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Nike, Disney Inaugural Partners of Otis Sustainability Alliance

Eddie Bauer, Disney, Nike, Patagonia, Quiksilver and Todd Oldham are the first apparel brands to join the Otis Sustainability Alliance, a partnership between the fashion industry and higher education that aims to advance environmental, social and economic sustainability.

The Otis College of Art and Design launched the alliance Saturday at the Otis Scholarship Benefit and Fashion Show.

Through the alliance, members will collaborate with and educate Otis faculty and students about the sustainable practices and priorities in their industry. Students will, in turn, have the training and vision to design products that “do less harm,” said Rosemary Brantley, chair of fashion design at the school.

The high-profile Los Angeles-based design school already offers a sustainability minor, in which students study and develop sustainable strategies and systems in art and design. The minor, which has seen higher enrollment than any other offered at Otis, also enables students to work with companies, such as Nike/Hurley, Yeohlee, Todd Oldham, Billabong and Hape on design projects involving reuse, recycling and sustainable product development, said Otis.

A number of global apparel brands have formed partnerships in recent years in an effort to make the production process more sustainable, encourage reuse of clothing or find betters ways to recycle materials.

Last month, Nike, NASA, the US Agency for International Development and the US Department of State launched an initiative that challenges manufacturers and others to create new, sustainable materials.

The sustainable materials challenge is part of the Launch initiative, started in 2010 by Nike, NASA, USAID, and the Department of State to support innovative approaches to sustainability issues.

Nike also has partnered this year with Bluesign Technologies in an effort to use more sustainable materials and chemistries in its products. The partnership makes available Bluesign’s assessments tools and data to Nike’s materials suppliers.

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