Sustainable Business and Design Conference: 2022 Pathways to Impact: Creative Reuse and Making Clothes That Last

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Sustainable Business and Design Conference: 2022 Pathways to Impact: Creative Reuse and Making Clothes That Last


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.
Creative Reuse and Making Clothes That Last Panel: Johanna Orlowski, Fashion Design MFA Student, Former Intern, The RealReal, Delfina Farías, Designer, Jussara Lee, Designer, Moderator: Elizabeth Way, Associate Curator, The Museum at FIT.
Johanna Luisa Orlowski was born in Germany and raised in Ukraine. In her 20s, she moved to Berlin, where she became highly skilled at tailoring and earned a BA in Fashion Design. Johanna moved to New York City and started working with RUBIN & CHAPELLE. Currently, she is finishing her MA in Berlin and her MFA at FIT in New York. Johanna recently completed an internship at The RealReal, where she was part of a design team creating new pieces from left-behind garments. Her own collection is primarily made of discarded clothing and deadstock materials.
Delfina Farías is a BFA Fashion Design student at FIT, specializing in knitwear. The focus of her work is based around transdisciplinary collaboration and sustainable design. In April 2021, she took part in the 6876km online exhibition as designer for the zero-waste collection. During the fall 2021 semester, she was one of the participants of the WM Design Challenge, where she explored modular design as a tool for working with textile waste.
A native Brazilian of Korean heritage, Jussara Lee moved to New York in 1987 to study at the Fashion Institute of Technology. She launched her namesake label upon graduation, landing in prominent retail stores worldwide, such as Bergdorf Goodman, Isetan, and Fred Segal. For the past 20 years, the company has focused on making the best-fitting custom-made clothes with the gentlest environmental impact. Hand tailoring, hand embroidery, local production, biodegradable materials, and natural dyes are all part of Jussara’s efforts to create a circular business model where the least amount of resources are plundered from nature and waste is repurposed.
Elizabeth Way is Associate Curator of Costume at The Museum at FIT. Her exhibitions include Black Fashion Designers (2016), Fabric in Fashion (2018), and Head to Toe (2021–2022). Way’s personal research focuses on the intersection of African American culture and fashion. She edited and authored chapters in Black Designers in American Fashion (Bloomsbury, 2021). Other recent publications include: “Dressing to Pass during the Harlem Renaissance: Fashion in the Novels of Jessie Redmon Fauset and Nella Larsen,” in Fashion Theory (2020) and “Strands of the Diaspora: Black Hair in the Americas, 1800–1920,” in A Cultural History of Hair in the Age of Empire (1800–1920) (2018). She holds an MA in Costume Studies from New York University and a BS in Apparel Design and a BA in History from the University of Delaware. Way is currently a PhD candidate at the University of the Arts London.


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