New “Walk & Talk” Course Focuses on Sustainability in Fashion

This semester, LIM College’s Center for Graduate Studies introduced a new interactive mini-course focusing on sustainability in the fashion industry. For five weeks, participating students will visit large and small retailers to speak with experts on their sustainable initiatives.

The course is taught by Andrea Reyes, chair of the NYC Fair Trade Coalition. She is also the co-founder of A. Bernadette a sustainable brand sold nationwide that she was inspired to create after living in Uganda for two years. Reyes collaborates with artisans from Jinja, Uganda to design accessories, bags and home goods from recycled materials.

Each week students will visit a variety of retailers — including Adidas, Eileen Fisher, Patagonia and Zero Waste Daniel — from midtown Manhattan to the neighborhoods of Brooklyn. Participants will learn firsthand how each company plans to reduce their carbon footprint from a supply chain perspective. 

Adidas incorporates sustainability into their business plan by using mannequins made of ocean plastic, or parley. Eileen Fisher redeems each piece of clothing from past collections for a Recycling Reward. Each reward is worth five dollars. The designers then use the fabric to create new garments.

Exposing students to sustainability initiatives will, “give them hope and inspiration to do their part whether as a consumer or fashion industry employee,” said Reyes.