2022: Pathways to Impact

Sustainable Business & Design Conference

April 5 and 6, 2022

FIT’s 16th annual Sustainable Business and Design Conference: Pathways to Impact centers on four core themes that highlight the intersectionality of sustainable practices. Over the course of two intensive days, attendees will be immersed in keynotes, talks, and panel discussions providing pathways to Social Justice x Social Responsibility, Environment x Materials, Consumption x Waste, and Design x Business. The speakers are trailblazers in numerous facets of sustainability and emphasize the FIT community’s commitment to best practices in all its operations—including student projects, faculty and staff initiatives, and campus facilities.

  • Social Justice x Social Responsibility considers how our individual and collective actions can make an impact on society, with an emphasis on both people and the environment. Topics include representation within fashion and design, how designers use their work to help build community, and socially responsible sourcing of food and use of food waste.  
  • Environment x Materials focuses on the ethical and environmental issues surrounding our choice of materials. Speakers will engage with the ways that action and accountability in material selection can improve quality of life, with emphasis on alternatives to plastics, less harmful fabric choices, and strategies for conservation.
  • Consumption x Waste emphasizes the importance of equitable and sustainable consumer practices. The interrelated events will reveal how technological innovations and creative business solutions can help us become more mindful, informed shoppers—ultimately consuming better and less.
  • Design X Business offers guidelines and inventive strategies for sustainable business practices, and emphasizes the importance of forming professional networks. Both existing initiatives and future concepts will offer ideas for how to begin working sustainably while also providing inspiration for what might come next.

 

You can help contribute to FIT's Sustainability efforts by donating to our fund.

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View Presenters' Biographies

Tuesday, April 5

 
2022 FIT Sustainability Conference: Pathways to Impact

Opening Remarks

9:00- 9:45 AM (EST)

Dr. Joyce F. Brown, President, FIT 

Dr. Karen Pearson, Chair, Sustainability Council 

Caroline Levine, Secretary of Sustainability, Student Government Association, FIT

Karisma Hishikawa, FIT Student, Land Acknowledgment 

Play: Opening Remarks

2022 FIT Sustainability Conference: Pathways to Impact - Social Justice and Responsibility

Impact Video

Grad Student Highlight:

Hillary Higginbotham, Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice M.A.

Project: Independent Study, World Dress and Textiles in Museum Collections 

Play: Social Justice x Responsibility Impact Video

2022 FIT Sustainability Conference: Pathways to Impact - Social Justice and Responsibility

Where Sustainability Meets Inclusion

10:00 - 10:45 AM (EST)

Pathway Speaker:

Zinnia Kumar, Chartered CIEEM Ecologist, Environmental Sustainability Consultant, Conservation Biologist, and fashion model 

Play: Where Sustainability Meets Inclusion

2022 FIT Sustainability Conference: Pathways to Impact - Social Justice and Responsibility

Social Justice X Social Responsibility

11:00 - 11:45 AM (EST)

Pathway Speaker:

Leah Thomas, The Intersectional Feminist

Moderator:Dr. Karen Pearson, Professor, Science and Math 

Play: Social Justice X Social Responsibility

2022 FIT Sustainability Conference: Pathways to Impact - Social Justice and Responsibility

Visions for Representation in Fashion

12:00 - 12:45 PM (EST)

Panel: 

Gianna Pilar González, Multi-Disciplinary Artist, Hacking Couture 

Mimi Plange, Creative Director, Co-Founder, Mimi Plange 

Allison Ko, Fashion Design Student, FIT

Moderator: Ariele Elia, Assistant Director of the Fashion Law Institute, Fordham Law; and Adjunct Instructor, Cultural Awareness, Design Responsibility, and the Law at FIT 

Play: Visions for Representation in Fashion

Pathways to Impact

Process, Preservation, and Fashioning Food Waste

1:00- 1:45 PM (EST)

Conversation:

