Earth Week 2021


FIT Faculty and Student Exhibitions

6876 km

La Reunion
Patchwork dress created by Sarah Nsikak (La Réunion) with textiles botanically dyed in Guinea and Côte d'Ivoire with artisans supported by There is No Limit Foundation and Mariama Fashion Production. The dress is inspired by the women of Namibia’s Herero tribe, who—after surviving colonial wars in the early 20th century—designed, wore, and adapted the patchwork dress, a style worn by their oppressors, as a symbol of rebellion and empowerment.

6876 km is the distance from the garment district in Manhattan, New York to The Association of Women Tie-Dyers in Modiya, Kindia. 6876 km is also the distance traveled every 6 seconds by women and girls collecting water on foot for their basic needs.

In the online exhibition 6876 km, photographs by Jon Brown document the creation of a naturally dyed, zero-waste collection of textile art, including the plants and people who made them, from New York City to Kindia, Guinea and Grand-Bassam, Côte d'Ivoire.  

This exhibition, conceived by Dr. Theanne Schiros and created as part of FIT’s 15th annual Sustainable Business and Design Conference, celebrates the skills and cultural heritage of the people—especially indigenous artisans and women—who make our textiles, the power of education and community as drivers of inclusive sustainable development, and fashion as a vehicle for change. 

View 6876 KM Exhibition

Ecology and Photography: Environmental Storytelling at FIT

Geese in water
Two geese in the water in Central Park, New York, by Taylor Larson

This online exhibition highlights photographs taken by three recent FIT students—Laura Cervini, Taylor Larson, and Megan Weber—whose participation in a course titled Ecology and Photography: Sustainable New York inspired and informed their work. 

The interdisciplinary course was developed and taught by FIT professors Keith Ellenbogen and Dr. Arthur Kopelman, and it provided an introduction to field ecology, environmental storytelling, conservation, and wildlife photography. The site was created in conjunction with FIT’s 15th annual Sustainable Business and Design Conference.

View Ecology and Photography Exhibition

Recycled & Reclaimed: Zero Waste Knitwear at FIT

Melody Marte
Garment by Melody Marte

Every spring semester at FIT, students who take the course Advanced Knitwear Design: Creative Development and Execution, taught by professor Lisa Donofrio, are asked to create a sweater and coordinating pants. Rather than working with new materials, the students are challenged to make upcycled ensembles from existing knit garments. The students learn to engage with materials sustainably and responsibly, and the project also allows them to showcase their creativity. This online exhibition of their work was created in conjunction with FIT’s 15th annual Sustainable Business and Design Conference.

View Recycled and Reclaimed Exhibition

Virtual Tours

FIT Virtual Green Roof Tour

FIT Green roofs

Take the Tour

From the street level, FIT’s imposing brutalist buildings are a signature of New York City’s urban landscape. Look at FIT from above, and a greener picture emerges. Nearly an acre of green roofs, made up of hardy succulents in the genus Sedum, offer numerous environmental benefits. They insulate the buildings, improve air quality, help cool the neighborhood, and absorb rainfall, mitigating flooding in the city’s sewers during storms. Also, atop the Shirley Goodman Resource Center, solar panels provide electricity for the grid.

To create FIT’s green roofs, sedum plants, which are hardy succulents that require little watering or maintenance, were installed on the roof in large trays.

Green roofs do all of the following:

  • Help insulate the buildings, reducing the need for heating and air conditioning.
  • Absorb carbon dioxide, improving air quality and lessening the college’s carbon footprint.
  • Reduce the heat island effect—the reason New York City is a few degrees warmer than its environs—making FIT’s climate more livable.
    soak up water during heavy rainfall that would otherwise flood the city’s sewers, thus preventing untreated sewage from flowing into the Hudson and East rivers.

Visual Artist Talk Series

Virtual Artist Talk with Mimi Prober: History, Process, and Handcraft in Fashion
in Conversation with Collen Hill, Curator of Costume and Accessories, The Museum at FIT

April 22, 2021  1-2 pm

Mimi Prober is an artist and fashion designer, integrating the artistry of the past to establish a sustainable future. A graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology, she officially founded her namesake label in 2014.  


mimi prober

FIT Earth Day Student Events 

Sustainable PPE Mask 

Thursday, April 22, 2021, noon

Open to the Public and FIT Community

FIT students present the sustainable PPE Mask and discuss the design, materials and construction that accommodates all face shapes and sizes, has accessibility options, and was made in sustainable production.

A  Conversation with Students and Alumni on Utilizing Their Experiences at FIT to Build Future Careers in Sustainability

Thursday, April 22, 2021; 1pm 

Open to the FIT Community


student earthday 2021

Design Choices in the Built Environment

 Event Description: The challenge of embodied resources in our built environment, furnishings, and apparel is of significant importance. Designers and engineers need to work collaboratively to ensure that the impact associated with products and designs is mindful of environmental impact. This is done by consideration of physical resources and greenhouse gas emissions resulting to support a transition to a low-carbon, circular economy.

McMaster University's Engineering and Public Policy Masters' students utilized Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) databases to create user-friendly tools to calculate the embodied carbon for various furnishings options of a home office. These tools were shared with students at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT-SUNY) for review. The goal of this event is to bring together the students from both universities with their unique perspectives to discuss how embodied carbon and other environmental attributes can be communicated with designers, engineers, and - ultimately - their clients, to facilitate the most sustainable decisions.

Date: April 22, Time: 11 am - 12:30 pm (EST)

Access: Invitation only

Event co-leads: 

Karen R. Pearson. Ph.D. | Fashion Institute of Technology, Professor | Chairperson, Department of Science and Mathematics; Chair FIT Sustainability Council

Greg Zilberbrant, P. Eng, Ph.D | McMaster University, Program Lead, Circular Economy & Carbon Mitigation, W Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology