Trend Alert: How the Fashion Act Could Change the Fashion Industry

Sat, Jan 27, 1–2 pm
Larson Hall at American Swedish Institute
Part of the Climate Solutions Series

Tickets: Free

Sustainable fashion has become a focal point and a growing trend among consumers, but it is often addressed through individual choices rather than the system as a whole. Through the Fashion Act, a coalition of nonprofits, fashion industry stakeholders, and everyday individuals are advocating for environmental sustainability and human rights values to be incorporated into legislation and regulations.

In this session, fashion law and policy expert Betina Baumgarten and award-winning writer and editor Kate Nelson will explore how The Fashion Act can serve as a regulatory and legislative framework for driving systemic change in the fashion industry.

In partnership with New Standard Institute.

About the Panelists

Betina Baumgarten’s varied career includes stints as a civil defense litigator turned fashion stylist, where she had the privilege of dressing her clients for award season and the Oscars. Her styling work morphed into consulting work for brands large and small to leverage their marketing through strategic partnerships. 
The COVID pandemic closed the doors to her styling work, and as silver linings do, opened a window back into the practice of law through her  admission to Fordham Law School’s Fashion Law LLM Program. Betina received a merit scholarship, and graduated in the top of her class, having specialized in fashion policy and sustainability. While at Fordham, she published three law review articles on issues ranging from updating garment labeling laws, needed legislative and employment rights reform for models as independent contractors, and her thesis, which addressed luxury brands abuse of trademark law to police the secondary resale market, and received the prestigious Judy and Dennis Kenney award for demonstrated excellence, service, and innovation in the field of fashion law. 

Betina's work, experience and keen insights landed her coveted positions as in house counsel for The RealReal, and later given her Hill experience, as the Law and Policy Director for American Circular Textiles Group, a coalition of resale and rental companies including ThredUp, The RealReal and Rent the Runway, in developing and promulgating federal legislation aimed at bolstering infrastructure benefitting these circular fashion companies that remain undervalued by Wall Street. Betina now serves as the Legal Advisor to New Standard Institute, which authored and is working hard to pass the New York Fashion Act in the state of New York.

Kate Nelson (moderator), an Alaska Native Tlingit tribal member, is an award-winning writer and editor living in Minneapolis. She's currently the editor-in-chief of Artful Living, a top U.S. boutique lifestyle magazine. She's interviewed such luminaries as Padma Lakshmi, actor Mo Brings Plenty, and chef Sean Sherman and written for publications including ELLE, Esquire, Architectural Digest, Teen Vogue, Bustle, Andscape, and more. A lifelong storyteller, she's also an avid equestrian and a pop culture aficionado.


The Climate Solutions Series is made possible through the generous support of The McKnight Foundation. This event is also supported by Noihsaf Bazaar.