In Past Events

October 13, 2021

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM PDT

Virtual Event

A fireside chat with a biomimicry expert to tackle microfiber pollution from fashion.

  • This event is complimentary for all WCS members. No promo codes needed.
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  • Become a member here.

No material has zero impact and the fashion industry is notoriously un-eco. First, harvesting the raw materials needed to produce the fabric contributes to deforestation and biodiversity loss. Second, the synthetic fibers make up the bulk of cheap clothes and have revolutionized our wardrobes, but they’ve come at a cost: oil by-products are unsustainable, they take huge amounts of toxic chemicals and fresh water to produce, they do not biodegrade. What would the fashion industry look like if it truly functioned as an ecosystem?

Join us for a fireside chat with Beth Rattner, CEO of the Biomimicry Institute and co-author of the report the Nature of Fashion (2020) (with Dimitri Dehyn from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography), to discuss the current state of the Fashion industry and its participation in microplastic pollution. We will explore ways nature’s lessons can enhance ecosystems to clean up existing pollution as well as boost biodiversity, build soil and support communities.

Attendees will understand the impact the global fashion industry has on our environment, with an emphasis on the lifecycle of the product. They will learn more about pioneering and game-changing product, design, and manufacturing solutions. The discussions will offer recommendations for stakeholders on next steps to transform the system and for individuals to be a part of the change.

Event Agenda (PT)

  • 12:00 – 12:05 Arrival, introductions, Zoom etiquette, and housekeeping items
  • 12:05 – 12:40 Fireside discussion
  • 12:40 – 12:55 Q&A from the audience
  • 12:55 – 1:00 Thank you and wrap-up

This event is limited to 500 attendees and is open to people of all genders.

Beth Rattner


Executive Director, Biomimicry Institute

Beth Rattner has been working in sustainability since 2000 and has been the executive director of the Biomimicry Institute since 2013. The Institute brings the practice of bioinspired design to hundreds of thousands of people a year through its education and entrepreneurship programs and also works on industry-transformation projects, such as bringing healthy decomposition back to the fashion sector.

Prior to this position, Beth worked with William McDonough and Michael Braungart on The Upcycle, the sequel to Cradle to Cradle, before she helped co-found the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute and became its executive director. An attorney by training, Beth was also a managing director for one of the first sustainability business consultant firms, Blu Skye, and business manager for Hewlett Packard’s Emerging Market Solutions (EMS) group.

Outside of work, she can be found amongst the redwood trees in Marin County.

Sara Fuentes


Co-Founder and President of SmartWaste

Sara Fuentes is the founder and President of Smart Waste, a minority women owned and operated start up with a focus on waste technologies, waste systems and vendor management for Zero waste programs. With 10 years of experience in the Waste and Recycling Industry, Sara is a leader in abating waste her core values of transparency, circularity and people impact communities to practice a zero waste lifestyle. A passionate advocate for women and a tenacious leader, Sara is setting out to alter the cleantech landscape and finding her own niche. Sara draws on her experience working as an educator and Vice-Chair of the Women in CleanTech and Sustainability organization, where she is a beloved mentor. Sara is always looking to connect with people and companies that are in alignment with her values and goals.