|Daren Abney joined the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) in 2014 as the membership engagement manager. He focuses on servicing members and ultimately supporting their procurement of better cotton. This includes work on global supply chain engagement, training retailers and brands, and event management. Prior to BCI, Abney worked as membership manager at Textile Exchange for six years, where he focused on sustainability-related issues for the textile supply chain. Before entering the textile industry, Abney started his career in advertising and marketing for broadcast and electronic media. Abney has a BA in advertising and marketing from Texas Tech University and is currently based in Texas.|
|Marisa Adler is a senior consultant at RRS with 10 years’ experience in implementing, maintaining, and developing recycling programs for local governments. Adler utilizes her direct public sector engagement to apply extensive knowledge of environmental policies and procedures, program planning and implementation, and education and outreach initiatives on behalf of clients in the public, private and nonprofit sector. She understands the unique challenges that every community and organization must address and overcome to provide and maintain a successful recycling and solid waste program. Adler is a certified Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP), SWANA member, and recipient of the Waste360 40 Under 40 award.|
|Katina Boutis is the sustainability director at Loomstate, an ethical and sustainable company that provides custom designed uniform and apparel basics. Loomstate has deep roots in traceable organic cotton. The company prides itself on creating clothing with responsible materials and the best intentions by developing a win-win approach to clothing supply chain systems. Boutis leads the company’s overall sustainability and corporate social responsibility strategy through corporate targets, supply chain management, and compliance measures. She is passionate about the intersecting values of sustainability through environmentalism, social justice, and corporate responsibility. Boutis holds a BA in Environmental Science from Hunter College and an MS in Sustainability Management from Columbia University.|
|Brent Crossland is the head of fiber development for seeds at Bayer CropScience and is based in Lubbock,
Crossland has worked in the plant science industry for the past 37 years and has experience in crop protection, seed production, and the global textile supply chain. He has been a product manager of multiple products and managed the mid-South and Western sales teams for Bayer. For the past 15 years, he has also been very involved with the downstream market development of Bayer cotton brands and technologies.
Crossland was instrumental in the development of the Certified FiberMax traceability and marketing program. He is now very active promoting the new e3 Sustainable Cotton Initiative. He is a past recipient of the Bayer CropScience Luminary award for distinguished achievement and the “You Can’t Pick Better” award for initiatives in the cotton seed business. In addition, Crossland was also awarded the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence from Texas A&M University.
Crossland holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M University and a Master of Agriculture degree in plant science from West Texas A&M University. He has four grandchildren and enjoys his time with them. His favorite pastime away from the grandchildren is scuba diving.
|Anna Czerwinska is the head of marketing and communication at the International OEKO-TEX® Association. She manages the association’s portfolio of testing and certification products which is selected by more than 10,000 companies worldwide. With almost a decade of experience in the textile industry, Czerwinska has helped global brands build sustainable communication strategies by understanding the complexity, risks, and concerns textile companies face in an ever-changing world. Born in Poland and educated in three countries, Czerwinska has spent most of her professional career in Zürich, Switzerland, where she has just received her postgraduate degree in brand leadership.|
|Jeff Denby is the co-founder of The Renewal Workshop, a company offering industry-wide solutions to optimize the value of resources invested in apparel. The Renewal Workshop partners with apparel brands to refurbish their unsellable returns and excess inventory at its state-of-the-art factory in Oregon, creating the category of “renewed apparel.” Denby built a brand that differentiated itself from other apparel brands by manufacturing its garments in a transparent supply chain and improving the lives of cotton farmers and garment workers around the world. He was previously the co-founder of PACT, an award-winning organic apparel basics brand with retail partners including Whole Foods and Nordstrom. Denby's passion is to transform apparel production by pioneering new models for social impact within global supply chains. He holds an MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, and lives in Oakland, California.|
|Lisa Donofrio Ferrezza is a sweater and knitwear designer and an associate professor of Fashion Design at FIT. She is the co-author of the book Designing a Knitwear Collection from Inspiration to Finished Garments, second edition (Fairchild Books, 2017). As a creative designer, knit technologist, author, and educator, she is committed to educating her students about sustainability with techniques including slow design, 3D knitting, zero-waste, recycling, reclaiming, and upcycling for knitwear design and development. She holds an MA from New York University, a BFA from FIT, and an Art Ed Certificate from the Parsons School of Design.|
|Patrice George is an associate professor and the woven textiles specialist in the Textile Development
and Marketing Department at FIT.
