On November 4, 2010, eight students from the Fashion Institute of Technology’s International Trade and Marketing major (ITM) departed from the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple and headed to the City by the Bay to attend the 2010 Fall Green Festival.
Equipped with curiosity and excitement, they navigated through the vibrant labyrinth of over 300 exhibitor booths and dozens of speaker sessions, uncovering knowledge and gaining motivation. One student who attended the Bio-Inspired Design: Innovations in Green Products and Business session commented: “It was amazing! I was inspired during a biomimicry session when I learned how designers, engineers and biologists were working together to find innovated design solutions from nature.”
Throughout the 2-day Green Festival, students’ taste for sustainability was tantalized as they were presented with generous samples of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap, various organic skincare, and consumed organic treats, such as Alter Eco Bolivian dark chocolate, Palestinian fair trade olive oil, an assortment of cookies and crackers and Nature’s Path granola bars, just to name a few. “They fed us well!” stated another student with a big smile.
Fueled by these sustainable calories, students enthusiastically participated in speaker Q&A sessions, such as Fair Trade Coffee Sustainability from Farm to Cup and Where are we in the Fair Trade Movement? Here, they applied the skills they are learning in FIT’s ITM major to pose tough questions about Fair Trade verses Free Trade and sustainable supply chains.
FIT’s ITM major is a Bachelor of Science program that prepares students to become global business leaders. Courses include Import/Export Regulations, Global Marketing, Global Sourcing, and International Corporate Responsibility, among others. Also, in support of the “FIT Goes Green: Infusing Sustainability into our Culture” initiative, the college will host its 5th Annual Sustainability Conference, which is free and open to the public, on April 12, 2011. The theme of this year’s conference is “The Liquid Planet,” focusing on water as one of our most precious resources.
We spent the last day of the trip enjoying some of San Francisco’s precious resources. Students explored the bay area. I visited Muir Woods and was amazed by what nature creates with a single seed. The height, presence, health and longevity of these redwoods, among the tallest trees on the planet, which have been nurtured by the earth for hundreds of years, is truly majestic.
The Green Festival was sowing the seeds of sustainability into the hearts and minds of our students and they are growing into mindful, global citizens and leaders, who will be as magnificent as the west coast redwoods.
By Shireen Musa, an Assistant Professor at FIT – (The Fashion Institute of Technology-State University of New York). She teaches International Corporate Responsibility, among other courses, in FIT’s International Trade and Marketing Department. www.fitnyc.edu