My research focuses on the global apparel supply chain and various strategic points that are re-defining the structure and function of the 21st century fashion industry. Areas of interest include socially responsible production and sourcing practices, brand management strategies, and disruptive technologies.

My perspective on sustainability in the apparel supply chain is shared below in a short video by the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future.


New research: Using Post-consumer Textile Waste as a Substitute for New Textiles. Funded by the Walmart Foundation’s U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund. This is a short video describing the project which was presented at the 2016 U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C.

Student researchers from various majors have been actively engaged with the post-consumer textile waste project over the last two years, and below is a recent video showcasing their contributions to this exciting project (Video by Helen X. Trejo)


Select Research Publications:

Lewis, T.L., & Loker, S. (2019). Industry leadership towards sustainable fashion through user consumer engagement. In Gwilt, A., Payne, A., & Ruthschilling, E.A. (Eds.) Global perspectives on sustainable fashion (pp.45). Bloomsbury Publishing.

Lewis, T.L., Zeng, X., Sanchez, V., & Fan, J. (2017). Environmental evaluation of fabric dyeing and water use for a global apparel manufacturer. AATCC Journal of Research, 4(1), 1-13. Link here

Lewis, T.L., Park, H., Netravali, A.N., & Trejo, H. X. (2016). Closing the loop: A scalable zero-waste model for apparel reuse and recycling. International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology, & Education. Link here

Lewis, T.L., & Pringle, A. (2015). Local Buttons: Social entrepreneurship and sustainability in Haiti [Special issue]. NKA: Journal of Contemporary African Art, 37, 114-125.

Lewis, T.L. (2015). Apparel disposal and reuse. In Blackburn, R. (Ed.),Sustainable apparel (pp.233-250). Cambridge, United Kingdom: Woodhead Publishing.

Lewis, T.L., & Loker, S. (2015). Adoption of emerging in-store technology interfaces for the apparel retail employee. In Pantano, E.(Ed.), Successful technological integration for competitive advantage in retail settings (pp.119-143). Hershey,PA: IGI Global.

Lewis, T.L., & Loker, S. (2014). Technology usage intent among apparel retail employees. International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management, 42(5), 422-440.

Lewis, T.L., & Haas, B. (2014). Managing an iconic old luxury brand in a new luxury economy: Hermès handbags in the U.S. market. In J. Hancock, V. Manlow, Mratovski, A. Peirson-Smith (Eds.), Global fashion brands: Style, luxury & history (pp.167-178). Bristol, United Kingdom: Intellect Ltd.


In 2013-2014, I collaborated with the fashion company, Local Buttons, to develop solutions for eliminating post-production textile waste resulting from the upcycling of secondhand clothing (also called “pepe” in Haiti). I was able to travel to Port-au-Prince on two occasions to visit their factory and gain a better understanding of the apparel sector and its contribution to the  Haitian economy. Funding was provided by the Einaudi Center for International Studies, the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency.


Port-au-Prince, Haiti (2014)


ABOVE: Visit to the INDEPCO production facility.

BELOW: In the middle of an interview with Hans Garoute, Director of L’Institut National Pour Le Développement et La Promotion de La Couture (the National Institute for the Development and Promotion of the Sewing Sector or INDEPCO). INDEPCO is a Haitian-based non-government organization with a mission to promote the national garment industry. INDEPCO also serves as a training center for workers seeking employment in the garment sector, including Caracol, the site of a newly developed industrial park supported by the Government of Haiti, the U.S. State Department, The Clinton Foundation and the Inter-American Development Bank. 



Below: research team meeting with the Local Buttons’ founders at Cornell

20131101_local_buttons_37 LOCAL BUTTON REFURBISHED LABEL

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