Fashion lecturer attends global conference on climate change following her sustainability work

A lecturer from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) is standing at the vanguard of the sustainable fashion movement after being invited to attend an event where some of the world’s most influential voices addressed the global threat of climate change.

Jessica Donnelly, who teaches the BA Fashion Communication and Styling course at DMU, was in the company of global campaigners such as Stella McCartney and the chair of Tiffany & Co Foundation, Anisa Kamadoli Costa, while she attended the Bloomberg Vanity Fair Climate Exchange in London last week.

 JESSICA fashion

Jessica at the BAFTA screening of Paris to Pittsburgh

Located in Bloomberg’s stunning new London HQ, with its world-leading sustainability rating, the Exchange focussed on some of the most powerful ways to improve living standards, preserve the environment, protect citizen’s health and utilize technology to ensure a sustainable future.

Jessica also attended the premier of Paris to Pittsburgh at BAFTA London, hosted by billionaire philanthropist and environmental campaigner Michael R. Bloomburg, the CEO and owner of Bloomberg LP, a global financial services, mass media, and software company. The film brings to life the impassioned efforts of individuals who are battling the most severe threats of climate change in their own backyards.

JESSICA fashion Bloomberg

Michael Bloomberg speaks

Set against the national debate over the United States’ energy future following exit from the Paris Climate Agreement, the film captures what’s at stake for communities around the country and the ways Americans are responding.

Jessica was invited after winning a Female Entrepreneur Award from The Mayor of London Entrepreneur Competition which focusses on sustainability. Jessica was awarded six months of mentoring from Elle magazine’s Fashion Editor Gillian Wilkins.


DMU chosen as global hub to support UN goals for 2030

UN says DMU is an 'exemplar university'

Students pitch ideas to UN delegates in NYC

As a result, Jessica now runs her own online Sustainable Fashion Journal which promotes environmentally-conscious products and designers while, since starting at DMU in September, sustainability has been placed at the heart of her teaching. You can view the journal on the web or follow on Instagram @sustainablefashionjournal

DMU’s Fashion and Textiles department is undertaking projects to promote sustainability among its students, who are the next generation of fashion leaders.

The work links directly with the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a series of global goals to improve life for people around the world which have been embedded into DMU's five year Strategic Plan.

DMU is a global hub for SDG  number 16 – the first university to be chosen as such. SDG 16 promotes peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, providing access to justice for all and building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

Jessica said: “I think sustainability is the future of fashion. In fact there is no other option. It is the only way to progress.  We are running out of materials and I think consumers are starting to demand the industry is more accountable.

“As an academic I have a responsibility to educate students about the future of fashion and what their future is in fashion.

JESSICA fashion Mayor

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan addresses the audience

“Addressing sustainability also makes our students more employable because companies are starting to ask for graduates with sustainability knowledge. I am really pleased to have been invited and it will certainly give me more inspiration for my teaching.”

The £3 trillion fashion industry is under increasing pressure to be more sustainable from campaigners, such as Stella McCartney, and the public. It is widely regarded as the second most polluting industry in the world after oil.


Posted on Friday 21st December 2018

Search news archive

DMU Clearing
News target area image

DMU is a dynamic university, read about what we have been up to in our latest news section.

Events at DMU

At DMU there is always something to do or see, check out our events for yourself.

Mission and vision target area image
Mission and vision

Read about our mission and vision and how these create a supportive and exciting learning environment.