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Designing the Label Before the Clothes

1-3 hours
1-2 days

Discussion / Group



Most garments come with a label that describes for example, the kinds of fibres it consists of, where it has been produced, and how to care for it. In terms of the supply chain and potential future use of the garment, the label provides only a small aspect of the wider picture. There is further information that could help users when considering the garments before and during their purchase.

This activity asks students to reflect on and consider, what kinds of information they would include on a garment label to emphasise the values they would like to transfer and communicate in a garment. This can range from information on issues relating to material sourcing such as working conditions, transparency and traceability, but also for example the sensorial perception of the fabrics used.

How might labels communicate the value put into the garment?

Links to Pillar(s)

Cultural - Economic - Environmental - Social



Ask students to design a garment label with information, aesthetics, and stories that they would be proud of adding to their designs. Encourage students to make an optimistic and visionary label that expresses their sustainable values.

  • Find examples of labels that work good/bad. What kinds of information and means do they convey? 

  • Generate ideas, develop, test and create the concept, information and visual appearance of your label


Have students present their garment labels and communicate the underlying value systems to each other. 

  • The garment labels should be uploaded, collated and shared among the students. 


The label is now the students’ manifesto? for creating a garment. 

  • How would a garment be designed, produced and sold in order to live up to the label? Students make a visualisation of the garment design describing the details of their considerations behind it.

This Activity Links To
  • Collection of garment labels.

  • The creation of visualisations for garments design and concept.

Suggested Readings

Koszewzka, M. 2011. “Social and eco-labelling of textile & clothing goods as means of communication and product differentiation”. Fibres & Textiles in Eastern Europe, 19(4), pp. 20–26

Parker, L. & Dickson, M.A. 2009. “Sustainable Fashion. A Handbook for Educators”. Labour Behind the Label.

Clancy, G., Fröling, M. & Peters, G. 2015. “Ecolabels as drivers of clothing design”. Journal of Cleaner Production 99, pp. 345–53.

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