Ethical, sustainable and slow: Changing fashion’s priorities

Thursday, November 2, 2017 - 6 p.m. 8 p.m. Wallis Annenberg Hall (ANN), L105A

Part of the three-part series Fashioning Change & Changing Fashion, exploring the fashion industry’s take on race, sustainability and activism

Combating trends in fast fashion and addressing environmental waste, industry insiders explore various avenues to make fashion sustainable and eco-friendly.

With generous support from Gabriela and Austin Hearst. Reception to follow. 


Todd Copeland, environmental responsibility manager for Patagonia, implements and manages programs to reduce environmental impacts within Patagonia’s global supply chain. His professional background is in materials research and development, and he has an engineering degree in Polymer & Textile Chemistry from Georgia Tech. Over the past 11 years at Patagonia, he has worked on projects to choose environmentally preferred materials, eliminate toxic chemicals, take end-of-life responsibility for products and implement sustainability measurement tools such as the Higg Index. Todd currently serves on the sustainability advisory council for the Outdoor Industry Association, and co-teaches an undergraduate course on industrial ecology at the University of California Santa Barbara.

Nyree Corby is a female entrepreneur with a social conscience and vision to disrupt mainstream fashion and deliver perfectly-fitted dresses to women across the globe. Corby founded her first business at 21 and by the age of 24 she was leading her second company, a digital services agency, to millions of dollars in revenue. Corby then moved in to the world of venture capital. In 2014, she established Fame and Partners, a contemporary, made-to-order fashion label disrupting the fashion industry with personalized, sustainably produced garments. This made-to-order model combines fashion design and digital technology to empower women to customize each design to suit their style and their body. The label has an established presence in Australia (online and in select Meyer stores) and the US (online and in select Macy’s stores). Corby is based at the Fame and Partners headquarters in Los Angeles. 

Aurora James is a Toronto-native and New York transplant after some time living in Los Angeles. From model agent to curator and now Creative Director of Brothers Vellies, she has amassed an impressive resume of fashion industry experience. James’ years of experience have resulted in a broad knowledge of the industry from all sides. Currently based in Brooklyn, James finds herself traveling to and throughout Africa — particularly South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and Morocco — every few months to work with local artisans, experience the diverse culture of the continent and discover new inspirations for the brand.

Marci Zaroff coined the term “ECOfashion” and is an internationally recognized ECOlifestyle entrepreneur, educator, innovator and expert. Founder of leading sustainable fashion lifestyle companies MetaWear and Under the Canopy, executive producer of the documentary Thread: Driving Fashion Forward, and co-founder of Good Catch Foods, BeyondBrands and The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Marci has been instrumental in driving authenticity, environmental leadership and social justice worldwide for over 27 years. Board member of the Organic Trade Association, Textile Exchange and Cradle to Cradle’s “Fashion Positive,” Zaroff was a key figure in the development of the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and first Fair Trade Textile Certification. Marci has received countless recognitions — including Retail Touchpoint’s Retail Innovator Award, New York Moves’ Power Women Award, Fashion Group International’s Rising Star Award and the Natural Product Industry’s Socially Responsible Business Award. Marci is featured in the book ECO AMAZONS: 20 Women Who Are Transforming the World and is a Royal Society of the Arts (RSA) Fellow and a Henry Crown Fellow of The Aspen Institute. Her first book, ECOrenaissance: Co-Creating A Stylish, Sexy & Sustainable World, will be published in 2018 by Simon & Schuster.