George has over 40 years experience in sustainable production practices for woven textiles. She has been a designer for and consultant to industrial manufacturers, as well as for traditional handloom production projects in Jamaica, Laos, and Mexico that were sponsored by nonprofits including UNIDO and CARE. She was a Fulbright lecturer in textiles at Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland. George has presented many papers and workshops at textile conferences and symposia in the U.S.
George holds a BA in History of Art from the University of Michigan and is completing an MA in Fashion and Textile History: Museum Studies at FIT.
|Annie (McCourt) Gullingsrud has progressive experience in both marketing communications and fashion design and
has worked as a sustainability consultant, writer, and designer.
After seven years working at marketing and advertising agencies, Gullingsrud’s hands started to itch. She wanted to sew and make things. She went back to school to study fashion design at California College of the Arts in San Francisco. Her introduction to sustainable fashion design suddenly brought purpose, meaning, and richness to a field of study that she had begun to think was lacking direction. The introduction to cradle-to-cradle design principles and methodology brought optimism, joy, and the perfect solution. She had found her path.
Gullingsrud has studied natural dyeing and weaving with local artisans in Guatemala; worked as a fashion designer at a sustainably run factory in Madhya Pradesh, India; and has developed a process of cutting and patterning that eliminates pattern-cut waste. She has written and designed a book about fibers used in the fashion industry and how to reduce their impact for Gap Inc. and TEKO, the Swedish Textile Association. Her book is used by students and textile companies across Sweden and Finland. Gullingsrud is currently the director of the Fashion Positive Initiative at the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute and guides fashion and textile brands, designers, and suppliers toward the creation of optimized materials for the circular economy.
|Susanne Goetz has worked as a textile designer, lecturer, researcher, and project manager in Germany,
Thailand, and the U.K. before becoming a professor at FIT.
Her expertise is in printed textile design, with a focus on both traditional and digital approaches to design and production. Goetz has a strong interest in sustainability in the textile industry and the impact of new technology on teaching and learning in art and design. She frequently collaborates with designers and artists on multi-disciplinary projects, including in the fields of fashion, jewelry, event design, and accessories.
Goetz holds an MS in textile and apparel technology management from North Carolina State University and a BA in textile design from Hof University of Applied Sciences in Germany. She is a Fulbright alumna and a fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
|Daniel Grushkin is co-founder and executive director of Genspace, the founder of the Biodesign Challenge, and a fellow at Data & Society. From 2013 to 2014, Grushkin was a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, where he researched synthetic biology. In 2014, he was named an emerging leader in biosecurity at the UPMC Center for Health Security. As a journalist, he has reported on the intersection of biotechnology, culture, and business for publications including Bloomberg Businessweek, Fast Company, Scientific American, and Popular Science.|
|Natalie Grillon is the co-founder and CEO of Project JUST. Natalie has nearly a decade of experience working at the intersection of business and social impact. She began her career in sustainable community development in West Africa and the U.S. before being selected for the Acumen Global Fellows Program. That role took her to Uganda, East Africa, to manage a smallholder farmers program for organic and fair trade produce. After these experiences, she co-founded Project JUST with Shahd AlShehail in 2015 to help change the way people shop for fashion. Project JUST works to shift demand toward positive practices and ethical brands, ultimately championing the farmers and workers at the bottom of the supply chain. Grillon holds a BS in foreign service from Georgetown University and an MBA from Cornell University, and is a Park Leadership Fellow.|
|Sara Healy is the proprietor of Buckwheat Bridge Angoras, Inc. and the Mill at Buckwheat Bridge
Farm. She has been using sustainable and ethical practices in farming for 25 years.
