Sustainability has quickly become the apparel industry’s favorite buzzword. In a rare moment of self-reflection, businesses realize that sticking to the status quo is no longer enough. Although some people are just now coming to this realization, others have been hard at work finding solutions for far longer than sustainability has been in the mainstream conversation. Andrea Reyes, Chair of the NYC Fair Trade Coalition, is on a mission to make the future of fashion more equitable as a fair trade advocate, educator, and small business owner. Founder of A. Bernadette, a fair trade fashion brand in Uganda that hosts educational study abroad programs, Reyes has firsthand experience with the ins and outs of running a fair trade business. Not only does she advocate for fair trade through her organization, but she makes a point of passing her knowledge onto the next generation of industry professionals at Baruch College, LIM College, and the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she teaches fashion marketing, international trade, and business development classes.
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