While Super Bowl fans were gearing up for the kickoff on Feb. 7, fashion-forward activists and connoisseurs were gathered at Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus to call upon the fashion world to use its influence for social good.
The event, “Fashion + Sustainable Development + Women’s Empowerment,” brought together designers, models, academics, and fashionistas for a runway show and panel discussion about the unique ways that the fashion industry is embracing sustainable practices and improving social and environmental conditions.
The event was sponsored by the Institute for Women and Girls at the Graduate School of Social Service (GSS) and hosted by Lyn Kennedy Slater, PhD (pictured above), a clinical associate professor at GSS and creator of the popular blog The Accidental Icon.
“GSS and the sustainable fashion movement share the goals of environmental, economical, and social justice, and the realization of human rights and the empowerment of women and children,” Slater said. “When one comes to a conversations about similar issues from different perspectives, new and creative approaches to solving social problems can emerge.”
In her introduction to the event, Veronique Lee, merchandising director for Modavanti, said that fashion is the second largest “dirtiest industry” in the world, coming in just behind the oil and gas industry. Besides producing large amounts of toxic dyes and chemicals, the fashion industry is a significant consumer of natural resources and is notoriously wasteful.
The industry is in need of major overhaul to meet the global challenges we face, Lee said.
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