Out of some of the most basic necessities of humanity; the need for food and clothing, arise two of the world’s largest industries; agriculture and fashion. These global behemoth industries are paramount to our daily lives and yet simultaneously responsible for so many of the social and environmental problems threatening the very survival of our species and planet. Where these two industries intersect is through cotton, a crop crucial to the livelihoods of farmers around the world, and a cornerstone material in the fashion industry.
By looking at the problems that exist within the cotton industry we are often simultaneously looking at problems within the worlds of fashion and agriculture. And therefore, to look for solutions regarding the key issues of cotton farming, we are creating possible action steps that can be taken for both the fashion and agriculture industries to behave in more sustainable ways.
Through my thesis work I will focus on developing a decision-making tool, The Sustainable Cotton Atlas, that will aid fashion brands looking to shift their raw material sourcing towards more sustainable practices, and through doing so, empowering a brand to use their purchasing power to affect positive change in the countries and farming communities they source from.
How does one define sustainable cotton farming? What actions are being taken by specific countries and communities around the world to increase the usage and cultivation of sustainable cotton? What can a brand do to increase the cultivation of more sustainably grown cotton to better the lives of farmers and their communities as well as the environment?
Cotton Diaries is content and video platform reviving the human connection between the people who grow, make and use cotton. Cotton Diaries reconnects us with the stories behind the cotton industry and the inspirational people who are dedicated to improving it. Through a unique digital experience, it challenges us to reconsider our relationship with the products we buy and the crucial role we play in the value chain. A captivating journey that engages consumers directly and inspires them to raise their voice and actively drive positive change.
Since Winter 2018 I have helped Marzia LaFranchi in research capacities for as she creates Cotton Diaries.
Pintl & Keyt, Chicago 2015-2017
Selected Surface Design, 2009-2015
I am a researcher and designer based in Berlin, Germany. I focus on the links between sustainable fashion, agriculture, and place, and how to raise producer and consumer awareness to create tangible changes in the global fashion supply chain. I have recently completed a Master’s Degree in Sustainability in Fashion and have previous experience in market research, textile design and management
Marzia LaFranchi, Jan 2018 to present
Research Assistant & Trend Forecaster
Brian Darr, March 2014 to March 2017
Shif & Leah Whiteman, Jan 2015 to present
Katie Chappuis Design
May 2012 to present
M.A. Sustainability in Fashion
AMD Akademie Mode & Design Berlin, Germany, Fall 2017 to present
B.A. Fine Arts
University of Massachusetts, Boston, MA, USA, Fall 2007 to Spring 2010
A.O.S Baking and Pastry Arts
Culinary Institute of America, NY Spring 2005 to Fall 2006
Danish Institute of Study Abroad (DIS) Textile Design, Copenhagen, Denmark, Summer 2009
Fair Trade Research
Global Direct Trade Systems of Chocolate and Coffee in the High Amazon of Peru Llamas, Peru