Invitation to attend Special Guest Lecture Panel on “Global Sustainable Design and Marketing” at FIT on September 27th, 2012.

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12 thoughts on “Invitation to attend Special Guest Lecture Panel on “Global Sustainable Design and Marketing” at FIT on September 27th, 2012.

  1. In this event, three guests discussed about the importance of sustainability in global fashion, and their current positions in the industry. Lewis Perkins started his presentation on Cradle to Cradle, a company that holds its own special philosophy: in nature, nothing is waste. Through this philosophy, the company wants to develop products optimizing the positive impact, and at same time, minimizing the negative impact on environment. Second speaker was Sass Brown, who spoke mostly about the concept of ‘Slow Design’. Slow Design tries to promote the well being of individuals, society, and the natural environment by taking into consideration all the social and environmental factors during the process of product development. She showed to us brands creating new products from recycled resources, such as used socks, curtains and jeans. Samata Angel, the last speaker, presented about the Red Carpet Green Dress Contest, a contest in which designers create dresses made of sustainable fabric, with commercial competitiveness and attractive design. What people discussed in the end of presentation, were the producer responsibility and the ways to reduce the production cost. Those sustainable clothes will definitely bring positive changes into environment; however, high cost of production leads the price of those finished goods to be more expensive, making them to be less competitive in the market. Through this event, I could deeply think about the current situation of fashion industry, and the different directions of its future.

  2. The most interesting concept that I learned from this event was a “material revolution” from Cradle to Cradle. I feel this is a really interesting practical way to be sustainable and get a large percent of consumers to be involved. Lewis Perkins explained that C2C wants to eliminate the concept of waste, so that all materials used in manufacturing can be reused in a different ways when their product life is over. The idea of being more aware of what the things you buy are composed of is something I hope more people will be considering in the future.
    Sass Brown is a fashion activist. She brought up the fact that the Fashion Industry employs 6% of the world. This is a considerable amount of the population, which produces a lot of waste. She mentioned many interesting designers who reinvent the waste from clothing to make new beautiful garments.
    Finally Samata Angel discussed the great goal behind Red Carpet Green Dress. One of the main objectives is to publicize and make reusing popular. The idea to inspire more people to really be proactive about the environment is one that is very powerful. I really enjoyed the conference and I really find sustainability an interesting topic to explore.

  3. Review on Presentation for
    Global Sustainable Design and Marketing

    The presentation on Global Sustainability for Design and Marketing was educational and inspiring. “Eco fashion is a requirement” says Sass Brown, an fashion activist who spoke at the presentation. The other speakers were Samata Angle and Lewis Perkins. Each of panelists gave insight to the audience on “eco-friendly-fashion”. Samata Angel, the Global Campaign Director of Red Carpet Green Dress spoke about how her company recycles old fibers such as polyesters and use natural mineral dyes to create elegant and sustainable dresses for Academy Awards actresses. These dresses tell a story. The celebrities wearing them are able to say where the dress was made, who made it, how it was made and what it is made of. I found this to be a lovely aspect, because as Sass Brown mentioned, many people have lost that connection with clothing. I believe we as people need to be more aware of this concept.
    Could an old pair of ripped jeans that you’re throwing out have harmful chemicals or dyes? Questions like these came to mind through out the presentation. Lewis Perkins did mention the idea of Green Chemistry, which is producing products that will be safe to the environment. The only problem is not enough production companies practice this idea because of the “Race to the Bottom”. Coming up with safe chemicals could be time consuming and costly, increasing the price of the good, thus making the demand lower and consumers less willing to buy.
    The idea of having cheap goods its appealing, especially to a broke college student like myself. However, the “Race to the Bottom” idea is not sustainable, but its how many of the trade and manufacturing businesses operate. I believe our generation should step out of this mind set that cheaper is better. Although the price tag tempts us to buy, I’ve come to realize in the long run its not worth it. A cheap shirt from H&M, manufactured in a sweat shop in China, will only last a year. After this presentation my mind set on how I shopped truly was altered. I want to think “sustainable” the next time I enter a store.
    When looking at sustainability from an import/export point of view, WFTO comes to mind. World Fair Trade Organization is a global community of pioneering and passionate change-makers, responsible for the development of the sustainable Fair Trade economy. The idea of Fair Trade is to help producers in developing countries promote sustainability. Each year Fair Trade is becoming more and more successful, making business more aware of their social and environmental responsibilities.
    Many good points of sustainability were made at this presentation, and it was an eye opener. It forced me to look into fair trade, and ways that I can help the environment. One thing thats easy and more affordable is the use of vintage clothing, so I will look more into that. I also thought I’d propose the eco friendly idea to my mentor at internship, because she produces a lot of products that are made from plastics. I’m appreciative I was given the opportunity to hear Lewis, Sass and Samata present and look forward to future of global sustainability and eco fashion.