Healy has been a shepherd for 25 years, a fiber mill owner for 15, and a member of
the Dutchess County Sheep and Wool Growers Association since 1995.
Buckwheat Bridge Farm produces its own line of custom fine wool and mohair products: raw fleece, washed fleece, roving and fine yarns, felted products, hand-woven items, and knitted garments and patterns. The farm is home to 200 fine wool sheep -- Cormo and Cormo crosses -- and 100 white and natural-colored Angora goats producing kid-grade mohair. The farm's products come exclusively from animals born and raised on the farm. It does not buy and dye, resell, or label any product with a farm label that doesn’t originate from its animals. It uses the term “complete farm product” to identify that its products are completely and solely from its animals, and to emphasize its commitment to transparency and truth in labeling.
The farm creates an exceptionally high-quality yarn through selective breeding practices and careful attention to daily management of animals. It works with a number of New York-based clothing designers to create unique yarns and fabrics.
Besides fiber products, the farm sells all cuts of lamb, from whole carcasses to individually packaged cuts, bones, and custom blended sausages. The farm’s use of the entire animal demonstrates its commitment to sustainability and a movement toward zero waste. In addition, the Mill at Buckwheat Bridge Farm runs on power generated by solar and wind generators.
Healy serves on the board of the Dutchess County Sheep and Wool Growers Association, an all-volunteer 501(c)(3), and, as a member of that board, chairs the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival.
|Sylvia Heisel is a fashion designer and creative director working with new materials, manufacturing, and physical computing for fashion and wearables. She is an expert in 3D printing, functional fashion, and design for smart wearables, and is currently developing a workflow and manufacturing system for 3D-printed apparel. Heisel was named one of “12 People You Need to Know in New York Fashion Tech” by AlleyWatch.|
|Eric Henry, president of TS Designs, started his business creating screen designs in 1978 while
attending North Carolina State University. Two years later, he merged his company
with Tom Sineath’s to form TS Designs. Henry has been in the screen printing business
for more than 30 years, and his duties at TSD range from sales to research and development
to marketing. As the foremost public face of TSD, Henry attends numerous trade shows,
gives speeches to groups and universities, and hosts tours of the TSD facility. His
boundless enthusiasm and energy have secured him a certain level of notoriety, even
winning him the Sustainability Champion award from Sustainable North Carolina in 2009.
He attended North Carolina State for two years to study agriculture and then transferred to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to study economics. Henry and his wife, Lisa, live in in southern Alamance County. They plan to convert the 20-year-old home on the property to a net-zero energy home.
|Nir Katz founded and runs Tidewater Textile Recycling and related businesses that divert over
30 million articles of clothing out of landfills each year.
He has managed an 80-person team in the U.S. and Tanzania and was previously the director of strategic investments for Whitehouse & Schapiro, which diverts nearly 200 million articles of clothing each year.
While serving on the boards of both the Council for Textile Recycling and SMART, the global textile recycling association, Katz was instrumental in launching ReClothe New York, America’s first state sponsored clothing sustainability campaign. The ongoing program earned the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2015 Environmental Champion Award.
|Nomi Dale Kleinman is a textile designer based in Brooklyn and an assistant professor specializing in
weave design in the Textile/Surface Design department at the Fashion Institute of
Kleinman graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a degree in Fine Arts, majoring in textiles. She went on to work for the high-end residential fabric house Scalamandre. Later, she was recruited by American Silk Mills Inc., where she worked for nearly 10 years in various roles, including director of CAD design and senior designer. At ASM she designed for clients such as Mark Pollack, Beacon Hill, and Kravet. In 2003, she took a sabbatical and traveled to Africa and southeast Asia, where she studied traditional weaving techniques in Laos. In 2004, she earned ASM’s Designer of the Year Award.
