Rita Chang
“Redesign Our Future”
Bridge Builder
Thursday November 2nd 2017
The Mill Auditorium  MORE INFO


Over the last 10 years of my academic and professional career in sustainable fashion, I’ve come to find that the desire for ethically made apparel and footwear traditionally doesn’t have the same allure as, say, organic food or natural skincare. Some scholars attribute this phenomenon to the perception that fashion has a lack of personal contact – i.e., the advantages of the “sustainability” in those garments supposedly doesn’t directly benefit the consumer’s wellbeing, whereas the “sustainability” in those foods or cosmetics is directly absorbed by the consumer’s body.

Whatever science tells us about the benefits of wearing eco-friendly clothing, how our clothes are made should still matter to us. In the manufacturing and sourcing world, I found it easy to talk with designers, sourcing, innovation teams, material developers, and factories about sustainability’s competitive advantage, the triple bottom line, and ultimately simple efficiency. But now that I’m working on my own consumer-facing startup, Thimble, I’m finding that repeating “it’s the right thing to do” isn’t sufficient. It doesn’t work. I need to talk with consumers in a different way.

I need to make it personal.

Over the last few months, I’ve thrown out tons of drafts of my TEDx talk, oscillating between factual, inspiring, serious, surprising, etc.

I’ve finally settled on what you’ll hear on November 2.

Here’s to hoping that, in the spirit of Ideas Worth Spreading, this one speaks to you. You know, personally.

Rita’s passion for sustainable fashion began in her undergraduate years at the University of Delaware. After witnessing less than ideal working conditions and a lack of environmental sustainability at textile factory tours in Asia, she created her own major in “Social Responsibility in the Apparel and Footwear Industry.” She then moved to Taiwan to work for NIKE, Inc.’s Sustainable Manufacturing & Sourcing team for nearly four years. READ MORE

2nd Annual TEDxWilmington Women :: Bridge Builder :: Thursday Nov. 2nd 2017 :: The Mill Auditorium ::  MORE INFO