Advice From Two Sustainability Advocates

Liz Breuer
Liz Breuer.

“Once you learn what’s going on behind the veil of fashion, it’s very difficult to continue on and ignore it,” said Kerry Bannigan, founder and executive director of the Fashion Impact Fund, in a Globally Connected @ FIT event held April 13 titled, “Why the Fashion Industry Should Strive to Be Sustainable Sooner.”

Bannigan, along with Liz Breuer, International Trade and Marketing ’19, cofounder and CEO of New Normal Bureau, spoke about how they became advocates for sustainability in the fashion industry and what students can do in the face of a global environmental crisis. Helen Gaudette, assistant dean for International Education, moderated.

“The elephant in the room that no one is addressing is overconsumption,” Breuer said. “The reality is, if you are a fast-fashion company, you are not sustainable. It’s impossible to be perfect as long as you’re putting out product that people don’t need.”

Kerry Bannigan
Kerry Bannigan.

Bannigan and Breuer were encouraging to students about the potential for making change.

Bannigan recommended that creatives amplify voices that are calling for change, as well as studying sustainable and ethical production practices, from sourcing to end-of-life practices. Breuer recommended finding like-minded peers and collaborating with them to attack industry problems.

“Everything you do counts,” Bannigan said, but added that it’s important to fight for legislation requiring environmental and social accountability. (For example, the Fashion Act in the New York State Senate.) “Youth should stop worrying so much about what’s on their shoulders and really be pressuring our governments and leaders for change.”

The event was sponsored by the Office of International Programs, the History of Art Department, and the Cultural Fellows. Visit FIT’s Vimeo channel for a recording of the event.

Related Posts