Meet six international fashion designers who share a common goal – pursuing dream jobs with purpose.

Our six eco fashion entrepreneurs evaluate the financial hurdles of pursuing their dream jobs and discuss how sustainable fashion can make for sustainable business.


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Guest Bios

Zaida Adriana Goveo Balmaseda

Born in Puerto Rico to Cuban and Puerto Rican parents, Zaida first learned ‘to make’ from her mother and grandmother, who are master craftswomen. A graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology, she holds a B.F.A. in International Fashion Design: Knitwear, and a minor in Italian. Zaida is the artist/designer/maker behind BALMASEDA, a small label that creates garments that embrace a new kind of luxury; one that combines humble materials with exquisite artisanal techniques. It is a hands-on manifesto that explores the symbiotic relationship we could have with our clothing and the environment. See Zaida’s work at Balmaseda.


Anne-Marthe Fossum

Anne-Marthe Fossum finished her degree in fashion design in 2006. She worked as a pattern maker, costume designer, assistant designer and product developer for four years in Norway. In 2010 she moved to Nepal to work as a production manager in an exchange program through the Norwegian Peace Corps, focusing on sustainable and ethical production. In January 2013, she co-founded A/BARENESS with Karoline Hestnes and they launched the brand in Norway in May 2013.


Karoline Hestnes

Karoline Hestnes is the co-founder of the eco-fashion clothing line, A/BARENESS. Before taking her talents to fashion design, Karoline worked as a make-up artist, stylist, and fashion editor in Norway for six years. She moved to Nepal in 2011 to participate in an exchange program through the Norwegian Peace Corps, focusing on sustainable and ethical fashion clothing production. From there, she co-founded A/BARENESS with Anne-Marthe Fossum in January 2013. The brand launched in Norway in May 2013.


Yuri Man

Yuri Man is a freelance designer and graduate of Hong Kong Polytechnic University whose passion is creating beautiful clothing using sustainable techniques. Her mother’s hand knitting and craft skills inspired Yuri to apply techniques such as hand knitting, fabric collage, and hand needle work to her designs. Follow her on Tumblr to see her unique and latest upcycled designs.


Fizza Mir

Fizza Mir’s dedication to social movements, paired with her innate love of beautiful textiles, is the ideal combination for her eco fashion clothing line, Azadi Project, which seeks to move fashion forward by promoting ethical processes and artisanal protection. Anti-oppression activism has always been a constant in Fizza’s personal and professional life. As an educator as well as a designer, she strives to instill a sense of empathy in her students.

The Eco Fashion Commons

The Eco Fashion Commons is your chance to connect with leaders in the field, showcase your work, and meet the people who are driving eco fashion forward.

The Showcase

The Showcase presents selected video contributions from The Commons.


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