Making the apparel industry
more sustainable,

one person - one brand 
at a time

 

Welcome to The Underswell. My mission is to:

  •  Empower brands to produce more sustainably
  •  Empower consumers to shop more sustainably
  •  Empower young professionals to get hired by brands doing things more sustainably.

Ready to join the movement!?

Schedule a Free Call to Get Started

Let’s spend 25 minutes getting to know each other and talking about where you or your team is at today in regards to sustainability and where you’d like to be in the future.

Schedule a Free Call to Get Started

I've been a part of the apparel industry for more than 25 years.

But, perhaps like you, I didn't learn about sustainability until I was deep into my career.

I made these courses and workshops and developed this method to get the sustainability knowledge I’ve acquired over the last 15 years straight to you and your team in the most efficient - yet thorough and effective - way possible. Learn the essentials, get access to resources, and begin making progress immediately.

Additionally, I know this industry, from the inside, out - I’ve co-founded and launched my own sustainable fashion brand KOZM, been a Global VP of Sustainability for Volcom, worked directly with, and learned from, the world-class Sustainability team at Kering for 4+ years, developed and taught sustainability in fashion courses (a 3-semester certificate program) at Orange Coast College, and have worked with lifestyle brands you’ll surely recognize like: Volcom, Boardriders, Roark, New Balance, Quiksilver, RVCA, Billabong, and PJ Salvage and have been called on to contribute to projects and events at SIA, Outdoor Industry, GreenStory, Seeding Change, and SIMA.

More Urgent Than Ever

 

Sustainability and climate change are some of the most urgent conversations of our time, and I know that you want your brand to be more sustainable. I hear it from you, the nonprofits and ngos, and  your leadership. In order to do that, you’ll need a new, future-proof way of designing, manufacturing, and selling. The problem is: sustainability in the apparel industry is complex which makes you feel unsure, unmotivated, and even complacent. 

 

I believe sustainability needs to be fully understood and integrated from all sides of the business; from the top down (leadership) and from the bottom up (everyone else); PS I call this "The Grilled Cheese Effect." Transformation like this will require coordinated learning, resources, commitment, and time which is why I’ve developed a Sustainability Coaching method based on my 25 years of experience in the apparel industry, and 12 years of experience as a sustainability specialist, to help push it across the finish line.

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“I have been a designer in the fashion industry for 13 years and I still learned things I never knew before I took The School of Understanding courses. It has helped my design and product development process from the materials I choose to how the garment is made. I can now teach my team on how we can make a better impact in our industry and to keep learning. Knowledge is power!” 

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“Derek delivers with optimism, and constructive energy - on top of stark, fact-based science & study from progressive thought-leaders. Frankly, taking this course felt very empowering and ignited and a fresh fire in my soul.”

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“These courses are highly beneficial for anyone working in marketing/creative, design, sales, customer service/social media, production, sourcing and leadership.  They are made for anyone keen on progressing their career and personal grasp of critically important global issues. The education provides a lens that truly throws a filter on every inch of your personal & professional life.” 

Schedule a Free Call to Get Started

Let’s spend 25 minutes getting to know each other and talking about where you or your team is at today in regards to sustainability and where you’d like to be in the future.

Schedule a Free Call to Get Started