  4. The Special Guest Lecture Panel on Global Sustainable Design and Marketing was so amazing, I leaned a lot from this lecture. Three of the panelists were explained so well about the important of sustainability in global fashion, providing their unique insights on the stages of design, manufacturing and marketing.

    Since I graduated from the fashion deign AAS major, I am very interested in Samata Angel’s speech about the Red Carpet Green Dress(RCGD) which founded in 2009. Like what she said, our demand drives the fast, cheap fashion uses cheap fibers led to the manufactures stress ; fast fashion cause the people throw away 30 kilos of clothing a year; factory need two thousand liter of water to produce one t-shirt. People just want more collection with less time to produce them.

    Through the Red Carpet Green Dress which is an international dress design contest hope to introduce sustainable fashion to create a system to support the environment . The contest also introduce organic fabric which harvested in a way with little or minimal negative impact on environment. So it can help the world to reduced the harmful chemicals and pesticides and water waste.

    I think the RCGD can give the designers the ideas of how to protect our world. Fast fashion industry caused water, air and many other environment pollution problems. What can the designer do to help to protect our world? Designers can used sustainable fabrics which can been manufactured with the least pollution to the environment. Designers can try to use hand-paint or dyed fabric and use low-impact dyes, avoiding or reducing the use of synthetic fiber.I am so glad that I can have an opportunity to hear this special lecture!

  5. Response the the Global Sustainable Design and Marketing

    I thought the most interesting presentation was Mr. Lewis Perkins from Cradle to Cradle. The premise of the company is that sustainability begins with product design. Products should follow the natural life cycle, from the earth and returning to the earth. If one creates products with the purpose of ensuring a fully recyclable, sustainable product, then one does not have to deal with waste products when the product is defunct or falls out of fashion. In a sense, it is the designers who will change the world, because they are the ones that will create what we will buy.

    My question is, what constitutes a recyclable, sustainable product? And if a product meets these qualifications, what must the owner do to ensure that it is recycled properly? Aluminum cans are recyclable, but that does not stop people from throwing them into garbage cans instead of recycling bins. Starting with responsible product design is a beginning, but to ensure that the whole process works, it would seem to involve a lot of trust in the consumer/owner to participate in the life cycle.

    Sass Brown spoke about EcoFashion and the steps it has taken from being the crunchy granola hippie tiedye to being seen as a legitimate business and competition for non-eco focused fashion houses. While I saw the major steps forward such eco-focused fashion brands have taken, they still appeared as second-tier at best when compared to other fashion brands. Clothing made entirely of socks? It seemed that for brands that focused on reusing discarded products, the design was dictated by the product instead of design that might incorporate the product. Some of the brands focusing on utilizing eco-friendly fabrics had more appeal, but again, it was nothing that could compete seriously with many top tier brands. It would seem that focusing on established fashion brands and pushing more eco-friendly processes and fabrics would be a much larger impact than the small group of devotees to creating eco-first products.

