The first installment in a new Marketing, Management and Finance event series took place this month on LIM’s campus, addressing sustainable development goals in fashion and retail. Led by our panelist, Lucie Brigham from the United Nations Office of Partnerships, we opened up a conversation on how to be aware of our environmental impact while pursuing our careers as students.
Wanting to be diligent with the improvement of the Earth’s environmental condition—and later supporting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) and the Conscious Fashion Campaign (CFC)—Brigham said her personal turning point came when she was growing up in the Czech Republic in what she described as dire conditions. “There were days where we would wake up and we couldn’t see out the window because of the fog.” But, that definitely didn’t discourage her, as now she is encouraging students and external partners to fight against climate change with her.
So, how does this involve the fashion industry? Well, the pollution emitted throughout the supply chain connects multiple SDGs that relate to environmental damage. As we explored the issues present in the fashion industry as a group, we realized how these issues relate to the SDGs and how well the goals relate to each other. It’s almost like a domino effect.
Brigham brought samples of textiles from companies who are changing their supply chains to lead a sustainable future. One was a green, woven pillow case, created by Retreeve, an Indian company producing textiles from recycled materials. She also brought a handbag created from upcycled materials, by Brazilian brand Volta, and a pastel textile by Runa Ray, an Indian designer using traditional dying techniques with minimal environmental impact.
The SDGs are tangible goals that clearly integrate with our patterns of consumption as a society, and that we need to be cognizant of. CFC is run by innovation and creativity in order to drive solutions and is continually looking to engage the public. As students, we are the upcoming professionals in the business of fashion, and are therefore poised to have a large influence on how the market is run.
I found this event quite effective. The connection to fashion is evident and will clearly shape the direction the industry is headed. I hope to get involved with United Nations or the CFC through a student program, to learn more and play my part in bettering the world for future generations.