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How Sustainable Fashion Education Can Revolutionize the Industry

CEO Tinh Phung
Fashion students are the future designers and practitioners who will shape the fashion industry. The curriculums in fashion schools and the role of fashion educators are pivotal in transforming the industry for a more sustainable...

Fashion students are the future designers and practitioners who will shape the fashion industry. The curriculums in fashion schools and the role of fashion educators are pivotal in transforming the industry for a more sustainable and just future.

The Role of Fashion Schools in Systems Change

Fashion is not just about clothes; it's a lens to understand history, culture, and social and environmental issues. Fashion schools are places for experimentation, new ideas, and new practices. By championing sustainable fashion education, students can be taught to challenge the norms of fast fashion and embrace caring alternatives.

The Need for Sustainable Fashion Education

In the midst of global crises, fashion students struggle to find their role in a world already overwhelmed with abundance. Fashion educators have the responsibility to educate students on the impacts of fast fashion, encouraging them to use fashion as a medium for healing, caring, and creating avenues for expression. The values and moral principles they bring to their design practice shape the future of the industry.

Championing Inclusivity in Sustainable Fashion Education

The fashion industry has long been elitist, but remaking the system requires changemakers from all walks of life. Fashion education should be structured to welcome people from different backgrounds, extending inclusivity and access beyond the classroom. Redefining the fashion supply chain and making ethics and sustainability integral to the design process is essential.

6 Ways to Integrate Sustainable Fashion Education Into Curriculums

  1. Create personal connections: Encourage students to reflect on their own clothing choices, keeping a clothing diary or conducting a wardrobe analysis. This personal relationship with fashion helps spark curiosity and critical thinking.
  2. Uncover systemic linkages: Teach students about the interconnectedness of social, economic, environmental, and political systems in the fashion industry. Understanding these connections leads to intentional design practices.
  3. Design interactive and experimental lessons: Learning by doing is crucial in embedding sustainability into fashion curriculums. Encourage students to explore alternatives through upcycling and hands-on sustainability projects.
  4. Inspire non-traditional fashion careers: Broaden students' perspectives on fashion careers beyond traditional design and merchandising. Highlight repair, end-of-life practices, and alternative business models like made-to-order and fashion co-operatives.
  5. Share resources: Direct students to accessible resources that improve their sustainability literacy in fashion, even if sustainability is not yet fully integrated into the curriculum.
  6. Get school directors on board: Collaboration with school directors is vital for transforming the fashion education system. Engage in conversations with administrators to ensure sustainability is prioritized across all subjects and courses.

We Can All Be Sustainable Fashion Educators

Sustainable fashion education is not limited to formal institutions. Sharing information, having conversations, and running slow fashion initiatives in our communities are all forms of sustainable fashion education. To create a more inclusive and accessible fashion industry, unlearning and relearning should take place beyond fashion schools.

By revolutionizing fashion education, we empower the next generation of designers and practitioners to reshape the industry into a more sustainable and just one.

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