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Sustainable Business Transitions


Sustainable Business Transitions focuses on a more radical, conceptual and visionary approach towards the fashion industry, where the students are encouraged to seek and advocate for novel approaches and disruptive technologies in sustainable transitions. The main focus is to facilitate systemic changes in the field by promoting design activism and critically addressing issues close to fashion as a business venture. Students do so from an informed design process perspective, where initial research and engagement with stakeholders inform the scope of their final outputs.

The aim is to challenge the dominant economic model in fashion and imagine new ones that draw a radical, restorative, regenerative approach to business in driving companies and/or start-ups in reshaping processes, products and services within the fashion discipline. Blue and green economy examples are discussed from a critical point of view. This course unit level is an opportunity to build on multidisciplinary teams and/or place-based learning environments. By partnering with companies, organisations, public entities and/or policy makers, students are able to map out new possible roles fashion, textiles and accessories designers can take under sustainable and regenerative innovations, encouraging them to propose design-driven business interventions that foster such a transition or delivering actionable research outputs.

  • Blue economy

  • Corporate transition

  • Green economy

  • Regenerative sustainability

  • Upcycling within organisations

Student’s Pre-Requisite Skills and Knowledge

Sustainable business models; critical thinking; systemic change; production process

Learning Goals


Circular design on an advanced level, upcycling approaches, waste disposal management.


Envisioning, future scenarios, collaboration, interdisciplinary learning.

Pedagogical Approaches

Creative and critical thinking; place-based learning; systemic thinking

Key Resources
  • Gwilt, A., Payne, A., Rüthschilling, E. (eds): Global Perspectives on Sustainable Fashion. Bloomsbury 2019.

  • Mestre, Anna, and Tim Cooper. “Circular Product Design. A Multiple Loops Life Cycle Design Approach for the Circular Economy.”  The Design Journal 20, no. sup1 (July 28, 2017): S1620–35. 

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