Products of Change


Mon 13 Nov 2023 | by Rob Hutchins

SiLC 2023 hailed 'most inspiring and engaging industry event ever attended'

The Sustainability in Licensing Conference 2023 has ‘topped even last year’ according to attendees who have hailed the London Conference this week as “the most amazing, inspiring, and engaging industry event ever attended.” SiLC made its triumphant return to the Royal Geographical Society in London on Wednesday, 8 November to an auditorium of 200 in-person guests and an online audience of 100 delegates who witnessed this year’s proceedings via the live-stream platform. A jam-packed agenda filled with informative and inspiring discussions – ranging from the legislative changes impacting retail and manufacturing now and in the future, to the innovative new systems emerging across supply chains to reduce impact and encourage better circularity – featured some of the biggest names in brands and retail, including the LEGO Group, Mattel EMEA, The Walt Disney Company, Asda, Tesco, and Primark.

Caroline Petit, deputy director for the United Nations Regional Information Centre, delivers SiLC 23's keynote address.
It was both an agenda and speaker line-up that didn’t fail to delight audiences who have been vocal about the level of learning and information passed on within the space of a day. Posting on social media this week, Paul Dearlove, a toy industry consultant now working with the non-profit educational platform, Wastebusters was left “still buzzing” from the event he has billed as “the most amazing, inspiring, and engaging industry event I’ve ever attended.” He continued: “Huge congratulations to all the Products of Change team for hosting such a brilliant day that was so well curated with an amazing array of speakers and genuine feeling of collaboration and collective responsibility running throughout the day. “I cannot recommend this annual event highly enough,” he added.
The Mapping Sustainability panel session featured Bravado's David Boyne; Difuzed's Jeremy Orriss; LEGO's Sine Møller; Disney's Anna Halford; DK Books' Nicola Torode; Mattel EMEA's Elizabeth Eaves; and Smiley's Nicolas Loufrani
Audience numbers included a mix of licensors and licensees, cross-sector professionals, and retailers who engaged with the Conference’s overarching message of collaboration to drive positive change across the $340bn global brand and licensing business. Responding to the day’s collection of speakers from within the licensing industry, the retail sector, and climate action education space, attendees left feeling energised over the positive steps they can now begin to take to effect change across their own operations. Tina Salt, founder of MAI Clothing, an ethical clothing brand on a mission to ‘make animals important’, said: “What an amazing day yesterday was at SiLC 23. The content of the day was so good, I think it even topped last year (which was also incredible). I learned so many things and my ‘to-do’ list has now got longer. “If you are a retail business wanting to be more sustainable and make changes then check out Products of Change – a community of people all wanting to make change for a better world. The more we collaborate and share, the quicker we can fix things. The world is breaking and we all need to get on this mission quickly. We can do this.”
The Carbon Literacy Trust's Phil Korbel delivered his talk on the importance of being carbon literate and getting a handle on scope 3 emissions
As well as giving a platform to an array of pioneering and innovative new technologies and systems – from Fabacus’ Digital Product Passport to PDS Group’s lean into a new circular system of dealing with textile waste – the event also played host to candid discussion around the hurdles being faced by the industry in making sustainable development a reality for the many businesses it touches. This included the financial demands of sustainable transition and the roadblocks and red tape within the licensing sector that next need to be surmounted. The Sustainability in Licensing Conference also hosted the inaugural Products of Change SDGs Members Awards in alignment with the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals, an event that was presided over by Caroline Petit, deputy director for the United Nations Regional Information Centre. The awards celebrated industry winners – The LEGO Group, Asda, Carousel Calendars, and Wastebusters and Tesco - across four categories each aligned with four distinct Sustainable Development Goals.
Jonathan Baker, CCO at Fabacus delivered an insightful talk on the Digital Product Passport and the team's partnership with Nobody's Child
Helena Mansell-Stopher, Products of Change founder, said: “SiLC 2023 exceeded all our expectations. The energy in the room was phenomenal as the worlds of sustainability and our wonderful brand licensing and retail industries met in ways like never before. “The connections and collaborations that were made yesterday will positively impact industry over the next year – how exciting it that? I cannot wait to see what SiLC 2024 will bring. And yes, we have already begun the planning.” The Sustainability in Licensing Conference will be making its return in 2024 with a date to be announced in the coming weeks. Those who missed the event this week can still watch it all via the online platform and can purchase their tickets here.