Fashinnovation held a worldwide online event about sustainable development, highlighting different topics such as social injustice, the Brazilian rainforest, personal branding, sustainability, and many more. Business leaders, educators, and company founders came together to share their expertise on these topics. On day-one of the two-day event, LIM Sustainability Professor Andrea Kennedy spoke as a lead panelist alongside other businesswomen for the “Supply chain and circular economy” seminar.
Professor Kennedy opened up the discussion by highlighting the social injustice issues America faces today and how all of the businesswomen in her seminar support the Black Lives Matter movement. Professor Kennedy then discussed ways in which supply chains lack equity and how companies can change that. One panelist suggested prioritizing diversity in employees and markets to ensure opportunities for different kinds of people.
Kennedy also posed other questions, like how can brands maintain a circular economy and how they deal with waste. These opened the discussion for each panelist to discuss their business and how it models a circular economy or deals with waste. Professor Kennedy herself is the founder of the sourcing company Fashiondex, which helps brands and designers find responsible and sustainable suppliers of new and recycled materials, fabrics and trims, as well as helping them source ethical, environmentally responsible manufacturing and contract factories. Fashiondex also consults and advises companies on partners and plans for TakeBack programs, reselling initiatives, and more.
At LIM, we offer courses that dive into the topics discussed by Professor Kennedy and other the businesswomen on her Fashioninnovation panel. Professor Kennedy suggests, “Supply chain mapping is part of the required course Sustainability and the Future of Fashion, as are the circular economy and design-for-longevity and reuse strategies. Measuring supply-chain impacts and reducing those impacts, as well as creating new circular initiatives for fashion brands, is part of the Applied Sustainability Practices in Fashion course. In the latter class, a requirement in LIM’s Sustainability minor, students are placed into ‘Green Teams’ that work with fashion brands on their sustainability issues for the duration of the semester.”
Professor Kennedy did a great job tailoring the seminar to important issues among society and supply chains, which made for an enlightening seminar.She says, “My goal in life, my work, and teaching is to help fashion companies and students entering the industry learn ways to lower their impacts and reduce CO2 in the atmosphere, by using regenerative agriculture (that captures and sequesters carbon) and implementing the circular design, production and selling practices to create fashion that will reverse the societal, climate, water, and soil impacts that fashion has contributed to over the past 70 years.”