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Sustainable Business and Design Conference: 2022 Pathways to Impact: Redesigning Consumer Choices
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.
Redesigning Consumer Choices with Michelle Zhu, CEO and Co-founder, HUUE; Kara Mac, Designer, Kara Mac Shoes; Moderator: Colleen Hill, Curator of Costume and Accessories, The Museum at FIT.
Michelle Zhu is CEO and cofounder of Huue, a biotechnology company creating the world’s most sustainable dyes, starting with the indigo in your jeans. Huue’s mission is to minimize the amount of toxic chemicals used in the dye production and application process, which Michelle witnessed firsthand growing up with parents in the fashion industry. Michelle manages all aspects of Huue’s operations, including fundraising and business development efforts, complementing her cofounder Tammy Hsu’s scientific background and development of the core technology. She holds a BSBA from Washington University in St. Louis and previously worked in both management consulting and industry at the intersection of consumer products and technology. Michelle has been recognized as Forbes Under 30 in Manufacturing and Industry, as well as Inc.’s 100 Leading Female Founders.
Kara Mac studied fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Technology and worked as an apparel designer, specializing in knitwear, for labels such as Ralph Lauren and Talbots. As a train commuter, she went through two to three shoe changes daily, instilling in Kara the idea of reducing footwear’s environmental impact. Kara Mac Shoes was launched in 2015. This spring, Kara Mac will introduce a capsule collection of sandals constructed with chromium-free leather and wooden heels. It is the beginning of a project she has envisioned for many years: shoes that are 100 percent recyclable and biodegradable.
Colleen Hill is curator of costume and accessories at The Museum at FIT. She holds an MA in Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice from FIT and is currently a PhD candidate at London College of Fashion. Since joining MFIT in 2006, Hill has curated or cocurated more than a dozen exhibitions. Her most recent exhibitions include Reinvention and Restlessness: Fashion in the Nineties (2022) and Ravishing: The Rose in Fashion (2021). She has authored or coauthored eight books on fashion and contributed to numerous other publications.
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