    Last to present was Samata Angel for Green Dress Red Carpet. I thought her enthusiasm and passion as an ambassador for the program was admirable. But, it’s just one dress. If someone really had an interest in ecologically responsible clothing, it would make better sense to expand the program from its current state of producing one competition, one dress per year. What about following up with the designers? What happens in the interim for promoting wider use of eco-products and textiles?

    Overall, I did learn about innovations and businesses that exist for the purpose of promoting sustainable, responsible clothing, but the best point raised was by the student who posed the question: you can make eco-friendly clothing, but isn’t the biggest impact on the environment come from the consumer, how, after purchase, the garment is cared for and washed? Despite attempts by fashion brands to be more ecologically-aware, that is only half the story. The second half begins the consumer use. After designing and promoting products, it seems we still have a long ways to go, not just talking about it as an industry and with other industry people, but if we really care, making the world understand the message.

  6. I attended the Global Sustainable Design and Marketing presentation last week and found it very interesting. I am currently taking the Online Corporate Responsibility class and found a lot of parallels between that class and this presentation. I was especially intrigued by the Red Carpet Green Dress Company, it seems like a great way for environmentally friendly designs to become more main stream. I loved hearing about certain designers who specialize in only organic fibers such as Izzy Lane. Being an animal lover I thought it was wonderful that she created a sheep sanctuary. You don’t really think about sheep being harmed in the process of making clothing but the reality was very saddening. I would love to be able to combine my love for animals with a sustainable fashion company. With more and more organic companies combining environmentally friendly processes with fashion trends it is now easier to play a part in the movement.

  7. The special guest Lecture of Global Sustainable Design and Marketing on Sep 27, 2012 was a huge success for the International Trade and Marketing Department at FIT. The panelists each spoke passionately about the work that they do, and how they want to help the audience understand the history and the future for sustainable designs and fashion.
    The speeches from the female panelists Sass Brown and Samata Angel really spoke to me. I learned that more and more designers and producers now understand the importance for sustainable designs, and are currently producing sustainable Fashion on a much bigger scale compared to before. One example is how H&M is currently the biggest organic cotton buyer.
    In Sass Brown and Samata Angel’s presentations, I saw some beautiful, edgy, and glamorous designs. The common thread between these designs was not only their beauty, but also their ability to raise interest in audience’s minds. The audience, myself included, felt touched and affected by the designs. The impact that I received from the presentations was strong enough to make me rethink about my personal purchasing habits for fashion.
    I learned from this event that we as consumers need to be cautious about what we buy and what we throw out. I had made some irrational decisions buying fashion before, such as buying clothing and only wearing it for a few times. Some of the clothes were impulse purchases that I didn’t even need, some were merely on sale, some were “fads” and were quickly out of style, and some were cheaply made and soon fell apart. A couple times a year I sort out bags of unwanted items from my closet and put them in the local donation bin and never think about them again, yet my closet soon becomes crowded by new purchases. By repeating this unhealthy cycle, I created fashion waste which might be linked with low wages paid to the workers in the developing countries, hazardous water and air pollution, and growing landfills.
    After this event I pledge to give my best effort to sustainable fashion, and already have plans when it comes to my future buying: I will read labels and look for items that are made from organic cotton, use reusable shopping bags, and invest in better quality clothing items so they will last longer. And most importantly, spread the knowledge that I have learned about sustainable fashion to families and friends so more people can understand the significance about sustainability in everyday fashion.