Kleinman joined FIT in 2007. She is one of the coordinators of the college’s Annual Sustainability Conference and serves on the President’s Sustainability Council. In addition to teaching, she continues to design for clients in the textile industry.
|Born in Northern Ireland and based in New York City, Ruari Mahon is a communications and brand strategy professional with 10 years’ industry experience.
He is the founder of Loughlin Joseph, a multidisciplinary communications consultancy for fashion, lifestyle, and design interests. Loughlin Joseph was launched to remedy traditional PR’s tired dialogue and fill the vast gaps between brands’ missions and executions. Starting with the basics—target positioning, pricing, and distribution—Loughlin Joseph combines media relations, wholesale and retail navigation, e-commerce, and digital marketing into one nimble system to maintain long-term growth.
Mahon studied international fashion marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University, graduating in 2009 with first-class honors. Following a stint in technical with Whistles in London, he relocated to New York in early 2010 to join Want Agency, a prestigious distribution agency that introduced cult Scandinavian brands Nudie Jeans, Acne Studios, and Filippa K to the North American market. Mahon serviced the agency’s portfolio in a marketing role before moving into a dedicated public relations and communications position with Nudie Jeans in 2011. From 2013 to 2017, Mahon was the global head of public relations and communications for Nudie Jeans. Mahon directed a global team overseeing brand direction and positioning, media strategy, marketing, and retail strategy. Under his leadership, the company distinguished its voice, vision, and market position, generating over $70 million a year, and also clarified its sustainable fashion mission, winning the Observer Ethical Award for Sustainable Style in 2015. Mahon continues to work with Nudie Jeans on a consulting basis.
|Mark A. Messura serves as senior vice president of global supply chain marketing for Cotton Incorporated,
where he is responsible for the company’s global marketing and technical training
programs with retailers, brands, and manufacturers.
Messura is a frequent speaker and advisor to the textile industry on issues related to sustainability, responsible sourcing, supply chain strategy, and fiber economics. He currently serves as chairman of the International Forum for Cotton Promotion and is a member of the International Task Force on Cotton Identity Programs for the International Cotton Advisory Committee.
He chairs the industry advisory board for the Textile Apparel and Technology Management Program in the College of Textiles at North Carolina State University, where he is also an adjunct associate professor. Messura also serves on the industry advisory board to the Textile Development and Marketing department at the Fashion Institute of Technology, as well as the advisory board to the Department of Apparel, Merchandising, Design and Textiles at Washington State University.
Prior to joining Cotton Incorporated in 1994, Messura served as director of policy and programs for the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center, and as associate director of the North Carolina Board of Science and Technology. He earned a BA from the University of Michigan in economics, and an MA in policy analysis from Duke University.
Cotton Incorporated, funded by U.S. growers of upland cotton and importers of cotton and cotton textile products, is the research and marketing company representing upland cotton. It is designed to improve the demand for and profitability of cotton.
