Kelly Drennan

Founding Executive Director

Kelly Drennan is a systems thinker, thought leader and disruptor devoted to making change within the fashion industry. In 2007 she founded Fashion Takes Action, out of her desire to create a better, more sustainable future for her two daughters. Her role at FTA is to identify the barriers to sustainability that exist for both industry and consumers, and do what she can to remove them.

Determined to making fashion circular, Kelly led Canada’s first textile recycling feasibility study, and will soon be leading a group of national stakeholders in a mechanical textile recycling pilot.

From 2018-2020 she convened the Ontario Textile Diversion Collaborative (OTDC) which was a group of more than 30 stakeholders (municipalities, charities, collectors, retailers, NGOs, policy makers and academics) committed to increasing textile diversion, through a collective impact framework. Kelly is a strategic partner in the Circular Economy Leadership Canada, an advisor to the Textile Lab for Circularity in Vancouver, and is an active member of the City of Toronto’s Circular Economy Working Group where she also brings her sustainability expertise to their Fashion Industry Advisory Panel. Kelly is also working with the Canadian Standards Association to develop a set of circular guidelines for the fashion industry.

Kelly created the annual World Ethical Apparel Roundtable, or WEAR conference in 2014, which for the time being, is now the WEAR webinar series. In these seven years, she has hosted hundreds of industry experts in sharing practical insights to thousands of global attendees. She is a sought-after speaker herself, having given hundreds of presentations to industry, academics and consumers, and most recently she delivered a TED talk as part of the Global TEDx Countdown event focused on climate action.

Kelly is passionate about collaboration and bringing together multiple perspectives in an effort to take action. In 2019 she co-created the Sustainable Fashion Toolkit in partnership with PwC Canada, and she oversees FTA’s youth education program My Clothes My World that she created in 2014 for students in grades 4-12 — delivered to more than 22,000 students in classrooms across Ontario and in Vancouver – and which is now being delivered virtually.

In 2017, Kelly was the recipient of the prestigious Clean 50 award given to Canada’s climate leaders, where she was recognized for Education & Thought Leadership, and was the first recipient of the award for the fashion industry.


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