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Women Who Kicked Ass in 2015!

Sustainable fashion continues to be an issue led and peopled  by women. Women making a difference in business, in fashion, in how we live, and what we buy. This is a very personal list of the women I know, and those I know of, who are kicking it!  The list is in alphabetical order as it’s impossible to prioritize the ground-breaking work being done by these women. I can’t wait to see what they’re up to in 2016!


Giusy Bettoni is the founder of C.L.A.S.S., a multi-platform network for fashion and textiles created using  sustainable technology. She has showcased ethical fashion brands at the Milan WHITE Trade show, and acted as a bridge between designers and producers in an effort to continuously innovate in ethical textiles. www.classecohub.org


Bob Bland is the founder of Manufacture New York, a visionary fashion innovation hub aimed at bringing apparel manufacturing back to New York, as a means of supporting local designers as well as the local economy, and increasing transparency in the supply chain. http://manufactureny.org



Peggy Clark is the Director of the Alliance for Artisan Enterprise, and Vice President of Policy Programs for the Aspen Institute. This past year saw the launch of the global campaign for the Alliance for Artisan Enterprise and the US State Department to promote the value of the global artisan sector. The three-day event included a forum at the US Department of State, and innovations workshops with Alliance and Aspen Institute members. www.allianceforartisanenterprise.org


For anyone that knows Elizabeth Cline, they simply know she kicks ass, no doubt about it! A professional journalist, her book Over-Dressed – The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion, broke ground in revealing the ugly side of fast fashion, and the result of cost savings in production. Elizabeth is also the guitarist for popular metal band Mortals. www.overdressedthebook.com


Orsola de Castro has been a change agent in ethical fashion, almost as long as its been a term. Her own brand From Somewhere was one of the first to popularize the upcycling of luxury textile waste.  She is also the founder of Estethica, the London Fashion Week ethical fashion trade show, sadly no longer part of London Fashion Week. She is also co-founder of Fashion Revolution – nuff said! www.reclaimtowear.com


Amy DuFault is a sustainable fashion and lifestyle writer, often seen in pages of Ecouterre and the Guardian, as well as the Director of Digital Content for the Brooklyn Fashion +Design Accelerator. She has been responsible for popularising and humanizing the often complex world of ethical fashion. www.amydufault.com


Professor Rebecca Earley is researcher, lecturer and consultant in ethical fashion. She is principal and co-researcher in the Textile Environmental Design (TED) at Chelsea College of Arts, and a key player in the research consortium work for MISTRA Future Fashion that is helping to sustain the fashion industry in Sweden, where H&M are one of the clients. www.beckyearley.com


Julie Gilhart – from Creative Director of Barney’s New York, where she was responsible for ushering in a multitude of ethical brands. Now a board member at Mulberry, her fashion consultancy client list includes LVMH, Louis Vuitton and Amazon.com. and ethical fashion is always part of her consulting agenda.


Linda Greer is a Senior Scientist at the Natural Resources Defence Council’s (NRDC)health and environment program. As the face behind the NRDC Clean by Design program, Linda has helped Chinese factories producing American goods reduce use of coal by 61,000,KWHS of electricity by 36 million KWHS, water by 3 million tons and chemicals by 500 tons – no small feat in anyone’s book! www.nrdc.org


Stella Jean – the part Haitian, part Italian designer, she has been a driving force in the popularization of African fashion, placing artisanship and craftsmanship where it should be in the luxury price point. Her collection is always drop dead gorgeous, and her work with the ITC in Burkino Faso is supporting African artisans. www.stellajean.it


Debera Johnson is the visionary and founder of the Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator. The BF+DA provide affordable, collaborative working space for talented design entrepreneurs, supporting and incubating their talent, and helping them transform their ideas into viable businesses. Sustainability and technology are at the forefront of their mission, and embedded in the designers they work with. https://bkaccelerator.com


Author of This Changes Everything Capitalism vs The Climate, as well as The Shock Doctrine, and No Logo, she is an award-winning journalist, and contributing editor for Harper’s, The New York Times, The Guardian and Rolling Stone. She is on the board of directors for 350.org, a grassroots movement to solve the climate crisis, she was also chosen to participate in high-level conference on the environment organized by the Vatican. www.naomiklein.org


Suzanne Lee is probably best known for Biocouture and the well publicized TED 10 talk. Biocouture however has come a long way since growing kimbuchi tea in the bathtub as a Central Saint Martins researcher. Biocouture has grown into the world’s first biocreative design consultancy. She is founder and organizer of Biofabricate, an annual conference on designing with living systems, and Creative Director at Modern Meadow who are developing cultured animal products including cow leather grown in the lab. www.biocouture.co.uk


Tamsin Lejeune is the Managing Director and founder of the Ethical Fashion Forum, and responsible for the growth and launch of SOURCE, a global platform for sustainable fashion. SOURCE is a platform of tools and services for the fashion and textiles industries that make it easy for businesses to work sustainably. SOURCE intelligence, database and network connect thousand of individuals and businesses across the supply chain in over 100 countries. www.ethicalfashionforum.com


Carry Somers is founder of Pachacuti, who produce Fair Trade Panama hats in the Andes, improving the lives of producers and their communities. She is a pioneer in Fair Trade and ethical fashion, founding Pachacuti in 1992. She is also the founder of Fashion Revolution Day, a global campaign, who commemorate the loss of  1,133 lives in the worst ever industrial disaster in the fashion and textile industry in Rana Plaza, Bangladesh. Fashion Revolution brings together more than 78 counties and thousands of people to ask brands “Who Made My Clothes?” http://fashionrevolution.org


Professor Dilys Williams is the Director of the London College of Fashion’s Centre for Sustainable Fashion. Through the establishment of the Centre, Williams has been able to embed sustainability into fashion education, business and research. She acts as co-secretariat to the House of Lords all Party Parliamentary Group on Fashion, Sustainability and Ethics. http://sustainable-fashion.com

Happy New Year to all from Eco Fashion Talk, and here’s to kicking more butt in 2016!

“Be the change you wish to see in the world” – Mahatma Gandhi

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