|Andrew Olah has worked in global textile development and marketing since 1976, specializing in denim for moderate and premium jeans. He is the chief executive officer and majority owner of Olah Inc., a New York-based textile agency and consultancy. In 2004, Olah launched Kingpins Show, the seminal denim sourcing trade show. The show debuted in New York and has grown to host editions in Amsterdam, Hong Kong, and China. As a longtime believer that the most sustainable thing anyone can do is stop buying anything new, Olah introduced Kingpins Transformers in 2015. Kingpins Transformers is a summit series spotlighting members of the denim community who are committed to creating, implementing, and sharing changes that need to happen in the jeans industry to make it environmentally viable, socially responsible, and financially sound by 2029. The series’ events engage denim professionals, educators, and government officials with panels and presentations featuring exceptional industry changers at each stage of the jean supply chain. Olah is also a member of the advisory board of FIT’s Textile Development and Marketing department. For 11 years, he has served as consulting director for the department’s denim and jeans brand development capstone project.|
|Michelle Parrish is a member of the New England Flax and Linen Study Group, which organized the symposium Flax and Linen: Following the Thread from Past to Present at Historic Deerfield in 2016. She has been growing flax for fiber since 2005. Her focus in the study group has been growing different varieties of fiber flax, including 29 varieties obtained through the USDA germplasm system. Her goal is to expand the range of fiber flax seeds available to small-scale growers. An educator, weaver, spinner, and plant-based dyer, Michelle grows plants for fiber and dye, and documents her projects on her blog, Local Color Dyes. Parrish earned her Master Weaver Certificate from the Hill Institute in Florence, Massachusetts, in 2010. She is interested in developing local cloth initiatives and will be retting and processing the flax for FIT’s Farm to Fashion project in 2017-2018.|
|La Rhea Pepper is a well known pioneer and activist in the U.S. organic cotton farming movement
and the organic cotton fiber industry. She currently serves as the managing director
for Textile Exchange and continues to be involved in her family farm which farms organic cotton in west
Textile Exchange, originally known as Organic Exchange, catalyzed the growth of the global organic cotton market from under $300 million in 2002 to over $15 billion in 2016. Organic cotton continues to offer a clear benefit for farmers, a clear definition for consumers, and a way that brands can create positive impacts. Preferred fibers will remain a significant material choice in a sustainable product strategy for brands and retailers. As a co-founder of Textile Exchange, Pepper believes that the unique model of working with the entire textile value chain, from farm/producer through manufacturing to retail and the consumer, is the way to drive meaningful change.
Pepper’s formal training is in education. She has a Bachelor of Science in education from Abilene Christian University and a Master of Science in organizational leadership from Lubbock Christian University. Her true training has been in working with other pioneers in the sustainable textile industry – creating preferred fiber and material strategies, strengthening integrity in the marketplace through the adoption of standards, and promoting deeper engagement within the supply network.
As a fifth-generation farmer, Pepper has a long history of leadership within the sustainable farming movement. Pepper and her late husband, Terry, were founding members of the Texas Organic Cotton Marketing Cooperative in 1993. Today, TOCMC is the largest organic cotton cooperative in the United States. Together, they built a sustainable business model for farmers and created strategic partnerships with various manufacturers and value-added programs including Cotton Plus (for organic fabric) and Organic Essentials (for organic personal care products).
In 1995, Pepper served on the administrative council for Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) and two years later was elected to the Organic Trade Association’s Fiber Council Steering Committee. She joined the Organic Trade Association’s board of directors in 1998 where she supported the creation of organic fiber processing standards and a chain of custody for the industry. Continuing to support advocacy for family farms in the U.S., she is serving as chair for the Rural Advancement Foundation International.
Pepper is known for her passionate and inspirational presentations at various conventions and conferences, and is often invited to write and speak on issues related to organic cotton farming, organic cotton fiber use, and industry standards. Impassioned about organics and stewardship of the land, she holds strong family, community, and religious values, and has dedicated her life to making a positive difference in the world.
|Cynthia Power is the facilitating manager of Fisher Found, Eileen Fisher's clothing take back program, which was founded in 2009. Every garment we take back is either resold, donated, or remanufactured, bringing Eileen Fisher closer and closer to becoming a truly circular company. Power’s vision is to highlight the beauty of Eileen Fisher garments by giving every one a first, second, and third life, ultimately recycling it and causing no environmental harm. Power has been at Eileen Fisher for nine years and attended Scripps College.|
|Mimi Prober is a New York-based designer and a Fashion Institute of Technology graduate. Her
signature collection is handcrafted using recovered fragments of antique materials
dating from the 18th to early 20th centuries, natural and locally produced luxury
fibers, and botanically based dye methods. The dyeing techniques have been uniquely
developed into custom textiles that are organically designed, artisanal, and seasonless.
Through a zero-waste philosophy, each piece is created by hand with one-of-a-kind
placement that highlights its individual history and story. Prober is celebrated for
her decorative and unique beading, embroidery, and lace designs.
