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Chris Grayer, Head of Supplier Ethical Compliance at NEXT PLC, will be presenting the topic ‘NEXT on Modern Slavery – The Importance of Transparency’ at the Leather & Sustainability in Retail Conference 2017. The presentation will provide an overview of the issues NEXT has faced as an organisation to tackle modern slavery.

The UK Modern Slavery Act (MSA) is a game changer.  For the first time, accountability of supply chain corporate responsibility has been taken through the door of the Board Room, as the responsibility of the new legislation requires specific ethical commitments by the Board, to then be made public through a viable MSA statement. When combined with the United Nations Guiding Principles (UNGP) of Human Rights, investors have for the first time been provided with a tangible metric for the measure of companies’ corporate responsibility performance.

The Transparency in the Supply Chains (TISC) included within The MSA is not just a legislative requirement. Achieving supply chain transparency is vital to achieve the process of effective management of due diligence to reduce the salient risk to human rights.

Today’s fast fashion and polarised customer demand periods are changing purchasing practices, as well as supply chain structure and procurement processes in our fashion retail sector. Current supply chains are complex, multi layered and will inevitably involve sub-contracting, agency, migrant workers, as well as the risk of complicity, exploitation and even criminality and slavery.

This presentation will provide an overview of the brutal reality of the issues NEXT has faced as an organisation to tackle modern slavery. It covers the realisation and the impacts that modern slavery has had on NEXT, as well as the pathway and process NEXT has taken to provide transparency, implement due diligence and ensure effective remediation. This presentation shows how these actions will provide a sustainable assurance of workers’ human rights and protect the value of the NEXT brand.


About Chris Grayer

Chris has been involved in corporate responsibility and quality assurance for the last 30 years during a career spanning 20 years in the manufacturing sector and 17 years in the retail sector.

Throughout his career Chris has worked for a number of prominent companies including Dewhirst, GUS, Burberry, Talbots Inc (USA) and for the last 6 years for NEXT PLC as Head of Supplier Ethical Compliance.

View Chris Grayer’s online profile.


The Leather & Sustainability in Retail Conference 2017 is sponsored by StahlSmit & zoon and TFL, and is supported by Lonza. The half-day conference will be held on Thursday 16th November at One Great George St., Westminster, London and is jointly organised by BLC Leather Technology Centre Ltd (BLC) and International Leather Maker (ILM).

Register your place today – Complete the registration form.

Find out more about the Leather & Sustainability in Retail Conference 2017.


Conference Agenda

This year’s recently confirmed conference agenda incorporates exciting and forward-thinking leather sustainability topics:

12.15      Registration Tea/Coffee

12.45      Opening Remarks

13.00      NEXT on Modern Slavery – The Importance of Transparency
Chris Grayer, NEXT PLC

13.30      Modern Slavery Act Update
Michelle Linderman, Crowell & Moring

14.00      Full Traceability in Cattle Supply Chains, New Opportunities in Brazil
Simon Hall, National Wildlife Federation

14.30      Product Passport – Transparency in Chemistry
Pim Wilgenburg, Smit & zoon

15.00      BREAK

15.30      Cleaning up the Ganges: A Public Private Partnership for the Kanpur leather cluster
Michael Costello, Stahl

16.00      ZDHC: The Implementation Experience
Frank Michel, ZDHC

16.30      Introducing ChemMAP – a new system to verify upstream chemical formulations
Peter Gregory, Vert-Tex

17.00      Open Panel Discussion – Sustainability: The Big Picture – Sponsored by TFL
Panel Members:

               Dr. Jürgen Christner, TFL
Hugues Pichon, LVMH
Phil Townsend, Marks & Spencer
Tara Luckman, ASOS
Michelle Linderman, Crowell & Moring                                     

17.30      Close

View the agenda and find out more about the Leather & Sustainability in Retail Conference 2017.



The cost of the conference is £310 + VAT per delegate and will be invoiced at the time of registration.

Discounts are available for multiple registrations from the same company:

  • 5% discount for the second delegate registered
  • 10% discount for the third delegate and any subsequent delegates registered

A 3.5% administration fee will be applied to all credit card payments. Payment must be received prior to the date of the conference otherwise attendance may be refused.


Register Your Place Today

Don’t miss out on this leading leather sustainability conference. Register your attendance today by completing the registration form and returning it to Deborah Taylor at:


View the agenda and find out more about the Leather & Sustainability in Retail Conference 2017.

Do You Know How Modern Slavery Impacts Your Supply Chain?
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