Meet Jo Gopinath,
My name is Jo, which is short for Jyotsna, which means “beams of the full moon”
in Sanskrit (thank you parents, for giving me both a tough name and a cute nickname).
Speaking of my wonderful parents, they are Indian immigrants who met in grad school at
Michigan State (Go Green!!! Ironically enough, this is also the topic of this piece). I have a
younger sister, which has made me into a very selfless and caring person. My parents have
encouraged me to pursue my dreams for as long as I can remember. While most 7 year old girls
want to be princesses, I wanted to be an entemologist ( a “bug-ologist”, as I called it back then),
and would go outside with my sister and catch bugs with the equipment my parents bought me.
After that I wanted to be a paleontologist, and then an environmental scientist. Finally, at 20, I
am studying Bioengineering and Chemistry at Santa Clara University.
But my second passion is ecofashion design. Most people are taken aback when I tell them that
I’m a designer and an engineering student, and I’m not surprised. Most people find fashion and
science on two parallel roads, with no possibility of intersection. I used to be one of those
people, and thought that my fashion line, GreenWithEnvy fashion, was just a hobby that had no
connection to my passion for science. And then I arrived here in Cochabamba, where I am
working for AHA Bolivia, a fair trade manufacturer of recycled handicrafts and accessories. I
have learned how ecofashionworks on a global scale, and that sustainably sourced fashion is
not a niche market, but a necessity for the fashion industry. In other words, science and reason
is EXACTLY what the fashion industry needs because the path it is headed down is a
So I invite you to come join me on my journey and let’s make a difference together.