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Fashion in a Changing World

CSF and Kering have continued to explore their partnership through the creation and delivery of the world’s first open access digital course dedicated to luxury fashion and sustainability.

Entitled “Fashion & Sustainability: Understanding Luxury Fashion in a Changing World”, the course aims to strengthen sustainability education in the luxury and fashion realms in order to promote the wider adoption of more sustainable practices.

Co-developed by CSF research and education teams, and Kering sustainability experts, the course is built on six key modules including: Why Sustainability Matters in Fashion, Contextualising Sustainability for a Changing World, Sustainable Sourcing for Luxury Fashion, and Informed Decision-Making.

Through a mix of films, podcasts, activities and discussions, the course covers both the theoretical aspects of sustainability as well as real-life business cases that luxury fashion brands face when integrating sustainability.

The course runs over a six-week period and is free to access, with the specific aim of educating future talents, designers, luxury fashion professionals, and members of the public with an interest in fashion.

We have so far created a community of more than 17,000 global change makers from 151 countries through this course. Be a part of the change by signing up – the next course runs in February 2019 – you can sign up [here].


Rationale: Collaboration and Co-Creation

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This online course demonstrates our collaborative approach to sustainability the course brings together sustainability innovation for luxury fashion in the form of expertise from Kering, together with the world leading research and education capabilities and experience of CSF.

To create a community of fashion professionals and aspiring professionals that are aligning their values with their experiences to envision fashion for a changing world.


Project Team and Partners

This course is based on the research, teaching and practice of Professor Dilys Williams, and other members of the Centre for Sustainable Fashion team, Nina Stevenson: Education for Sustainability Manager and Gabrielle Miller: Education Research Assistant and Lecturer. Contributions in specialist areas from Centre for Sustainable Fashion team and external experts, and knowledge and expertise were drawn on from London College of Fashion’s E-Learning team.

CSF have been supported by leading experts in luxury fashion business from Kering: Marie-Claire Daveu: Chief Sustainability Officer and Head of International Institutional Affairs, Eva Von Alvensleben; Head of Sustainability Strategy, Géraldine Vallejo: Sustainability Programme Director, Géraldine Vallejo: Sustainability Programme Director, Dr. Helen Crowley: Head of Sustainable Sourcing, Kering, Cecilia Takayama, Director of the Materials Innovation Lab.

This course is free to access and is available for anyone in the world to access and enroll. #lcfxkeringlearn  #futurelearn


Process

Over the last ten years, CSF has been working across fashion business, education and research to establish a framework that proposes ways for fashion designers, communicators and strategists to navigate the complex landscape of fashion and sustainability. What has resulted is a framework that underpins the creation of this six week online course. Each week of the course is delivered from different members of CSF and Kering team who offers insight into their own area of specialism. The programme that looks at fashion as a system. It takes learners on a journey from exploring the wider context within which we all live and work, through to the issues involved in decisions relating to the making of a particular garment.

The course was developed using pedagogies of education for sustainability to ensure learners were not only learning about sustainability but developing skills and competencies for sustainable thinking and practice.

Through a values-led approach, it enables learners to develop an understanding of innovative sustainable fashion research and business practice and helps them to explore important to them and their approach to sustainability. This new online course involved co-creating a unique curriculum that was built on three years of insights gathered from an existing Masters course.


Outputs and Impacts

Our research and experience gained in creating the online course has opened up new knowledge in e-learning, as this was the first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) for University of the Arts London (UAL).

Online learning offers universities the opportunity to increase the reach of education, making learning from world leading institutions more accessible to the masses. It is important for CSF and Kering to open learning to those that can’t traditionally pay for it or attend more long-term courses, as reflected in UNESCO’s Sustainable Development Goal 4: Universal basic education. We understand the role and function of universities is evolving and we aspire to shape the future of education where learning is more inclusive. Online learning can address global barriers to inclusion and optimize access to knowledge and gain broader rich perspectives.

The course has been extremely successful in global reach and received very positive feedback from learners.

We are very honoured to have won the Green Gown Award 2018 for the ‘Next Generation Learning and Skills’.

Commenting on gaining two awards on the night, UAL Vice Chancellor Professor Nigel Carrington said: “Winning two Green Gown Awards recognises and celebrates the fantastic sustainability work taking place within the UAL community. Our Sustainability Manifesto guides our focus through a holistic set of themes, increasing engagement with sustainability and catalysing progress within and beyond our institution.”


Learnings, Findings and Reflections

This course has demonstrated leadership in massive open online learning for design & fashion; new knowledge in academia/industry co-creation; creating new platforms for networking and dialogue for lifelong learners.

We saw a great level of conversations between learners who began to interact and connect due to location and specific interests. New conversations have formed a newly established community which has continued beyond the course on a LinkedIn group we set up for course members.