Mimi Prober, Artist and Designer 

Dr. Karen Pearson, Professor, Science and Math 

Susanne Goetz, Associate Professor, Textile/Surface Design 

Play: Process, Preservation, and Fashioning Food Waste

2022 FIT Sustainability Conference: Pathways to Impact - Social Justice and Responsibility

Valuing Progress Over Perfection

2:00 - 2:45 PM (EST)

Conversation:

Dr. Deborah Berhanu, Associate Professor, Science & Mathematics, FIT

Lauren Ritchie, Founder, The Eco Justice Project 

Play: Valuing Progress Over Perfection

2022 FIT Sustainability Conference: Pathways to Impact - Social Justice and Responsibility

The Fashion Farmer

2:45 - 3:30 PM (EST)

Conversation:

Lorenza Wong, Fashion Farmer

Melissa Marra-Alvarez, Curator of Education, The Museum at FIT 

Play: The Fashion Farmer

2022 FIT Sustainability Conference: Pathways to Impact - Environment X Materials

Impact Video

FIT Student Success and Operations Highlight:

Angela Brown, Associate Director,  Residential Life, FIT

Project: Sustainability Grant Winner, Urban Edible Garden

Play: Environment x Materials Impact Video

2022 FIT Sustainability Conference: Pathways to Impact - Environment X Materials

The Promise of Bio-Based Fibers

3:30-4:15 PM (EST)

Panel: 

Aleksandra Gosiewski, Co-Founder & COO, AlgiKnit

Chui-Lian Lee, CEO and Cofounder, Werewool

Moderator: Dr. Evelyn Rynkiewicz, Assistant Professor, Ecology, FIT 

Play: The Promise of Bio-Based Fibers

2022 FIT Sustainability Conference: Pathways to Impact - Environment X Materials

Redesigning Consumer Choices

4:15 - 5:00 PM (EST)

Michelle Zhu, CEO and Co-founder, HUUE

Kara Mac, Designer, Kara Mac Shoes

Moderator: Colleen Hill, Curator of Costume and Accessories, The Museum at FIT 

Play: Redesigning Consumer Choices

 

Wednesday, April 6

 
2022 FIT Sustainability Conference: Pathways to Impact

Conference Day 2 Opening Remarks

10:00 AM (EST)

Conference Co-Chairs:

Angela Brown, Associate Director of Residential Life, FIT

Colleen Hill, Curator of Costume and Accessories, The Museum at FIT 

Play: Day 2 Opening Remarks

2022 FIT Sustainability Conference: Pathways to Impact - Design X Business

Empowerment Through Education and Collaboration

10:15 - 11:00 AM (EST)

Pathway Speaker:  

Patrick Duffy, founder, Global Fashion Exchange

Moderator: Dr. Karen Pearson, Professor, Science and Math 

Play: Empowerment Through Education and Collaboration

2022 FIT Sustainability Conference: Pathways to Impact - Design X Business

Impact Video

Undergraduate Student Highlight:

Idil Bayik, Sustainability Council Student Member Fashion Design (BS), Spring 23

Project: Genspace Scholars Program

Play: Design x Business Impact Video

2022 FIT Sustainability Conference: Pathways to Impact - Design X Business

Circularity, Beauty and Sustainability

11:15 AM - 12:00 PM (EST)

Panel:  

Gigi Ganatra Duff, Vice President Public Relations & Corporate Affairs, Nordstrom

Moderator: Stephan Kanlian, Chairperson/Professor, Master's Program, Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management, FIT 

Play: Circularity, Beauty and Sustainability

2022 FIT Sustainability Conference: Pathways to Impact - Design X Business

Shaping a New Supply Chain

11:45 AM - 12:30 PM (EST)

Noah Tager in conversation with Borre Akkersdijk on the founding of fabric innovation studio ByBorre.

