AMFI alumnus Sophia Kiefer shares her experience at the IFFTI Conference in Seoul

May 23, 2024

My name is Sophia Kiefer and I graduated from AMFI in Fashion Management in July 2023. I am happy to share with you my enriching experience at the recent IFFTI conference in Seoul, where Prof. Marco Mossinkoff and I were invited to present our paper “From extractive to generative sourcing: making regenerative agriculture work”.

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The IFFTI (International Foundation of Fashion Technology Institutes) is a global network of Fashion and Textile Institutes representing a diverse range of Institutions from across the world offering an opportunity to share knowledge and intercultural understanding to inform, develop, shape, and direct the fashion and textile curricula and research agenda. Every year, IFFTI organizes an annual conference at one of its member institutes, which this year was hosted by EWHA Womans University in Seoul.

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The paper Marco Mossinkoff and I presented focuses on the transformative potential of regenerative agriculture within the textile industry. We explored how shifting from extractive practices to generative strategies can not only restore ecosystems but also create sustainable value chains that benefit producers, brands, and consumers alike.

Regenerative agriculture is increasingly seen as the way forward to safeguard soil fertility and with that economic, human, and natural sustainability. The fashion industry, being very much reliant on inputs from the agricultural sector, can play a pivotal role in promoting regenerative practices. In order to do so, we find that it needs to radically rethink its business model, or else it will not be able to reap all the possible benefits.

The article was an extension of my bachelor's thesis, where my passion for exploring regenerative agriculture in the fashion industry was applied. It was during my time at AMFI that I became deeply interested in sustainable fashion, driven by the urgent need to address soil fertility and the broader environmental impacts of the industry. This journey of exploration was not only academically enriching but also personally meaningful, as I aimed to make a significant contribution to the environmental cause.

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The conference atmosphere was exciting, with academicians, researchers, and professionals from 55 institutions across 28 countries. The conference was carefully planned and organised by the EWHA University with inspiring program throughout the week. The program included workshops, keynote speeches, the EWHA fashion film award ceremony, exhibitions and cultural experiences ranging from traditional food and music to a carefully organized tour of Seoul. During the tour, we visited among other things the Dior pop-up store in the emerging district of Seongsu-dong and a large fashion creative space subsidized by the South Korean government. These experiences were not only educational but also culturally enriching, offering a glimpse into Korea's vibrant culture and innovative fashion scene.


The week centred around 50 text-based presentations, providing an invaluable moment for sharing and discussing research findings. Our presentation was met with enthusiastic responses and fruitful discussions. The interaction with fellow researchers was invaluable, as it opened new avenues of thought. The gala dinner with traditional Korean music and cuisine was the perfect end to the conference, where we were also awarded a prize for the best presentation.


AMFI has been incredibly supportive throughout my academic journey and during my trip to the IFFTI conference. This opportunity not only enriched my academic experience but also underscored the institution's commitment to students’ academic development and success. I am particularly grateful to Marco Mossinkoff and Deniz Köksal for their extensive support and belief in my capabilities.

This journey was not just about presenting a paper but about growing as a researcher and individual. To my fellow students at AMFI, I hope my journey inspires you to pursue your passions with vigour and to embrace every opportunity for growth. Remember, every small step we take can lead to substantial changes, especially in fields as dynamic and impactful as fashion and sustainability.

With the best wishes,

Sophia Kiefer

AMFI Alumnus since July 2023