FIT announced that model, actress, and activist Amber Valletta has been named the college’s first sustainability ambassador, further solidifying FIT’s commitment to expanding sustainability education and awareness to address the challenges facing the creative industries. One of the most celebrated supermodels of the modern era, Valletta has also found extraordinary success as an activist, lending her voice to the issues of sustainable fashion. Valletta’s ambassadorship is a natural extension of her ongoing contributions to FIT, all of which have focused on sustainability. In addition to serving on the FIT Foundation board, she delivered the keynote speech at the 2019 Sustainable Business and Design Conference and hosted the 2019 and 2021 awards galas, both of which were focused on sustainable solutions and innovation.
In her role as FIT’s sustainability ambassador, Valletta will work closely with the FIT community, alumni, and partners throughout the 2021–2022 academic year and beyond. During this year’s Sustainability Awareness Week, which will take place virtually October 4–8, she will moderate a student roundtable discussion among previous FIT Biodesign Challenge winners to discuss the significance of biotechnology in fashion, how brands can incorporate sustainable materials into their products, and the overall impact biotechnology will make on the future of fashion. Valletta will also collaborate with the current Biodesign Challenge—mentoring students, helping recruit industry mentors, and other support—as well as spearhead fundraising efforts for the FIT Sustainability Fund, and help with planning the 2022 Sustainable Business and Design Conference, among other partnerships and programming opportunities.
“Over the years, Amber has been deeply involved in FIT’s sustainability initiatives both on and off-campus, and has quickly become a close friend of the college,” said President Joyce F. Brown. “She is also a dedicated and respected advocate and activist, which makes naming her our first official sustainability ambassador a natural and easy decision. We are proud to have her represent our community and help us continue to make a lasting impact on the world around us.”
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate and learn from the students, educators, and the entire FIT community,” said Valletta. “At FIT, they have made sustainability a focal point that directs both their fundraising efforts and curriculum, which will undoubtedly bring about positive changes for the future of creative industries.”
FIT holds sustainability as a pillar of its strategic plan and within its community. In addition to the creation of the sustainability ambassador role, the college offers many courses and programs that focus on sustainability, including Sustainability in Fashion Merchandising, a minor in Ethics and Sustainability, Sustainable Packaging, International Corporate Responsibility, and more. The college also offers various extracurricular activities for students to get involved in sustainability, such as the Ethics and Sustainability Club, Sustainability Council, and the Student Government Association. Current projects include a student-run program to install and maintain beehives on the college’s rooftop, developing sustainable textiles through participation in the annual Biodesign Challenge, promoting sustainable and eco-friendly dyeing practices, and the Loop for Good pop-up, among other initiatives.
To find out more about the sustainability initiative at FIT and the upcoming Sustainability Awareness Week, please visit fitnyc.edu/sustainability.