University of the Arts London
Professor Dilys Williams, Nina Stevenson, Julia Crew,
University of the Arts London (‘UAL’), is Europe’s largest specialist art and design university, with more than 3,000 academic, research and technical staff and around 19,000 students. UAL specialises entirely in design, the arts, fashion, architecture, communication and media.
Centre for Sustainable Fashion (‘CSF’), a UAL research centre based at London College of Fashion (‘LCF’), places holistic approaches to sustainability as the starting point; fashion as the means of application. CSF approaches this through academic research, education, and sharing through a two-way knowledge exchange with industry, government, NGOs and communities. CSF approaches education by examining agendas, contexts, issues and mindsets as applied to fashion, recognising sustainability as a holistic, interconnected concept.
FashionSEEDS has enabled CSF to co-create with LCF Digital Learning and tutors from the School of Design Technology where principles of Fashion Design for Sustainability are being applied through a range of courses and learning environments, both online and offline.
The contents of this website have been developed over three years of research, reflection and co-design by a group of fashion tutors from across four universities in Europe. The FashionSEEDS partners share an imperative commitment to transform design-led fashion sustainability education to restore nature and equality. FashionSEEDS, explores what a transformed education system in Fashion Design for Sustainability could look like.
FashionSEEDS (Fashion Societal, Economic & Environmental Design-led Sustainability) is a European collaborative network of fashion universities, using radical design-led approaches to envisage a fashion education system that nurtures graduates with the skills, capabilities, and knowledge of fashion design for sustainability. Whilst fashion is a global industry providing livelihoods to 50+ million people and generating over €2.4 trillion each year, its practices are built on systems that are causing severe environmental and social damage. The economic sustainability of the industry is also at risk, as fashion design practices do not take account of the diminishing resources upon which the industry relies. The fashion industry requires new models of education and environments for innovation, revised course contents, assessment methods and the means for tutors to develop new knowledge and practices.
Politecnico di Milano
Federica Vacca, Chiara Colombi, Erminia D'itria
Politecnico di Milano (POLIMI), based in Milan, is a scientific-technological university in the fields of Engineering, Architecture and Design, with a focus on quality and innovation in teaching and research. Since 2013, the design department has had more than 100 members (full, associate and assistant professors, postdoc researchers and research fellows), 5,000 students and 800 faculty and lecturers. The School is the largest international school for the training of product, communication, interior and fashion designers, both by number of students and teaching staff.
The bachelors course in Fashion Design offers an interdisciplinary approach to studying, providing cultural, scientific, methodological and technical-instrumental elements constituting the foundation of design activities in the fashion field. Referring to the culture of making in Italy and its aim of combining tradition with innovation, crafts with technologies, and heritage with progress, the Master of Science in Design for the Fashion System moves the attention from product design to product-service-system design and focuses on three aspects: (i) development of integrated design skills (product- communication-service) orientated to the “fashion system”; (ii) development of knowledge of the fashion system and relations between the various players; (iii) development of specific multidisciplinary knowledge concerning economic, humanistic, sociological and artistic disciplines.
Estonian Academy of the Arts
Reet Aus, Piret Puppart, Harri Moora, Julia Valle–Noronha
Estonian Academy of Arts (EKA), based in Tallinn, is the leading university in Estonia in the fields of fine arts, design, architecture, media, visual studies, art culture and conservation. With 200+ staff members, the Academy enrols around 1,200 students and contributes to 30 specialities.
The Department of Fashion Design provides practice-oriented education in fashion design and associated fields, such as innovation and new technologies along with mapping the needs of target groups at both a consumer and producer level. The department has also run numerous projects including Trash to Trend and the Sustainable Design Laboratory (SDL) in 2016 – a new hub of design education and research, linking the theoretical learning of product development and design with practice by bringing together researchers, students and practitioners. SDL also cooperates with closed organisations such as the Estonian Police, with the aim of analysing and rethinking their surplus and finding multiple ways to upcycle it without exiting the institutional realm.
EKA’s strategic partner regarding sustainability is the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) in Tallinn, which specialises in sustainable development and education methods, sustainable consumption and production-related approaches such as eco-innovation and sustainable design as well as teaching and capacity building in these areas .
Design School Kolding
Vibeke Riisberg, Karen Marie Hasling, Louise Ravnløkke, Ulla Ræbild
Design School Kolding (DSKD) has approximately 340 BA and MA students plus a shifting number of PhDs. In addition, the school offers a MA programme in design management in collaboration with the University of Southern Denmark. In 2020 DSKD obtained a positive institution accreditation. This means that the school officially meets the criteria for offering excellent and relevant university programmes in an environment that supports openness and dialogue.
The education is based on creative practices, innovative pedagogies and academic research in close collaboration with society. The BA program comprises Communication Design, Industrial Design, Fashion & Textile Design, and Accessory Design. The MA program is international and cross-disciplinary with three specialisations aligned with the school’s strategic focusses: Design for Planet (sustainability), Design for People (social design) and Design for Play.
Since 1998, DSKD has grown extensive experience with building sustainability into curriculum with the aim to bridge practice and theory from a holistic systemic perspective. A strategic focus on educating PhD students with fashion and textile background has built unique methods and knowledge which we disseminate in our teaching. With our students we explore new designer roles challenging society’s contemporary paradigm and exploring design for post growth within the planetary boundaries. In 2017 DSKD authored the open-source tool Sustainable Design Cards, and in 2020 Material Pathways, these toolkits support teaching and learning design for sustainable change.