The sustainable fashion movement is at work to reshape the industry around more ethics, transparency and responsibility. Yet, the general perception is still that sustainability is a privileged white person's thing. Is sustainable fashion suffering from a race problem? Can real change happen if we're failing to make sustainability accessible to all and include people of color in the conversation? Are brands missing out on an opportunity to reach a wider audience? For our next Balanced Fashion event, we’re collaborating with Priscilla Debar, the founder of sustainable fashion e-commerce FAUBOURG, who will moderate a panel conversation with industry insiders around the opportunity for ethical brands to disrupt the status quo and how sustainable fashion can be progressive and culturally relevant to effect durable change on a larger scale.
Céline Semaan is a Designer, Advocate, Writer and Founder of both Slow Factory and The Library; her focus is on sustainable literacy and accessibility in the fashion industry and beyond. Céline is a MIT Media Lab Director’s Fellow, and has coined the term #FashionActivism and recently has started the hashtag #ArabGirlMagic.
Dominique Drakeford, Founder of MelaninASS
Raised in Oakland and residing in Brooklyn, Dominique Drakeford is an environmental educator, creative director and community advocate who works in so many different spheres to inspire ecological, cultural, and social change. Her passion work has been about changing mainstream narratives on what sustainability looks like in practice while especially giving a voice to women of color. As an avid lover of fashion, Dom's Conscious Closet shares how eclectic sustainable street style is. Additionally, as a fashion-forward activist, she has written for numerous publications and partnered with over 20 global luxe sustainable fashion brands. Her blog, MelaninASS (Melanin And Sustainable Style) is a content-rich, vibrant and communal space that discusses the issues and celebrates the success of communities of color in sustainable fashion, green beauty and wellness spaces.
Daniella Samper, Founder/Creative Director, Ajaie Alaie
Daniella Samper is the founder and Creative Director of New York based brand Ajaie Alaie. She was born in New York and raised between the US and Colombia. A graduate from FIT, her admiration for a woman’s presence inspired her to create her womenswear label in 2015. Her designs and ethos are both inspired by the sophistication of metropolitan cities like NY and the Joie de Vivre she feels within her latin roots. Sustainability has been one of her main goals while growing Ajaie Alaie, with a commitment to eliminate plastic and waste from within her supply chain, from workshops all the way to the packaging she uses for the end-consumer. Her zero waste philosophy has lead to more sustainable practices throughout the brand as a whole, especially in the design process. Today, she creates her collections reusing leftover fabric, sourcing vintage trims, and experimenting with eco-friendly processes.
Jessica Couch, Founder of Luxor and Fitch Consultancy
Jessica Veronica Couch is a fit technology expert in the fashion technology space and owner of Luxor + Finch Consulting. Luxor + Finch Consulting is a fit technology consulting company focused on creating technology around fit and bringing awareness to brands on how fit is a competitive advantage as well as a solution for fashion’s extreme sustainability issue. Jessica has published over 55 articles on the matter of fit and fit tech, a thesis on fit and perception and curate events and panels on the subject of fashion and fit technology. Jessica Couch is a speaker, writer, innovator and champion of body positivity.
Priscilla Debar, Founder of FAUBOURG
French-born Priscilla Debar is an entrepreneur, attorney, advocate and founder of FAUBOURG, an online destination for sustainable designer fashion and lifestyle. Her work aims to create positive social change and raise awareness for sustainability in fashion and beyond. Hailing from a West African family of women entrepreneurs and community leaders, she believes in women's unique power to create a sustainable future and sees fashion as a catalyst for social change and justice. At FAUBOURG, she champions creative talents from around the world, especially from within communities of color to improve representation and inspire individuals from all backgrounds to live consciously. She has been featured in publications such as Vogue and Forbes.