Prober is passionate about integrating the artistry of the past and establishing a sustainable future through the reuse of antique materials to create modern handcrafted heirlooms.
The Mimi Prober sustainable luxury atelier, ready-to-wear, and fine jewelry collections are produced in New York, in direct partnership with local artisans, farms, mills, and manufacturers. The Mimi Prober collection debuted at New York Fashion Week at Skylight Clarkson Square in February 2017, and was produced by Kelly Cutrone and the People’s Revolution Team.
|Ajoy K. Sarkar is a faculty member in the Textile Development and Marketing Department at FIT. He holds undergraduate degrees in chemistry and textile chemistry from the University of Mumbai and MS and PhD degrees in textile sciences from the University of Georgia. His expertise includes fibers, textile coloration, finishing, product development, textile testing and analysis, and applying textile technology to design. His areas of research are sustainable textiles and smart protective textiles. Sarkar is the author or co-author of over 40 publications and has presented at numerous national and international conferences. He also serves as an associate editor for the AATCC Journal of Research and is a member of the International Textile and Apparel Association.|
|Theanne Schiros, Ph.D, is an assistant professor at FIT, where she teaches courses in physics, chemistry, and sustainability. She is a faculty advisor for the Columbia University Maker Space and the co-chair of the 2017 Biodesign Challenge (BDC) program at FIT. In that program, she advises the teams and guides students in rethinking textiles through technology, biology, and sustainable design. She is also the faculty advisor for Algiknit, the student-led research team that won the inaugural BDC challenge for its production of a kelp- and fungi-based bio-yarn. Schiros is a research scientist at the Columbia University Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, as well as its diversity liaison. She works collaboratively with Columbia’s Center for Precision Assembly of Superstratic and Superatomic Solids (PAS3) to explore two-dimensional materials for use in electronic devices and as catalysts for clean energy applications. Schiros is engaged in international sustainability work with organizations such as Engineers Without Borders and the Finca Morpho Permaculture collective. She has published her work in numerous peer-reviewed journals and has been awarded multiple grants to support it, including the NYSERDA Fellowship, the Columbia University EFRC Fellowship, and the Hunter College Fellowship for Academic Excellence in Teaching.|
|Jessica Schreiber is the founder of FABSCRAP, which provides convenient pickup and recycling of fabric scraps from businesses in New York City. Prior to launching FABSCRAP, she was responsible for New York City’s textile recycling and e-waste recycling programs as a senior manager in the Bureau of Recycling and Sustainability at the Department of Sanitation. She has a master’s degree in Climate and Society from the Earth Institute at Columbia University and degrees in both education and biology from Arizona State University.|
|Jeffrey Silberman is a professor and chair of the Textile Development and Marketing Department at the
Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, where he received the 2016 President’s
Award for Faculty Excellence. He is a consultant to the International Cotton Advisory
Committee Secretariat and concurrently served as executive director to the International
Forum for Cotton Promotion from 2003 to 2016.
Silberman has designed and implemented linen development programs throughout Russia, including the Vologda, Kaluga and Kostroma and Yaroslavl regions, as well as textile development programs in more than fifteen countries. He is also the owner of Maple Shade Farm in New York’s Westchester County, where he grows flax and indigo.
Silberman holds a Master of Textiles degree from North Carolina State University’s College of Textiles and a BS in Textile Marketing and Design from Philadelphia University. He is a winner of the Winrock Award for Service and Dedication Given in Helping to Build a Better World for his work with Russian flax producers.
|Ted Southern is the president and co-founder of Final Frontier Design. He has served as the principal
investigator for four NASA Small Business Innovation Research contracts since 2011,
and is currently FFD’s lead for a Space Act agreement with NASA’s Commercial Space
Capabilities Office. He also served as the primary contractor for a 14-month fixed
price contract with NASA for space suit glove development, and has overseen the development
and build of four generations of commercial IVA space suits at FFD. Southern is also
the acting president of FFD and oversees management, accounting, day-to-day operations,
and the long-term vision of the company in addition to overseeing specific projects.
