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Dominique  Drakeford

Dominique Drakeford

Environmental Justice Educator & Decolonizing Sustainability Activist; Global Sustainable Justice Vanguard

Dominique Drakeford

Environmental Justice Educator & Decolonizing Sustainability Activist; Global Sustainable Justice Vanguard


Dominique Drakeford is a mother, a non-traditional environmental justice educator, published writer, independent researcher and creative storyteller that has been a leader in reimagining sustainability for the past 15+ years. Her traditional education tenure includes a BA in Business Environmental Management and an MA from NYU in Sustainable Entrepreneurship & Fashion. As an eclectic impact influencer, she has spoken at over 50 domestic/international events and conferences and has collaborated with upward of 70 local and global brands to inspire others to unapologetically create new dimensions and definitions for sustainable living!

From 2016-2022, she was the chief curator of MelaninASS (Melanin And Sustainable Style) – the first internationally recognized online platform to disrupt the white washing of mainstream sustainability by amplifying the voices of Black & brown vanguards across sustainable fashion, beauty and wellness. In continuing to challenge sustainability discourse - Drakeford collaborated with one of the top ethical fashion podcast’s (Conscious Chatter) in 2020 to co-produce The ROOT: DECOLONIZING THE SUSTAINABLE FASHION AGENDA; a special edition 5-part podcast with 100% BIPOC guests across the fashion supply chain that has been featured in WWD, R29, Fashionista & Forbes. Additionally, Dominique is the co-founder of SUSTAINABLE BROOKLYN working to bridge the gap between the mainstream sustainability space and targeted communities.

Speaker Videos

Thinking about Marketing, Education, and Policy as a Marriage

The Value of Global Gathering

Thinking Holistically and Circular

Fashinnovation with Dominique Drakeford

The Root of Exploitation in American Land Use by Dominique Drakeford

We exist to disrupt the whitewashing of sustainability. - Dominique Drakeford & Whitney McGuire

Priya Cooks a Minimal-Waste Thanksgiving | NYT Cooking

Everlane Fashion Q&A | How Everlane Supports Sustainable Style

Speech Topics

Decolonizing Sustainable Fashion Systems

Dominique Drakeford was one of the first voices in the mainstream fashion space to unapologetically discuss the necessity for fashion systems to approach sustainability through the lens of decolonization. In her talk she introduces and unpacks her 3 main pillars of an un-sustainable system (policy, marketing and education) that’s rooted in anti-Black racism as the historical root of how the global fashion industry was created and has been maintained. Upon co-producing a special 6-part podcast series on Conscious Chatter called “The Root: Decolonizing the Sustainable Fashion Agenda” (featured in WWD, Fashionista & Forbes), she hones in on melanated voices across fashion supply chains. A future focused on people and planetary health requires a infrastructural rebuild and social paradigm shift that EQUITABLY centers Black and POC philosophy and practices while honing in on neo-colonial accountability.

Blackness & Sustainability

The Black diaspora has a complex relationship with the wilderness. As descendants of chattel slavery - nature was literally weaponized against many Afro-Indigenous communities. However, before colonial take over, throughout history and event today - Black communities find refuge, spirituality, inspiration, joy and healing in various outdoor environmental. Despite the propaganda of Black communities not being invested in sustainability and environmentalism - African Americans created a blueprint for environmental justice across cultures and have been active land stewards for generations despite systems of oppression.

Community Building & Sustainability

From Oakland, CA to Brooklyn, NY, Dominique has been a catalyst in building community both on the ground and digitally. She advocates for the importance of restoring the basis of community as a function of regenerative ecosystems. The climate crisis is a crisis of connection - and communities have the power to rebuild connecting and relationships amongst each other and with the environment.

Home-Birthing, Motherhood & Sustainability

Pregnancy-related mortality rates among Black women are over three times higher, compared to the rate for white women. There are stark racial disparities in maternal and infant health in the U.S. which is why this mother has decided to home-birth both of her children in her then Brooklyn apartment. New research shows the number of home births is up to the highest level in 30 years. As an advocate for alternative birthing systems, Dominique shares her low intervention and unmedicated birthing experiences (some of which was very challenging) alongside advocating against medical racism and amplifying the importance of maternity justice within sustainability discourse.

Urban Gardening & Sustainable Justice

Food insecurity, the pharmaceutical industrial complex and mental health are all intersecting outcomes of food apartheid ecosystems that make nutrient dense foods inaccessible to targeted Black and brown communities. As a urban gardener and food justice advocate - Dominique speaks to the importance of composting, growing your own herbs and vegetables at home and supporting more local farmers markets. Whether you have a backyard, front yard, rooftop, window seal, fire escape or neighborhood garden - she discusses the importance of meeting folks where they’re at to inspire growing food as a form of resistance, justice and well-being.