Slow Fashion Capstone Project Highlights Four Sustainable Fibers

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The 33 students who developed this year’s Textile Development and Marketing capstone project, titled “Farm to Fabric,” describe it as “a heartfelt letter from nature, asking us to slow down and appreciate the journey of our clothes, from the field to the fabric.”

The newly revamped course, taught by Adjunct Assistant Professor Lorenza Wong, focused on slow fashion and collaboration with the farmers and spinners who create and develop fibers. The students worked with four fibers—abacá, piña, mohair, and Jacob wool—from the Philippines, South Africa, and Upstate New York. They made yarn out of the fibers, learned about spinning, and even dyed many of the fibers with natural colorants derived from FIT’s rooftop Natural Dye Garden.

“The students focused on storytelling and marketing, but the marketing is really the story of who they are and why they did this, how by working together as a group, they’re creating a community,” Wong says.

The course helped the students understand all the work that goes into creating a truly sustainable product.

Student Sally Li says the course helped her understand the importance of community when creating a sustainable supply chain. “Artisanal craftsmanship is labor-intensive, and four hands are always better than two.”

Jonathan Bowman, another student, was grateful to learn about the entire process of developing these products. “Fiber traceability enables me to connect with the stories behind the fibers: the people, communities, and landscapes that nurture them.”

And Aubrey Bethon was motivated to “help create a fashion industry that sustains people and the planet.” She adds, “My feelings toward sustainability have only grown stronger because of the capstone course.”

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