Allison Leah

Hi, there! I’m Allison, the creator of Allisonland, where I keep my inspirations. I like to explore Earth, and look for colorful things. Our environment inspires me most of all. Flowers and plants have taught me to innovate new ways for consumer products to help us in our daily lives. As a Thunderbird alumna, I now research how nature may help us reach a brighter future, especially for the global apparel industry. As our climate changes, so should our clothing.

In 2016, I founded a research start-up called Aureum. Aureum focuses on the relationship between urban populations and the environment. Our longterm goals are to protect consumers from Earth’s changing climates, and innovate personal protective equipment (PPE) for life in space.

Globe Trotter

As a recent graduate of the Thunderbird School of Global Management, my expertise lies in global growth strategies and consumer engagement. I began consulting on international start ups in 2012, a passion which has led me across 4 continents. I often say, when I wake up in the morning, I wake up on Earth. I live and breathe to travel, where I am always discovering nature’s designs. In fact, after traveling to over 30 countries, I have captured over 15,000 photos of natural design, which I use for inspiration in product design. I believe consumer products connected by nature may help us get to other planets and even save our own. During my travels, I have seen some terrible environmental hazards, which millions of humans live with every day. This has inspired me to create a better world. While I do believe we will soon venture off this planet, and on to the next, why not try to evolve with the planet we are on?

“Social impact entrepreneurship and sustainability courses gave me a toolkit for

preserving our global heritage for life beyond Earth.”

Whenever I am on the road, I love to interact with other cultures, where I can brainstorm innovative solutions to social challenges. For example, in Eastern Ghana I sat down with entrepreneurs to brainstorm new ways to attract tourism. As a social contact theorist, I am constantly drawn to new lands. I believe that more international collaboration will lead us to solve bigger problems for our changing environment. Otto Scharmer, MIT’s renowned economics professor, teaches how mindfulness in social systems may result in bridging our ecological, social, and spiritual divides.

Prior to Thunderbird, I studied at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. However, I found the global apparel industry alarming. The industry damages indigenous cultures and the environment at an exhaustive rate. So instead, I began to research solutions for handcraft preservation. I researched ethical sourcing and sustainable design to protect indigenous cultures. I had the opportunity to build a fashion start-up for heritage preservation in rural Mexico. During Spring of 2014, I adventured to Paris, to study product innovation, trend forecasting, and consultant merchandising. I also learned about textile standards and sustainable manufacturing techniques. Fashion sustainability initiatives intrigued me, which spurred me on to receive a certificate in Sustainable Branding from London’s Ethical Fashion Forum. These studies, combined with my passion for globalism, have trained me not to look at what is here in the present, but what can be possible, in the future.

Ecology + Apparel

Above all, I believe in using design thinking for ecological apparel production. I am the founder of @Aureum_Org, a research start-up for health management using fabric science and the internet of things (IoT). Our research focuses on how the Earth may provide us with new innovations for products we already use. While I do pay attention to what consumers need, I focus on why they need it, and then research how our environment may provide it in a better way. Recently, I have been intrigued with fashion’s growing interest in mycelium, as a fabric alternative. I have been greatly inspired by mycologist and bioremediation advocate, Paul Stamets. As I continue to research new fabric innovations, I am always looking for collaborators!

“Mycelium holds enormous potential as a fungal fabric to displace fabrics currently exacting a cost to the ecosystem, and is a painless alternative to animal based products. We need inventive minds like Allison to help lay the foundation for new myco-innovations. I am no longer surprised by the many new applications of mycelium!” 

-Paul Stamets-

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