The fashion industry is one of the most wasteful and problematic industries in the world when it comes to its effect on the environment. Fast fashion, cheap materials, and easy access to clothing has caused the industry to make up 10% of humanity’s carbon emissions. What’s more, 85% of all textiles go to the dump each year. Green.Org sits down with Natasha Salter, Design Director of Adidas, to learn about her role in the company and how they are working to use more sustainable materials. Natasha’s work has been featured on HypeBeast, Sneaker News, Forbes, Complex and Runners World.
Let’s get to know Natasha a little better.
Natasha is a graduate of Cordwainers College at University of the Arts London with a degree in Footwear Design. While in her third year she worked at adidas HQ in Germany in the Sports Style department. This was her first experience with colour and materials where she worked on FW08 and SS09 Y-3 and SLVR collections and had product featured at NYFW.
In 2011 she returned to adidas to work as a colour designer in Running. Over the course of her subsequent career she has worked on multiple categories and product ranges, as well as leading key horizontal brand strategies and projects. She is currently the Design Director of Colour and Materials in Basketball and US Sports, located in Portland, OR.
Natasha, thank you for being here. Can you tell us a little bit about you and your background:
I am the Design Director for Color & Materials at adidas Basketball. In my role it’s my responsibility to ensure we are executing the brand narrative around color and material stories including the implication of sustainable materials within our category. I have been lucky enough to be involved in initiatives working with Parley, Alex Taylor and Carbon on ways to develop new yarns and technologies within the space of sustainable production and materials.
What is a fun fact about you?
I am originally from the UK and grew up in a house that is only 50 years younger than America!
Why do you think climate change and sustainability is such an important topic today?
I think people are finally starting to see and be impacted by the results of climate change a lot earlier than they were expecting. There is finally a tangibility to actively participating in sustainable initiatives, recycling, lowering emissions etc that previously was lauded as the responsibility of the next generation.
What do you envision your industry looking like 10 years from now?
My hope for the fashion industry is that all product has at minimum 75% recycled content, I hope that fast fashion has significantly declined in the market (but I think thats me being optimistic!) and that companies have managed to find ways to offset carbon emissions within the manufacturing process. I think when consumers educate themselves more about who is actually making their product outside the people on production lines, they will start to become more conscious about the products they buy and companies they support. Companies like Everlane who provide full transparency from concept to creation need to be the norm moving forward.
What can the average person do to make a difference?
Honestly, money talks. I think we as consumers need to do a better job at educating ourselves about the companies we support. Where are those companies buying their materials? What are they putting back out in terms of supporting sustainable efforts and initiatives? Are they working to close the loop or are they just promising they will? As consumers we have the power to actively make a change.
Natasha, thank you for sharing your experience working with Sustainable fashion and Adidas.
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