  8. Three panelists came to FIT for giving a speech about sustainable fashion. First and foremost, Lewis Perkins, senior VP of the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, briefly overviewed what the organization has been achieved since its foundation from 2002. It was quite interesting to know this group because most of the ‘green-oriented’ organizations relatively seemed to have focused more on the business and design sides. This C2C institute, however, is highly devoting itself to develop an education program. The aim for this certificate program started off from the hoping that more and more publics will be aware of the sustainable issues and become sustainable consumers and citizens. I was entirely glad to see this institute because having a right knowledge and attitude towards sustainability is a key required quality to live as a member in this global society. Another guest speaker, Sass Brown, an author of ECO Fashion and also, editor for Coco Eco Magazine, gave us several exciting stories by introducing eco-fashion designers who are actively working in the current fashion business field. While I listening her speech, one of the astonishing things was that many of the eco-designers are actually from developing countries like Afghanistan, Brazil and Peru and so on. The types of designing were colorful as I expected –from recycling the worn socks to zero waste fabrics. She introduced herself as a ‘fashion activist’- which seemed to manifest itself innovator and pioneer for supporting the sustainable design based on her design major background. She noted that sustainable fashion is not simply a trendy issue, rather having a lot of potential to settle down and grow as a major niche market in fashion field. The last speaker, Samata Angel, global campaign director of Red Carpet Green Dress, told the audience her winning experience in this Hollywood-based sustainable design contest. I think the way to promote sustainable dress was extraordinary because celebrities like movie stars and pop stars are powerful tool to do advertise and marketing the sustainability against mess media and general public. They are well-known figures to everybody. So, every dress they wear will make huge issues, encouraging the public to be more aware of the fashion towards green.

  9. It was really interesting event because I’m taking a Corporate Social Responsibility class now and we see many cases and talk about sustainability of the fashion industry every week. The three guests speakers mostly talked their various sustainable actions and Eco-strategies, and the importance of the topic for the fashion industry due to their influence toward the society and economy. Since a large majority of consumers prefer to buy law-priced fast fashion products, more and more people tend to follow fashion trend and more products are produced and wasted faster than before. We see these fast fashion brands produce tons of different products and dispose different designs every week in their stores all over the world, but I think not so many people consider effect and sustainability of the product when they buy it. Fast fashion businesses are completely not sustainable as Ms. Brown emphasized, but she also pointed out not only high brands but also fast fashion brands, such as H&M, have already produced sustainable products. I didn’t know about their action so it surprised me and that why I chose to write about their CSR actions as my paper topic for the class. Some companies consider corporate social responsibility as very important and have started taking actions already, so I think (hope) consumers’ awareness of corporate responsibilities will effects their buying behavior gradually in the future.

  10. The Sustainable conferences featured speakers who discussed how fashion could be sustainable and remain fashionable for consumers to want to purchase.

    The first speaker, Lewis B. Perkins, is from Cradle to Cradle Products (Innovation Institute). He spoke about the company’s efforts to make sure every product can be recycled back into the biosphere without hurting the planet. The company started when William DcDonough, a designer/architect, and Michael Braungart, a chemist, got together and merged ideas on how they can contribute to sustainability through creating zero emissions. The focus is working on material reutilization, renewable energy, using less water, and social responsibility. They actually contributed to making a commercial fabric, Climatex, which is 100% eco-friendly. The fabric is completely recycled and can be reused and made back into itself to be made into another t-shirt, for example. With innovative products like Climatex, C2C can help shape the way fabrics are made while having a positive impact on the earth.

    After Perkins spoke about how fabric choice impacts sustainability, Sass Brown spoke about how “recycled” fabric can be extremely fashionable. Sass Brown, the writer of Eco Fashion, and a promoter of ethical design fashions, shared examples of companies that use ecological fabrics that are just exquisite. The first example was about Izzy Lane, who saves sheep from being slaughtered because they have a brown spot on their skin making their wool “unmarketable” for fashion use, as opposed to being all white. The North Circular then purchases the wool from Izzy and uses it in their clothing line. The company actually has a blog about all the sheep and names the products after their knitter, which adds a special connection to the bought piece for the consumer as opposed to being just another garment. Another amazing company I took a liking too was Mayer-Peace Collection. This company uses post-consumer waste, like curtains, tablecloths, military uniforms, even flour sack and makes beautiful clothing through stitching them together. You would never know by looking at the piece what material was used. Mark Lui, another designer, has a Zero-Waste method. All of his designs use every single piece of the fabric purchased. The pieces fit like a puzzle piece so that every single scrap is utilized. Sass Brown explains how Eco-fashion is not a trend, but a necessity; it must be sustainable for the planet.

