Model, actress and activist Amber Valletta has been named the first sustainability ambassador at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
The move helps to solidify FIT’s commitment to expanding sustainability education and awareness.
Valletta, 47, has spoken out about the issues of sustainability and serves on the FIT Foundation board. She delivered the keynote speech at the 2019 Innovation in Sustainability Conference and hosted the 2019 and 2021 Awards Galas, both focused on sustainable solutions and innovations.
In her role as FIT’s Sustainability Ambassador, Valletta is expected to work closely with the FIT community, alumni and partners throughout the 2021-22 academic year and beyond. During this year’s Sustainability Awareness Week, which takes place virtually from Oct. 4 to 8, she will moderate a student roundtable discussion among previous FIT Biodesign Challenge winners to discuss the significance of biotechnology in fashion, how brands can incorporate sustainable materials into their products and the overall impact biotechnology will make on the future of fashion. Valletta will collaborate with the current Biodesign Challenge — mentoring students, helping recruit industry mentors and other support — as well as spearhead fundraising efforts for the FIT Sustainability Fund, and help with planning the 2022 Sustainable Business and Design Conference, among other partnerships and programming opportunities.
“Over the years, Amber has been deeply involved in FIT’s sustainability initiatives both on and off campus and has quickly become a close friend of the college,” said Joyce F. Brown, president of FIT. “She is also a dedicated and respected advocate and activist, which makes naming her our first official sustainability ambassador a natural and easy decision.”
Valletta said, “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate and learn from the students, educators, and the entire FIT community. At FIT they have made sustainability a focal point that directs both their fundraising efforts and curriculum, which will undoubtedly bring about positive changes for the future of creative industries.”
FIT offers many courses and programs that focus on sustainability, including Sustainability Fashion Merchandising, a minor in Ethics and Sustainability, Sustainable Packaging and International Corporate Responsibility, among others, as well as various extracurricular activities for students to get involved in. Projects include a student-run program to install and maintain beehives on the college’s rooftop, developing sustainable textiles through the annual Biodesign Challenge, promoting sustainable and eco-friendly dyeing practices and the Loop for Good pop-up, among other initiatives.
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