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Full Program

Monday, June 5: Standards


8:00 - 8:45 am

Breakfast & Registration 

8:45 - 9:00 am


9:00 - 10:15 am


Andrew Olah, Kingpins Transformers

Transformers are companies that “create change and transformation” in the denim industry by developing new chemistry, new machinery, and new systems of implementation and/or production. They are committed to creating, implementing, and sharing the changes needed to make the jeans industry more environmentally viable, socially responsible, and financially sound by 2029. Andrew Olah discusses what inspired this call to action, and how it is changing the face of the denim industry.

10:15 - 10:30 am


10:30 - 11:15 am

Transparency is the New Normal

Natalie Grillon, Project Just

Project Just co-founder Natalie Grillon speaks about the company's mission of making the fashion industry into a transparent, accountable, and sustainable system that celebrates the stories, people, and resources behind the clothing. With data from Project Just's work to understand consumer needs for stories and information to make purchasing decisions, we'll examine best practices, new initiatives from brands and what the future holds for a shifting and more transparent fashion industry.

Transparency is the new normal.  Consumers expect it.  Brands need it.  Workers and NGO's want it.

11:15 - 11:30 am


11:30 am - 12:45 pm

Harmonizing Certification

Lori Wyman, Global Organic Textile Standard
Katina Boutis, Loomstate
Anna Czerwinska, OEKO-TEX
Moderator:  Susanne Goetz, Assistant Professor, Textile/Surface Design, FIT

Standards define the requirements for certification and product testing to ensure sustainability of textiles. From the harvesting of raw materials to environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing to labeling, they provide a credible assurance to the end consumer. This panel offers perspectives from independent global certification organizations as well as certified companies.

12:45 - 2:00 pm


2:00 - 5:00 pm

Elective Sessions (choose one)


Repurposing Knits Workshop

Lisa Donofrio, Fashion Institute of Technology

In this workshop we will look at the possibilities of creative design and “upcycled” fashion sweater and knitwear trends. Utilizing thrifted styles we will recycle, reclaim, and repurpose sweaters and knit T-shirts as materials. We will explore current trends and techniques to develop creative finished products. By the end of the workshop, participants will have disassembled, re-designed, and created an upcycled knitwear fashion product.


Upcycling Wovens Workshop

Patrice George, Fashion Institute of Technology

Designers are reinterpreting and reusing a range of materials to produce products at a higher level. In this hands-on workshop, participants explore a variety of materials to be deconstructed and reconstructed into woven samples. T-shirts, plastics, disposable bags, scrap metal, waste yarn, and more will be used to develop original designs on hand-weaving looms.

5:00 - 6:00 pm

Social Mixer

Tuesday, June 6: Closed Loop


9:00 - 10:00 am  

Shifting Fashion from a Linear to a Circular Economy

Annie Gullingsrud, Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute

This lecture provides an overview and introduction to circular economy and circular fashion.  Gullingsrud offers the circular economy as a viable strategy for meeting 21st century challenges like climate change and resource depletion. She describes how circular systems for fashion can eliminate the concept of waste and provide abundance.  She will introduce their work at Fashion Positive, an initiative of the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute.  A full spectrum of innovators and initiatives connecting the dots in circular fashion will be shared, from verifying and cataloguing circular materials, to collecting and renewing or recycling garments.

10:00 - 10:15 am


10:15 - 11:30 am

Repair, Reuse

Ruari Mahon, Nudie Jeans
Jeff Denby, The Renewal Workshop
Cynthia Power, Eileen Fisher
Moderator:  Nomi Kleinman, Assistant Professor and Assistant Chair, Textile/Surface Design, FIT

The panelists discuss “repair” as a radical act and “reuse” as a new model for the fashion industry. Their repair service centers, highly visible shop stations, mobile units, and mail-order kits create cultural change by celebrating the story of a garment and extending its lifespan.

11:30 - 11:45 am


11:45 am - 1:00 pm

Textile Recycling

Marisa Adler, Resource Recycling Systems
Nir Katz, Tidewater Textile Recycling
Jessica Schreiber, Fabscrap
Moderator:  Susanne Goetz, Assistant Professor, Textile/Surface Design, FIT

Textiles and apparel is one of the most rapidly growing waste streams in the United States. Despite take-back programs and textile recycling options in cities, more than 85 percent of used textiles still ends up in landfills. This panel will offer an overview of the problem, introduce the current solutions for textile recovery and discuss the future vision for a more systemic solution.

1:00 - 2:00 pm

Lunch Break

2:00 - 5:00 pm  

Circular Fashion Design Practice Workshop

Annie Gullingsrud, Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute

Work through principles of circular design applied to fashion in this interactive workshop based on the body of knowledge developed at the Cradle to Cradle Product Innovation Institute.  Through presentations and group work, participants learn about curricular materials for fashion and practice thinking through material circularity. We will define the characteristics of a circular material using the Cradle to Cradle Certified Products Standard and introduce the Fashion Positive Materials Collection. Participants will also explore design strategies to help designers respond to sustainability challenges in fashion. We will define upcycling, give examples of design for upcycling, and discuss the designer’s role in growing circular fashion.

