Jennifer Varekamp, MassArt – Impact Summit 2017


Jennifer Varekamp
Professor of Fashion, Massachusetts College of Art & Design
Panel 6: Sustainable Fashion

Walk-ins are Welcome for Impact Summit 2017 Building a Better Future February 24th.


What is one of your proudest career achievements?

For nearly a decade I have been running a fashion directed travel course to Antwerp and Paris through MassArt – The course places a special focus and attention on slow fashion methods and couture techniques. It has given me the opportunity to share my love of craftsmanship and artistry in fashion and cultural exploration and travel with my students. I believe that we all need to step out of our familiar surroundings and begin to understand the larger world we live in. It has proven to be an amazing way to  broaden my students’ perspective on design and deepen their understanding and appreciation for handwork and the skill and commitment involved.  In 2016 I was also able to co-develop and lead a travel course to India that focused on Sustainable Handcrafts. My personal travels throughout India have proven to be life changing endeavors- so for many years I have been wanting to run this trip with a group of students. There was nothing more fulfilling than to share these experiences and explorations with my students and awaken their souls and creativity to a new perspective.

What app, social media or otherwise, could you not live without and why?

There is one publication I absolutely love to receive in both the physical publication format and through their blog and online newsletters- It is Selvedge.  Some other online sources I am always looking to are: The Cutting Class, Eco Fashion World, Ethical Fashion Forum, Magnifeco, WWD, Made-By and their MODE Tracker, Textile Exchange and the Sourcing Journal. All of these online sources focus on some aspect of sustainable fashion.

What is one book that youve recently read and would recommend?

A book I would highly recommend is Before they Pass Away by Jimmy Neslon. It is an incredibly moving book that documents a number of indigenous groups around the world and showcases their distinctive traditions and lifestyles through spectacular photography and text. It depicts their close connections with nature and reminds us how distant in may ways we’ve become from it ourselves.

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