How to make a difference in fashion?

FullSizeRender_1On Monday I delivered a workshop for 3rd year fashion students at Falmouth University.

The objective was to co-create a view on how fashion – a product, business or idea – could make the world better.

We had a brilliant time!

I’ve embedded the presentation and, below this post, links to some of the ideas and resources that were shared with me before the lecture. Thank you to those of you who sent in ideas.  

The students embraced these concepts and understood that:

  • The existing system isn’t working – from environmental damage, to work-force exploitation, limiting/damaging social values, unsustainable business revenues and higher operating costs
  • Companies and individuals are doing great things to change the fashion system – from Vivienne Westwood, to Patagonia, Rapanui, Elvis and Kresse and People Tree
  • Fashion can cause less harm but more importantly fashion can be a force for good by acting in a restorative manner . This can mean improving the environment (e.g. pollution absorbing fabrics), creating better societies (e.g. employing disabled people), removing plastic from the sea (e.g. Econyl), teaching about and preserving different cultures, etc.
  • We can apply different aspects of sustainability to businesses to improve the way they operate – using the Business Model Canvas and a Closed-loop Value Chain
  • We are all learning and things change, but some things we can do are more impactful than others – changing mindsets is more powerful than implementing measurement systems (ref. Donella Meadows)

Students reflected after the workshop on the need for them to be more conscious consumers, to design sustainability into their end of year collections and to challenge the companies they work for on these issues.

One participant reflected “I always thought sustainable products were really ugly until I saw the ones you brought in…”!

Do you have any thoughts or resources on sustainable fashion you’d like to share?  

Could we organise a sustainable fashion week? 


Resources (thanks all)


2 responses to “How to make a difference in fashion?

  1. Hi great to see you were discussing co-cration with students and That They came up with sustainable fashion. Im developing à platform to co create eco fashion consumers like. As I think we cannot address THE negative sides of fashion by ourselfs (consumer, brand, producer) but only when we work at iT together (consumer, brand producer) and with attractive design being THE core of iT. At THE moment im looking for software possibilities like Maybe Anyone knows something?

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