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About SFi / The Sustainable Fashion Initiative 

The Myron E. Ullman, Jr. School of Design in collaboration with The OR Foundation (led by Liz Ricketts) launched the Sustainable Fashion Initiative in August 2018 to cultivate a zero-waste (circular) culture within the fashion program and to advocate for sustainable fashion practices across campus and within the broader Cincinnati community.


Waste is an artifact of a broken fashion system. Waste occurs at all points along the lifecycle of our clothing and waste is directly tied to the human exploitation found in the production, consumption and 'waste management' of fashion.

SFI is founded on the belief that if we change how we think about and deal with waste, we could change our entire relationship to fashion.


And so, we have decided to ask: What IF Waste Was Our ONLY Resource?

This question represents both responsibility and opportunity. 


The fashion program at the Myron E. Ullman Jr. School of Design is a microcosm

of the dominant fashion model - a linear system. With this in mind, SFI's primary mission is to 'deal' with the waste generated by the fashion program - to reduce waste, to innovate with our waste and to ultimately design a system that eliminates what we currently term 'waste' by developing a circular fashion system within the program. SFI seeks tangible localized solutions, not theoretical proposals.

Transitioning to a circular fashion model involves equipping emerging designers and fashion enthusiasts with the skill-set, mindset, resources and platform (representation) necessary to empower them to lead a paradigm shift in the fashion industry. SFI aims to empower fashion students, fashion professionals (this includes academics as well as people often termed 'garment workers') and fashion enthusiasts - a group of people who are often female and who are often disempowered and improperly compensated - to advocate for sustainable behaviors across campus and within the local Cincinnati community.

SFI will need to establish relationships with the local community as well as with the global sustainable fashion movement. SFI will learn from leaders in circular systems and all research and learnings generated by SFI will be made available to the public.


Because everyone wears clothing and because the SFI is committed to advocacy and community building a majority of programming will be open to all UC students as well as the general public. If you would like to get involved please reach out!


RECLAIM the value lost by a linear fashion model through circular design methods and through the proper sorting and distribution of textile waste generated by DAAP Fashion studios.

ENRICH the DAAP fashion program through community-wide curriculum and communication.

SHARE critical data points, progress reports, curated industry news and student-generated content with the public.

BUILD an ecosystem of local, national and global circular economy partners.

SERVE others by applying learnings to internal and external constituencies.

EXPAND efforts to address the ethics of fashion as a whole.

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