SUSTAINABLE FASHION DESIGNER AND CONSULTANT
Carmen specializes in integrating ethical practices within the fashion industry. With over 20 years of design experience working with brands from high-end to mass-market such as Donna Karan, Swatch, Kate Spade, Home Depot, and Wal-Mart, Carmen has become an expert at anticipating challenges in the marketplace. Currently, she advises start-ups, established brands and trade organizations interested in improving their sourcing, manufacturing and labor practices. Her goal is to help build resilient businesses, while minimizing their human and environmental impact.
In 1999 Carmen began her journey in sustainable fashion while on sabbatical in India. She collaborated with artisan non-profits that safeguard endangered crafts. This led her to advance her research on natural dyes and traditional embroidery techniques. Applying her newfound skills, she developed a lifestyle collection using certified organic cotton and natural indigo. Carmen launched the collection at Biofach in Germany: the world’s first tradeshow dedicated to organic products. While her line forecasted future consumer needs, she realized that the market was not ready.
Carmen returned to the fashion industry with a new outlook. She became increasingly concerned about the lack of transparency and traceability in the supply chain. In 2010 she spearheaded the sustainable design curricula and undergraduate programs at three major design universities: Fashion Institute of Technology, Parsons the New School for Design, and Pratt Institute.