    Samata Angel, the final speaker, spoke about how Red Carpet Green Dress design contest came about. The contest began when Suzy Amis accompanied her husband and director James Cameron to the awards for Avatar. Since the movie had a pro-environmental message to it she was inspired to represent it in what she was wearing; and instead of her responding simply someone’s name when someone asked “who you are wearing…” she wanted to talk about something…what she believed in, and who she was. Everyone knows that what you wear to the Oscars is a huge deal. By actresses, wearing something that is eco-friendly, sends the message to everyone, that eco-friendly clothing can not only be functional but elegant as well. Angel explained that we as consumers could control the market. We can choose what fabrics we are purchasing, for example regular cotton vs. organic cotton. What is the difference? To produce 1 cotton t-shirt 2,000 liters of water is used, however organic cotton t-shirts use 60% less water.

    These three speakers spoke about how some companies are taking steps towards sustainability and the importance of doing so. Lewis Perkins shows how C2C works on making fabrics sustainable, Sass Brown shared examples of companies that choose sustainable fabrics are still extremely fashionable, and Samata Angel explains how projects like Red Carpet Green Dress promote sustainability

  11. This guest panel on global sustainable design was unlike anything I had ever attended before at FIT! Combining the topic of the environment (which is not one of the more popular topics) with Fashion and getting a well rounded view from different aspects of the industry was interesting and educational. I think it is especially important to address since obvious sustainability issues continue to grow.

    Sustainable Fashion usually has the stigma or being boring or ugly, but like the guests suggested, it does not have to be that way.
    While all the guests spoke about their individual projects, from Red Carpet Green Dress, to Eco Fashion talk, to Cradle to Cradle I think it addressed a larger problem in sourcing and international business.
    It is important to spread awareness of this growing problem to consumers because that is where the power ultimately lies. Just by being aware of how our purchases make a difference we hold the power to send a message not only in how we dress but what we believe in and hope for the world. Samata Angel spoke about Red Carpet Green Dress which offers the opportunity to make a red carpet dress that is eco-friendly. This offers the unique platform to combine substance with style by presenting not only beauty but functionality in sustainability.

    Sass Brown, a professor from FIT suggests Fashion is an aspirational and inspirational industry. In showing her photos to the audience she was able to communicate the beauty and power that eco-fashion has. As a professor and designer she suggested that we use Fashion as a medium to communicate what is exciting in this case, sustainable fashion. By putting an “appealing face on sustainable fashion” eco-fashion would be displayed and celebrated the way it should.

    Eco-fashion and Sustainability is a “hard pill to swallow” but I think like the speakers mentioned, this is a better option than wearing clothing with chemicals dangerous to our health as mentioned:

  12. Presentation: Global Sustainable Design and Marketing
    I really enjoyed the presentation focused on the rise of sustainability in the fashion industry today. I love the idea of how many people that are actually getting involved in this issue and are more concerned with saving the environment. Sas Brown was a great presenter on this topic as it seems her entire career is focused on the development and awareness of sustainable garments. She expresses her ideas regarding ecological fabrication; and represents designers who use eco-friendly fabrics or culturally influenced sustainable fabrics which I definitely support. Many new designers will now have a much easier time creating their designs if they are one of the many who are concerned with preserving the environment. Her new book titled “Refashioned” is sure to be a great success, creating more of an impact on this growing issue. Samata Angel who is the Global Campaign Director for the Red Carpet Green Dress competition is another presenter who definitely caught my attention. I love her idea of making this issue of sustainability such a dynamic movement by creating a competition which so many people would kill for an opportunity to take part of. She believes companies and designers are doing a great job and are socially responsible in creating a system to support the environment and sustainable fashion. The fabrics that are used to create the designs are mostly hand painted or dyed which has a low impact on the environment. I was very shocked to see how many people were actually concerned with this issue and how it is expanding on a much larger scale all over the world. With the awareness continuing to grow I am sure that soon majority of companies will start to use this method of production, making the world a much more environmentally friendly place to live.

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