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Sustainable Business and Design Conference: 2022 Pathways to Impact: The Promise of Bio-Based Fibers
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.
The Promise of Bio-Based Fibers
Panel: Aleksandra Gosiewski, Co-Founder & COO, AlgiKnit, Chui-Lian Lee, CEO and Cofounder, Werewool. Moderator: Dr. Evelyn Rynkiewicz, Assistant Professor, Ecology, FIT.
As the cofounder and COO of AlgiKnit, Aleksandra Gosiewski’s interests and goals have been heavily influenced by sustainability. With a mission to understand the Earth’s natural resources, she explores the importance of utilizing raw materials in the creation of textiles and garments. Having graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology with a bachelor's degree in Fashion Design and a minor in economics, she harnesses the creativity of design thinking with steadfast attention to detail in business operations and practicality. Aleksandra’s core ethos is derived from a childhood spent outdoors and an understanding of the importance of a symbiotic relationship with nature.
Chui-Lian Lee is the CEO and cofounder of Werewool, a biotechnology company developing biodegradable textile fibers with DNA-programmed color and performance properties. Chui holds a BS in Textile Development and Marketing from the Fashion Institute of Technology. Her diverse experience at Global Brands Group, Victor Textiles, Vartest Laboratories, Atlas Textiles, National Science Foundation ICorp Program, and MIT The Engine: Blueprint Program informs her understanding of the textile supply chain and biofabrication’s potential to achieve fashion industry circularity and climate goals. Chui-Lian’s awards include the 2022 H&M Conservation X Labs Microfiber Innovation Challenge Prize and the 2020 Foundation Global Change Award.
Dr. Evelyn Rynkiewicz Assistant Professor, Ecology, Fashion Institute of Technology. A disease ecologist, Evie’s research investigates co-infection in wild mice, focusing on how parasites and pathogens interact with each other and with the host immune system. She teaches classes in ecology and biology, with her overall goals being to increase science literacy among non-science majors and to give students the confidence to bring ideas of the scientific process and understanding of the natural world into how they think about their careers. She collaborates with scientists, designers, and artists to develop innovative tools, labs, and activities in the classroom and is the FIT faculty advisor for the Biodesign Challenge program, advising students in developing innovative projects combining science and design to solve current and future problems in sustainability.
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