Wednesday, June 7: Farm to Fashion


9:00 - 10:00 am  

Farm to Fashion

Lydia Wendt, California Cloth Foundry

Farm to Table has transformed consumer choices and awareness towards a more sustainable food chain.  The apparel industry is one of the largest contributors to toxic waste and poor labor practices.  Consumers are beginning to ask the same questions, as the food they eat, about the fabrics that enrobe and surround them.  Farm to Fashion is the natural extension of Farm to Table.  Changing the apparel industry from one of the most polluting, unethical industries into an environmentally friendly, sustainable bio-based and regenerative one is the next vanguard and has many challenges.  This interactive session will explore the many advances that are being made to tackle these complex problems.  From sourcing sustainable fibers and finishing processes to ethical labor and working conditions through the supply chain; discover the incredible progresses, and through your participation help further the industry towards a 100% sustainable future!

10:00 - 10:15 am


10:15 - 11:30 am

Perspectives on Cotton

Daren Abney, Better Cotton Initiative
Mark Messura, Cotton Incorporated
Brent Crossland, Bayer Crop Science
LaRhea Pepper, Textile Exchange
Eric Henry, TS Design
Moderator:  Jeffrey Silberman, Professor and Chair, Textile Development and Marketing, FIT

The cotton industry continues its important discussion highlighting different production and marketing systems. It has become clear that chemical fibers are the real competition, and polyester is gaining market share at an alarming rate. Hear cotton industry leaders come together to discuss the positioning and potential of organic, genetically modified, and technology neutral cotton programs, as well as the industry’s ability to work together to regain market share from synthetics.

11:30 - 11:45 am


11:45 am - 1:00 pm

Local Fiber Connections

Mimi Prober, Mimi Prober
Jeffrey Silberman, Fashion Institute of Technology
Michelle Parrish, New England Flax and Linen Study Group
Sara Healy, Buckwheat Bridge Angoras
Moderator:  Jeffrey Silberman, Professor and Chair, Textile Development and Marketing, FIT

Circular farm-to-fashion efforts represent one way to build niche markets using local farming, processing, and design. One such regional initiative is underway. Panelists discuss the challenges they face, including growing flax in New York, processing fiber and spinning yarn in Massachusetts, and developing fabric and fashion design in New York to produce heirloom quality items.

1:00 - 2:00 pm


2:00 - 5:00 pm

Elective sessions (choose one)


Beginning Handspinning and Creating Novelty Yarns Workshop

Anna Upston, Maupston Design Studio

An intensive course teaching the basics of creating yarn on a drop spindle. Experience multiple kinds of wool, silk, exotic fibers, color, and wool preparation. Learn about plying and setting the twist in a yarn. Explore the possibilities of novelty handspun yarns in which color and texture are “composed” by the spinner.


Natural Dyeing From Farm Waste

Dr. Ajoy K. Sarkar, Fashion Institute of Technology
Liz Spencer, Dogwood Dyer

This hands-on workshop enables participants to experience dyeing with natural colorants, and to observe the differences between artisanal techniques and industrial scale processes. Dyes from farm waste are explored and used.

5:15 - 6:30 pm

Informal Social

Thursday, June 8: Textile Innovations


9:00 - 10:00 am

Ted Southern, Final Frontier Design
Final Frontier Design was founded in 2010 with the goal of developing safety garments to enable human travel to space.  Integrating a strong design background with new technology and materials solutions, FFD's short-term goal is to provide flight-ready space suits, while developing spin-off garments for use here on earth.

10:00 - 10:15 am 


10:15 - 11:30 am

Textile Futures

This showcase of innovative companies examines the future of textiles through several lenses - future materials, science and technology, sustainable energy, and well-being.

Daniel Grushkin, Genspace
Daniel Grushkin is co-founder and Executive Director of Genspace.  He is also the founder of the Biodesign Challenge.  As a journalist, he has reported on the intersection of biotechnology, culture, and business.

Sylvia Heisel, Heisel Co.
Sylvia will speak about the opportunities offered through 3D printing for zero waste clothes that are printed to order in compostable materials.  This talk will look at the base materials, manufacturing equipment and design software that will make 3D printed textiles at scale a reality.

Barbara Trippeer, Fashion Institute of Technology
Barbara's applied design research is focused on bringing an anthropological approach to innovation and design thinking, aimed at creating public policy applications related to social development, sustainable technology, and wearable products.  Her research titled Help Couture focused on an exploration of the potential benefits on SMART garment technology as enabling devices to assist children living with chronic health conditions.

11:30 - 12:45 am


12:45 - 3:45 pm

Elective sessions (choose one)


Growing Textiles Workshop

Theanne Schiros, Fashion Institute of Technology

How do biological organisms grow? Most living things break down simple sugars to create energy, and then use this energy to assemble the building blocks of new cells. This workshop introduces the basic biology of growing textiles and demonstrates how to prepare a cell culture so participants can grow their own microbial leather at home. We will demonstrate several methods for post-processing of the material: natural pigment dyeing, shaping, and cutting. Participants will leave the workshop with microbial leather that they can grow at home, as well as a demo swatch of pre-dried microbial leather that they have dyed themselves.


Conductive Stitching Workshop

Susanne Goetz, Fashion Institute of Technology

Experimenting with batteries, conductive thread, and LEDs, participants construct a working and wearable circuit. Taking functionality and aesthetic aspects into consideration, this workshop connects old and new technologies to integrate electronics into fabric.

3:45 - 4:30 pm

Wrap-Up Session