Simon Collins, Dean of Fashion Design at Parsons The New School for Design moderated a sustainability panel at Afingo‘s”Behind the Seams” Event this afternoon at FIT that included (from left):
- Simon Collins, Dean of Fashion Design, Parsons The New School for Design
- Paul Raybin, Chief Sustainability Officer and Chief Marketing Officer, Colorep, representing AirDye
- John Patrick, Designer, Organic by John Patrick
- Caroline Priebe, Product Development Manager, Rogan/Loomstate
- Natalia Allen, Creative Director, Design Futurist
- Anthony Lilore, Designer, RESTORE™Clothing
The common threads in the panel were transparency, local sourcing, and the sustainability community. Having both creatives and those that are business-minded speaking today was extremely valuable to the conversation and will only aid in the spread of sustainable design information. Here’s a tidbit:
Anthony Lilore said that sustainable designers are transparent because they don’t expect someone to outright copy their designs, but hope they will use the resources for their own great designs. There needs to be a “fundamental shift…if I told you all to draw an elephant, they would all look different.” When he was at Parsons he said it (the fashion world) was all a “secretive veil,” but that sustainable design can’t be that way if we want to see a change. Anthony also feels very strongly about trying to source all materials and jobs within the Garment Center in NYC and is hoping that by doing so we can help Save the Garment Center.
“John Patrick added “we need open source, more dialogue – we’re all in this together – nothing is proprietary, what you do with [the information] is proprietary.” The panel also thought this was part of the problem. John said “the consumer is confused.” But wondered what is “standardization” here? Paul Raybin agreed that there is a “problem at the consumer level” and said that there was new information that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) may be revising the green guides (read more here) which may help with the standardization in sustainable design.
It’s exactly this sharing of information that is creating a strong community in both sustainable design and NYC. Caroline Priebe told the crowd that NYC sustainable designers make up “an actual community…it’s a lot easier to be innovative, it ‘s a lot more fun.” Anthony also feels very strongly about trying to source all materials and jobs within the Garment Center in NYC and is hoping that by doing so we can help Save the Garment Center.
A few things the panelists mentioned for you to look at and ponder:
- – Slow Fashion? The Tom Ford SS 2011 - Read here and decide for yourself.
- – Sustainable sourcing: Source 4 Style & Organic Exchange
- – Information & Education: Sourcemap.org – Their motto? ”We believe that people have the right to know where things come from and what they are made of.” And Earth Pledge – “partners with businesses, communities and government to accelerate the adoption of sustainable practices.”
- – And of course, Afingo – “an online community of designers, manufacturers, retailers, and consumers connecting and interacting in real-time.” Thank you for “Behind the Seams” and for putting the information out there with such a strong panel of informed, eco-evolutionaries. We were honored to be involved.
Natalia Allen was both an energetic and eloquent panelist and I specifically enjoyed this quote on the business of fashion: “there will be a lot of failures before we have success…we are trying to solve something. The moral imperative usually wins, but it takes time.”