Save the date for the Inaugural Kent State University School of Fashion Merchandising Symposium

“Emerging Perspectives of Sustainability within the Business of Fashion”

Over recent decades, apparel companies have faced mounting pressure to adopt transparent, ethically, and environmentally responsible supply chains. The Fashion industry is dependent on many natural resources such as land, water, animal feed for natural fibers, and fossil fuels for petroleum-based synthetic fibers. The growing scarcity of such resources is of concern to consumers and has been the focus of conservation efforts by industry. Apparel consumers are becoming more and more concerned with the environmental impacts and sustainability of the fashion industry. This symposium will focus on the role we play as industry professionals, academics, and consumers in the sustainability efforts of the Business of Fashion within the local Cleveland area and outward.

When: December 2, 2022, 9:30 am-5 pm

Where: Murphy Auditorium and the Rockwell Hall Atrium floors 1 and 2

All are welcome!

RSVP for the Symposium!

Timeline of Events

9:30-10 a.m. Breakfast - Rockwell Hall Atrium 1st Floor

10-10:30 a.m. Keynotes: Jackie & Phillip Wachter, FOUNT - Murphy Auditorium

10:30-11 a.m. Keynote: Mark Messura, Cotton Incorporated - Murphy Auditorium

2-2:30 p.m. Keynote: Sarah O’Keeffe, City of Cleveland - Murphy Auditorium

2:30-3 p.m. Keynote: Marite Ball, Blue and Green LTD. - Murphy Auditorium

3-4 p.m. Q&A Panel: Phillip Wachter, Mark Messura, Marite Ball, Sarah O’Keeffe - Murphy Auditorium

4-5 p.m. Awards Reception - Rockwell Hall Atrium 1st Floor



Philip and Jackie Wachter, FOUNT, Co-Founders
Philip and Jackie Wachter, FOUNT, Co-Founders

FOUNT was founded in 2014 by husband-and-wife creative team Phillip and Jackie Wachter and born out of their desire to craft beautiful and lasting leather bags. FOUNT uses the finest ethically sourced leather and materials available to craft classic American heritage goods that can be carried by your side for years to come. FOUNT bags are designed with intention in Cleveland, OH and handcrafted by skilled artisans in Ohio, the Dominican Republic and Leon, Mexico.




Mark Messura, Senior Vice President, Global Supply Chain Marketing for Cotton Incorporated
Mark Messura, Senior Vice President, Global Supply Chain Marketing, Cotton Incorporated

Mark is responsible for Cotton Incorporated’s global marketing and technical support programs with retailers, brands, and manufacturers. Mr. Messura is a frequent speaker and advisor to the textile industry on issues related to sustainability, responsible sourcing, supply chain strategy, and fiber economics. He is Chairman of the Industry Advisory Board, Textile Apparel and Technology Management Program in the College of Textiles at North Carolina State University where he is also an adjunct associate professor.



Sarah E. O’Keeffe, Director, Sustainability and Climate Justice, Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, City of Cleveland
Sarah E. O’Keeffe, Director, Sustainability and Climate Justice, Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, City of Cleveland

Sarah O'Keeffe is the Director for Sustainability and Climate Justice and leads the Mayor's Office of Sustainability in the City of Cleveland. As a part of Mayor Bibb’s cabinet, Sarah is currently working with peers and collaborators in further developing actionable steps forward in circular economy, energy systems transformation, transportation, land use and other resource-intensive systems at the local and regional levels.  These steps are building upon a decade of community engagement through Sustainable Cleveland initiatives that prioritized the pursuit of equitable solutions to climate change and other environmental issues facing the Greater Cleveland community. 





Marité Ball, President, Blue & Green Planet, LTD 
Marité Ball, President, Blue & Green Planet, LTD

A French-American business pioneer with 20+ years of experience in Marketing and Business Development with Fortune 500 companies, SMEs (Small Medium Enterprises) and Startups. She has helped startups commercialize and scale-up several high-potential technologies in the water (Blue) sector and Green space, including Solar-Thermal Renewable Energy, Waste-to-Energy, Solar Water Purification, Closed-loop Water Reclamation Systems and Nature-based CO2 Capture solutions.



POSTED: Monday, November 07, 2022 04:08 PM
Updated: Monday, February 06, 2023 05:21 AM