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The Course

Responsible Fashion · Online

New fashion design strategies for a better world
Online Short courses
Short courses

This short course enables new and emerging fashion designers to understand how to address someimportant challenges facing the fashion Industry. Students are introduced to ecological theories and systems thinking, in order to apply these to the conceptualization of fashion, of fashion design and of fashion creation.


Participants do not only learn about new technologies that are used to improve sustainability, but also discover how some values of the past and the natural world can inform truly radical, forward-looking design strategies - including regenerative approaches, circular systems, slow fashion, indigenous knowledge and inclusive and collaborative design. Ultimately, participants map out and test a personal framework for their design practice - in order to develop contemporary, innovative and responsible designs that may help to shape a future where peoples and planet will truly thrive.


Programme Specification


Week 1

The first week introduces participants to the concept of responsible fashion and the issues that the fashion Industry faces. Participants learn about some principles of ecological design, their underpinning theories and how these might be related to new ways of thinking about fashion. Students explore the concept of biomimicry and bio design and how we can learn from nature’s systems. Students then begin to consider the practical applications of these ideas in relation to their own practice as designers and research an initial concept for a small, responsible fashion collection.

Week 2

Participants learn about design thinking, and how design can address real world challenges. There is a strong focus on systems thinking, including circular systems and radical transparency for fashion and textiles and how we may measure the impact of systems through life cycle assessment. Participantsreflect upon the implications of these for their own practice as designers and begin to map out a basic framework of considerations. Ultimately, participants develop their research for a small, responsible fashion collection.

Week 3

This week explores some inspiring practical solutions that have emerged in recent years, such as slow fashion, fiber shed and the re-appreciation of ancient wisdom and indigenous knowledge systems. Participants learn about new and ancient approaches to zero-waste strategies for fashion and reflect upon how these may inform their own practice and may develop initial ideas for a small, responsible fashion collection.

Week 4

During the fourth week, participants look at the role of fashion in challenging the status quo, in offering new perspectives on global issues and in bringing about positive change. Students examine case studies of some alternative fashion thinkers and their impact on communities.

Students are introduced to the concept of holistic design, where whole systems of fashion design, realization, communication, sales, use and end of life are considered and designed for. Participants thenconsider the applications of this to their own practice.

Week 5

This week introduces participants to some important theories and their applications for responsible fashion design, including aesthetic sustainability and emotional durability. Students conduct a personal values audit to inform their personal design framework, which becomes more tangible and detailed this week. Also, students consider ways in which this may be applied to their own practice.

Week 6

The last week summarises the key topics covered on the course and consider their implications for students’ practice as fashion designers. Participants further develop their personal design framework that can act as a model for future practice. Participants test and refine this model by applying it to their design ideas.


Understand the principles of ecological theories and how these relate to contemporary fashion design and creation;
Develop your knowledge of systems thinking and how this provides opportunities for disruptive fashion design strategies;
Explore alternative approaches fashion and textiles conceptualisation, learning from case studies of good practice;
Develop and refine a responsible, personal fashion design and fashion realisation strategy, based on your own ethics, values and creative vision in response to climate crisis and other global, social and environmental imperatives.
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