Prior to working with space suits, Southern worked in the costume and special effects industry for more than 15 years, with design and fabrication experience on major television, movie, Broadway, opera, fine art, and commercial productions, including for Victoria’s Secret, Cirque du Soleil, Gladstone Gallery, and Paramount Pictures. He also teaches the “Future Wearables” class as part of the School of Visual Art’s Interactive Design Masters program. Southern studied music as an undergraduate at the University of Puget Sound, and received an MFA from Pratt Institute in 2007.
|Liz Spencer is owner and operator of The Dogwood Dyer, an all-natural dyeing service that uses locally grown and foraged plants as well as ethically sourced dyestuffs to help create sustainable accessories, garments, and home goods. Her process involves minimal water consumption, with 80 percent of the refuse water recycled back into her gardens. An advocate for the teaching of ethically conscious design, she teaches sustainability, fashion, and natural dyeing at FIT and Parsons School of Design. She spent a year as a venture fellow at the Brooklyn Fashion and Design Accelerator. Spencer holds a BA from Linfield College and an MA in sustainable fashion from the London College of Fashion. She teaches workshops in southern California and in the New York City area.|
|Barbara Cottrell Trippeer is an assistant professor in the Fashion Design-apparel program at the Fashion Institute
Trippeer has an MFA in innovation studies. Her applied design research focuses on bringing an anthropological approach to innovation and design thinking. It is aimed at creating public policy applications related to social development, sustainable technology, and wearable products.
Her thesis research, Help Couture, focused on an exploration of the potential benefits of SMART garment technology as devices to assist children living with chronic health conditions. That project allowed her to partner with Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth.
Barbara has a BFA in Fashion Design from Parsons School of Design in Paris and earned her MFA in innovation studies/applied design research from the University of North Texas.
|Anna Upston is a textile artist and owner of the Maupston Design Studio. Formally trained as an opera singer, Upston switched her creative passion to become a textile artist and founded Maupston Design Studio in 2006. Realizing that handmade yarn construction offers innumerable opportunities to designers, artists, and hobbyists alike, Upston became intent on creating the most interesting, colorful, and unique yarns possible. Her art yarns and business have been highlighted by many publications and outlets including Martha Stewart’s American Made, Newsday, Examiner.com, CBSWatch! magazine, Markets Media magazine, News 12 (Bronx and Brooklyn), and more.|
|Lydia Wendt is principal and design director of California Cloth Foundry, a triple-bottom-line sustainable farm-to-fashion apparel and textile brand. Her company is a supplier of superior, all-natural, U.S.-grown and -sewn textiles to the garment industry. Originally from New York, Wendt trained at the Fashion Institute of Technology and has over 20 years’ experience in apparel and textile design and development. She has worked with Tom Ford for Perry Ellis America, Calvin Klein, Jones New York, Fibershed for The North Face, Lucy Activewear, SC Johnson and Sons, and Clary Sage Organics, among others. While she was a design lead at Made in America, Wendt’s private label accounts included a broad spectrum of markets such as Phillips-Van Heusen, GH Bass, The Limited brands and Bloomingdale’s. This comprehensive skill base gives her a deep understanding of the luxury of fashion and the importance of a cohesive balance between a design’s conceptual aspect and commercial requirements. An educator and faculty member in Academy of Art University's internationally recognized fashion department, Wendt taught graduate and undergraduate textiles design and sustainable fashion courses before founding CCF in 2013.|
|Lori Wyman has been conducting Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) audits since 2006 and now serves as the Global Organic Textile Standard Representative for North America. She has conducted organic, sustainable, and social compliance audits on farms and factories nationally and internationally. She has inspected every step of the organic supply chain, from the farm level to the finished product, for food (the USDA’s National Organic Program) and textiles (Textile Exchange and GOTS).|