Dr. Monika Zabel is a designer, curator, speaker and advocate for sustainable and ethical practices in Fashion. She is member of the International Executive Board of Global Sustainable Fashion Week and was appointed to the Board of the Korean Association of Fashion Business. Prior to her Studies at FIT New York in Sustainable Design Entrepreneurship she graduated in economics at the Universities of Kiel, Sao Paulo, Brazil, and TU Berlin. She was awarded a PhD in Resource Economics with a topic on economic and environmental cost and a full cycle analysis of CO2 emissions of different fuel options in the transport sector. Subjects currently equally important in the Fashion sector globally.
In 2016 she founded Urban Pilgrims, a high end brand whose creative process is making sustainability central in its design.
She is working at the interface of design and art, of fashion and textile sculptures, and likes to change the point of reference. Her work has a cause and touches beyond sheer beauty. Monika has exhibited internationally, her work has been invited to the International Fashion Art Biennale in Seoul, Korea, the Fashion Museum in Milan, Poolhaus Art Space (Art of Fashion) and The Art Biennale di Venetia/Venice Design. With her site specific installation Ode to the Ocean: Water, Fishes, Fashion she addresses the importance of water and life below water (UN-SDGs) and the increasing responsibility of the fashion industry for global pollution and climate change. In 2021 she came back to Venice with a collage named ‘strictly genderfluid!’ The very same set of clothes worn by a man and a woman.
Monika lectures in Europe, Asia and the U.S., in person and virtually. She is a requested speaker on the subjects of climate change, sustainable practices in fashion, new definition of luxury, and role of art and design in times of crisis.
Just recently she has been selected for the sustainable design lab of Creative Ports, an international and interdisciplinary team of designers creating prototypes for Green, Sustainable Urban Settlements.