Courtesy of Cornell University

Aja Barber is set to speak to Cornellians on Thursday.

February 24, 2022

Author Aja Barber to Speak to Cornellians, Talk Consumerism and Sustainability

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In a Thursday evening virtual event, prominent writer, consultant and stylist Aja Barber will speak to Cornellians about the intersection of consumerism and climate change. 

The event, which will consist of a discussion and live Q&A with the audience, is partially sponsored by Cornell’s Sustainability Office, in addition to nine other University organizations. It is a part of Cornell’s Beyond Waste program, a two-month-long institutional waste reduction campaign encouraging students to re-evaluate their waste management habits. 

Running from Feb. 14 to Mar. 26, the program will occur in conjunction with the nationwide Campus Race to Zero Waste competition, which provides tools and resources –– like mentors, case studies and webinars –– to colleges across the country in an effort to increase their sustainable pathways toward zero waste on campus. 

Barber was raised in Reston, Virginia and currently lives in London. She is most recently the author of Consumed: The Need for Collective Change: Colonialism, Climate Change and Consumerism, a 2021 book which calls for systematic change within consumer industries and examines the history of waste and endemic injustice in the textile field. 

Barber’s work primarily revolves around ideas of privilege, wealth inequality, racism, feminism, colonialism and the fashion industry. Her writing has appeared in The Guardian, Eco-Age and CNN, as well as on Instagram and her Patreon page.  

According to the Cornell events website’s description of the event, “Barber calls for change within an industry that regularly overreaches with abandon, creating real imbalances in the environment and the lives of those who do the work.” 

The forum will be moderated by Ph.D. candidate Cindy Cordoba Arroyo, grad, who studies apparel design and post-consumer textile waste management of airline uniforms. 

Students interested in the event, which will occur on Zoom from 3 to 4:15 p.m., can register for free online.