Catch up with Brittany Malvino – YFS Participant 2017

With only 10 weeks to go until Youth Fashion Summit 2018, we caught up with Brittany Malvino, a previous participant at Youth Fashion Summit, so she could give us the low down on her summit experience and offer some pearls of wisdom for anyone attending this year or thinking about applying in the future.

Hi Brittany! It would be great if you could introduce yourself for us.

Hi! My name is Brittany Malvino and I am originally from San Francisco California. With a passion for sustainability, Scandinavian Design and my Danish family history I moved to Copenhagen five years ago to achieve a bachelors in Sustainable fashion at KEA.

Currently I live in Stockholm Sweden achieving a masters degree in Fashion Studies with a focus in Sustainable Development. My main research focus is Sustainable Development Goal 12, which works to achieve sustainable consumption and production. Being in Stockholm is such a great opportunity as well, there is a lot of great work being done in Sweden in regards to sustainable innovation and the fashion industry.

I know you were in the Youth Fashion Summit last year, what made you apply?

I applied to Youth Fashion Summit because I wanted to learn further about the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and have the opportunity to collaborate with the incredible Copenhagen Fashion Summit. Being a KEA student at the time, it was very exciting to work further with my bachelor education on the initiatives they have created. Youth Fashion Summit was also a great opportunity to get to meet people just like myself from other parts of the world interested in sustainable fashion. It ended up being a great networking opportunity and guided me towards the work I have accomplished today. As the world gets smaller and more interconnected, it is important that as a global network we all come together to achieve our sustainable goals. Because of this thought process I applied to Youth Fashion Summit which gave me this incredible opportunity!

Do you think initiatives like Youth Fashion Summit are important? 

Initiatives like Youth Fashion Summit are wonderful because it brings together people from all over the world who have one common goal, to create a long lasting sustainable fashion industry. To create sustainable change people from different backgrounds need to work in cross disciplinary settings which Youth fashion Summit offers. It brings together designers, engineers, business strategists, environmental scientists and more to discover all possible solutions and work together as one team. Through Youth Fashion I got to work with people from completely different backgrounds which taught me new interesting things about sustainability. Youth fashion Summit gave me the opportunity to learn about parts of the industry I have never before and I carry this knowledge with me throughout the work I have achieved after.

What was your favourite part of being in Youth Fashion Summit? 

Youth Fashion Summit was an incredible experience overall. From the interesting webinars prior to the workshop to the final day on stage it was a none stop excitement that taught me more than I could ever imagine about the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and Fashion.

Overall my favorite part was the inspiring people I got to meet during the Fashion Summit and the other students I worked with during the workshops. It was a great opportunity to be able to work with other students from around the world just as motivated as me to create a sustainable fashion industry. Being able to present on the day of the event was a wonderful honor and an inspiring experience that offered real change to be made. The wonderful part about Youth Fashion Summit is that we get to have our voices be heard and show that we are a generation of leaders working for sustainable innovation.

What lasting impact has being involved in Youth Fashion Summit had on your life?

Youth Fashion Summit was a strong introduction for me in regards to learning about the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and how fashion can take action and get involved. As well during the workshop days we got to work with brands such as H&M, Swarovski and more who offered us real business advice and support. By working with such big players in the industry it was a great opportunity to learn about how to work with large companies and implement sustainability into their businesses. As well the advice they gave me personally during the days I still keep and follow and it has helped guide me towards the work I have created today. After the Summit I made it as well a goal of mine to further work with the SDG’s and found my passion with SDG 12, sustainable consumption and production.

Youth Fashion Summit as well really prepared me for working within the industry! In December I had the opportunity to represent Stockholm University at Business of Design Week Conference in Hong Kong and work with the fashion industry in Asia for a week. During this experience I took the skills I gained during Fashion Summit in regards to group work, networking, education and implemented it towards the week I achieved in that week.

What are your goals going forward?

A large reason why I have decided to dedicate my life work towards sustainability is because I want to leave the planet in a state that does not jeopardise the future for generations to come. To be able to change the world, I believe that innovative change is key and thinking outside of the box is necessary. To achieve this, I want to travel around the world and work with designers, consumers and producers on how to implement SDG 12 and become more sustainable. I want to spread the knowledge that I have gained through my work/experiences to others and inspire people to take action and change the world! I believe that sustainability is not a set back for fashion, but the future of the industry. My interest is also to create strong connections between Scandinavia and the United States, which is why I have also started to work with San Francisco Sustainable Fashion Week. My overall goal is to inspire others about how they to can be sustainable wether it be trying out Upcycling or finding the best second hand shops in the area, my goals going forward are to inspire.

Last of all, do you have any recommendations, tips or advice for those attending the summit this year? 

Copenhagen is an incredible city full of culture, organic food and sustainable design. My favorite spot in the city has always been Nørrebro, specifically Nørrebrogade which is a very trendy part of Copenhagen offering great second hand shopping and vegan restaurants. My favorite street in this area is Blågårdsgade which is full of cozy bars, great food and my favorite vegan spot Cafe N. In regards to sustainable shopping I recommend second hand shops near by such as Fremtiden, which is a unique Red Cross store offering specially selected designs that are one of a kind and high quality!

Do not forget as well to venture like the Danes and take a tour around the city on a bicycle. There is no other way to experience Copenhagen and bikes can be rented all around the city! When you rent a bike it is so easy to get to other places such as Christianshavn, Vesterbro, Kødbyen and more!

As for during the summit, do not be afraid to network. While I was at Copenhagen Fashion Summit 2017, I met some of the most inspiring people working in the industry. My best advice is to know that they want to speak to you as much as you want to speak to them! It never hurts to make some business cards and let people know why you are here trying to make a difference for the fashion industry!

Thanks Brittany! Is there anywhere we can follow what you’re working on?

Yes! I have a website showcasing my work: https://www.brittanymalvino.com/

And you can also follow me on Instagram: @brit_m