Noah Tager, FIT Student

Borre Akkersdijk, co-founder and creative director, ByBorre 

Play: Shaping a New Supply Chain

2022 FIT Sustainability Conference: Pathways to Impact - Consumption X Waste

Alumni Spotlight in Sustainability

12:00 - 12:45 PM (EST)

Conversation: Ann Cantrell in conversation with Julia Viner 

Julia Viner, Investment Associate, Fashion, Closed Loop Partners

Moderator: Ann Cantrell, Associate Professor, Fashion Business Management, FIT 

Play: Alumni Spotlight in Sustainability 

2022 FIT Sustainability Conference: Pathways to Impact - Consumption X Waste

The Power of Partnerships

12:30 - 1:00 PM (EST)

Panel: 

WoTO Partners  - Discussion on collaboration in the fashion industry

Borre Akkersdijk, co-founder and creative director, ByBorre

Roberto Circelli, Suedwolle Group Italia S.p.a.

Hao Ding, Sorona®  

Cloé Lankhorst , WoTO™ Manager 

Michel Mastio, Südwolle Group GmbH

Moderator: Dr. Karen Pearson, Professor, Science and Math  

Play: The Power of Partnerships

2022 FIT Sustainability Conference: Pathways to Impact - Consumption X Waste

Impact Video

Faculty Highlight:

Steven Ceraso, Display and Exhibit Design, School of Art and Design

Project: Sustainability Grant Winner, Precious Plastic Machinery  

Play: Consumption x Waste Impact Video

2022 FIT Sustainability Conference: Pathways to Impact - Consumption X Waste

Creative Reuse and Making Clothes That Last

2:00 - 2:45 PM (EST)

Panel

Johanna Orlowski, Fashion Design MFA Student, Former Intern, The RealReal

Delfina Farías, Designer

Jussara Lee, Designer

Moderator: Elizabeth Way, Associate Curator, The Museum at FIT 

Play: Creative Reuse and Making Clothes That Last

2022 FIT Sustainability Conference: Pathways to Impact - Consumption X Waste

ReFashion Week NYC

2:45 - 3:00 PM (EST)

Talk:

New York Department of Sanitation Refashion NY Project

Julie Raskin, Executive Director, Sanitation Foundation, NYC Department of Sanitation

Alissa Westervelt,  Senior Manager, donateNYC, Bureau of Recycling & Sustainability, NYC Department of Sanitation 

Play: ReFashion Week NYC

2022 FIT Sustainability Conference: Pathways to Impact - Consumption X Waste

Finding Worth in Waste

3:00 - 3:45 PM (EST)

Conversation:

Dr. Daniel Benkendorf, Associate Professor, Psychology, FIT

Jessica Schreiber, Founder and CEO, FABSCRAP 

Play: Finding Worth in Waste

2022 FIT Sustainability Conference: Pathways to Impact - Consumption X Waste

Spreading the Message for Change

4:00 - 5:00 PM (EST)

Panel

Jennifer Grove, Founder & CEO, Rijois

Tina Hedges, CEO & Founder, LOLI

Chris White, Partner & Executive Director, America's Best Cleaners 

Play: Spreading the Message for Change

2022 FIT Sustainability Conference: Pathways to Impact

Conference Closing Remarks

5:00 PM (EST)

Speaker:

Amber Valletta, Supermodel, Actress, Advocate, and FIT's Sustainability Ambassador

Play: Conference Closing Remarks

 

 

Additional Event

Virtual Artist Talk via Google Meet, Thursday, April 7th, 1–2 pm with student sustainable designers, Anne Kong, and Glenn Sokoli.

Under the Umbrella exhibition at FIT

Exhibition, FIT's Art and Design Gallery, Under the Umbrella is a curriculum-based project facilitated by professors Anne Kong and Glenn Sokoli and their sixth-semester Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design students. Inspired by Rentbrella, an umbrella-sharing company, the students are collaborating on a large-scale exhibition concept that highlights sustainability and solutions for eliminating tons of umbrella waste from reaching landfills each year. Focusing on reuse and recycling, Under the Umbrella is a call to action and salute to New York City.