The online event called for students to present concepts for sustainable cotton-based, fashion-related, and climate-positive businesses that would reduce fashion’s negative environmental and social impacts and help reverse climate change.
Over 200 students in LIM’s Sustainability and the Future of Fashion course participated in semester-long projects that required them to research almost everything related to cotton – including seeds, soil, water, spinning, textile construction, dyeing, marketing, and recycling. They were challenged with finding solutions that increase cotton usage, keep fossil fuels in the ground, and continue to reduce impacts of existing agricultural, design, production, business, and consumer-use models, while helping to reverse anthropogenic climate change.
Scholarships were awarded to students who developed the top five concepts, as determined by a panel of industry experts who provided real-time feedback.
- First Place ($1,000) – Alexa Geller, Maheen Nisar, Skylar Roa for a vertical indoor farm
- Second Place ($750) – Jillian Jacobson for water-saving crop sensors
- Third Place (TIE) ($600) – Cindy Demian and Leticia Hsieh for recycled cotton cosmetic brushes and Emma Prior, Angela Romeo, Hoang Tran and An Wu for a line of coats and parkas
- Fourth Place – Austin Sierra ($300) for a cotton denim line that would reflect solar rays back to the atmosphere
Judges included: Amy Hall, Vice President, Social Consciousness, Eileen Fisher; Kathleen Kirkwood, Founder, B.R.A. Bra Recycling Agency; Mark Messura, Senior Vice President, Global Supply Chain Marketing, Cotton Incorporated; Laurie Rando, a cotton importer, Samantha Sims, Vice President, Environmental Sustainability & Product Stewardship, PVH Corp, and Marc Yaggi, Executive Director, Waterkeeper Alliance.
Said Mark Messura, Senior Vice President of Global Supply Chain Marketing at Cotton Incorporated, “Cotton is the world’s number one natural fiber—straight from the earth in a form that is ready to use. Naturally biodegradable, renewable, and able to be transformed into hundreds of products from apparel to home textiles to medical materials. Combine cotton’s natural versatility with the creativity of LIM students, and we have an awesome synergy of ideas for how cotton can be used.”
Said LIM College President Elizabeth S. Marcuse, “Even though we were not able to hold our Sustainability Expo on campus, as originally planned, we found an innovative way to provide students with real-life professional experience in a virtual setting. This is the fifth time we have received an educational grant from Cotton Incorporated, and we are extremely grateful for their continued support. This project allowed our students to apply the skills they learn in class to help move the fashion world forward.”