate under has proven to be a successful shift in the way our industry has historically conducted business. Our partners value close and mutually beneficial relationships. Ekman strives to deepen its long-term relationships with existing partners and seeks to develop opportunities through new partnerships.

SFC is an industry organisation that aims to guide the fashion industry into the future, establishing Sweden as the global leader of the industry’s new era. Together with a strong community, SFC works to promote, educate, and innovate the fashion industry for it to become competitive, sustainable and relevant in our changing world.

Established in 1979, the core of the organisation’s work consists of leading research projects, providing industry reports and supporting the next generation of fashion leaders through its incubator program, SFC [Incubator].

SFC is owned by the Swedish Trade Federation.


Challenge the Fabric 2024 will take place on May 14 – 15, in Milan

Cancellation/no show policy
If you have registered for the Symposium on May 15th but are no longer able to attend, we kindly ask you to notify us no later than 14 days prior to the event. Please notify us via email at

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Tuesday 9th May

18:00 - 20:00

Welcome Mingle

Wednesday 10th May




Introduction and welcome


The opportunity of Green Textiles

Keynote speaker

Jonatan Janmark | Partner, McKinsey & Co


Sustainable Forestry

Keynote speaker

Valerie Langer | Fibre Solutions Strategist, Canopy


Forest to fabrics; the importance of sustainable forest practices

This panel discusses the importance of sustainable forest management. Topics
that will be discussed are centered around how sustainable forestry
management is defined, how farmers work with their forests to ensure and
protect the biodiversity, regeneration capacity and reforestation. The panel will
also discuss what sustainable forest management mean for different regions of
the world as well as how it influences sourcing strategies and the demands on
raw material suppliers.

Keynote speaker

Diana Tuomasjukka | Head of the Bioeconomy Programme, European Forest Institute





Oliver Lansdell | Director, Pulp and Paper, Hawkins Wright


Johannes Bogren | Vice President, Södra Cell Bioproducts

Anna Palmberg | Material & Innovation Developer, IKEA of Sweden

Surya Valluri | Chief Sustainability Officer, Birla Cellulose

Sofia Jorge I Board Member, Sustainability, Risk, Communication, People & Talent, Altri SGPS


Legislation, Policy, and Traceability

Over the last few years, we have seen an increase in legislation related to sustainability in textiles. For example, the EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles will require the use of more sustainable and recycled materials as well as identification through the Digital Project Passport (DPP). Organizations such as the Textile Exchange are supporting the industry by developing standards to classify preferred materials. Also new startups are focusing on helping brands achieve visibility on their supply chains. How can fashion brands and suppliers alike navigate this new landscape? What role can stakeholders like innovators, NGO’s and industry organizations play? What is required to educate and disseminate knowledge on legislation, policy, and traceability? This panel will explore these important topics.


Christine Goulay | Founder, Sustainabelle

12:05 – Panel

Amit Gautam | CEO & Co-founder, Textile Genesis

Sara Mariani | Chief Sustainability Officer, OTB

Claudia De Witte | Sustainability Leader, Textiles, Eastman




Committing to the future of Next Generation Solutions

This panel discusses the collective commitment at COP27 by brands such as Kering, H&M, Inditex to purchase over half a million tonnes of fibres stemming from Next Generation Solutions. The panel will address what this commitment means for the innovators in terms of the need for scaling, investments and partnerships and the potential challenges of reaching the scale needed.

Keynote speaker

Dolly Vellanki | Innovation Associate, Fashion for Good


Brooke Roberts-Islam | Founder, Techstyler; Senior Contributor, Forbes.

14:30 – Panel

Jenny Fredricsdotter | Circular Business Manager, Re:newcell

Erik Karlsson | VC/Impact Investor, H&M CO: Lab

Julia Viner | Investment Associate, Fashion, Closed Loop Partners

Peter Majeranowski | CEO & Co-Founder, Circ




Shaping the path forward

This panel will focus on how we can shape the path towards fashion’s sustainable future and highlight the possibilities within the MMCF field. It will discuss the importance of cross industry collaborations and how we can create long lasting change by engaging different stake holders from different industries. What can we learn from the development of other fibre categories or other industries? What will be critical to continue to grow in an innovative and sustainable way?

Keynote speaker

Andrea Rosso | Sustainability Ambassador, Diesel


Bella Webb | Sustainability Editor, Vogue Business

16:00 – Panel

Amanda Parkes | Chief Innovation Officer, Pangaia

Dr. Shahriare Mahmood | Chief Sustainability Officer, Spinnova

Christina Iskov | Head of Innovation & Academy, Global Fashion Agenda

Malva Carlsson


Conclusion | Nina Elmersson – VP Innovare, Ekman