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Fashion and Sustainability: Understanding Luxury Fashion in a Changing World

Discover the issues, agendas, and contexts surrounding fashion and sustainability, and develop strategies to improve the industry.

88,513 enrolled on this course

A diverse group of hands holding each other over a feathered gown. The photograph is from the University of the Arts, London, 2018.

Fashion and Sustainability: Understanding Luxury Fashion in a Changing World

88,513 enrolled on this course

  • 6 weeks

  • 3 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Intermediate level

Find out more about how to join this course

Explore the innovative approaches making fashion more sustainable

Fashion is a global industry worth $2.4 trillion, employing around 50 million people, and is said to be one of the world’s most polluting industries.

On this six-week course from the London College of Fashion and supported by luxury fashion group Kering, you’ll delve into sustainable fashion design, research, and business practice.

Once you’ve successfully completed this course, you’ll be able to better approach sustainability in your own work and become an innovative changemaker for the fashion industry.

Discover the social and environmental considerations in fashion supply chains

The fashion and textile industry needs to reduce its damaging environmental and social impacts across the supply chain.

This course will guide you through the concept of sustainable material sourcing, and look at the choices that can be made early in the design process to improve sustainability.

Delve into social sustainability and ethics within the fashion industry

There is a critical need for businesses to understand the environmental and social impacts of the design decisions they make.

You’ll explore the concepts of Planetary Boundaries and Human Equality in the context of the fashion industry and how social sustainability and ethics are currently treated in luxury fashion businesses.

Develop your skills through fashion design tasks

You’ll start by creating a draft manifesto to communicate what is important to you and how you want to approach sustainability in your work. This will guide your decisions throughout the tasks in this course, and beyond.

From there, you’ll embark on a practical design challenge based on one of four sustainability agendas. This will allow you to pull together your tools, techniques, and creativity to approach fashion design from a new, sustainable perspective.


  • Week 1

    Why Sustainability in Fashion?

    • Welcome to the course

      Welcome to the course! This set of steps will give you an idea of how the course works and what you will cover over the next six weeks.

    • Sustainability and luxury fashion

      In this first week you’ll be hearing from Professor Dilys Williams, Director of Centre for Sustainable Fashion, and Marie-Claire Daveu, Chief Sustainability Officer at Kering.

    • What are the agendas that affect sustainability?

      This step will explore Social, Economic, Ecological and Cultural agendas and their context for fashion and sustainability.

  • Week 2

    Contextualizing Sustainability for a Changing World

    • Sustainability issues in relation to luxury fashion

      This week introduces you to the issues and context of fashion and sustainability in a changing world.

    • Introduction to Planetary Boundaries and Human Equality

      In this step we introduce you to Planetary Boundaries and Human Equality as contexts for fashion and sustainability. We begin with examining the world in which we live in order to understand where we are best placed to contribute.

    • Demonstrating your values through creating a draft manifesto

      Over the next steps we would like you to take what you learned about sustainability and focus on what is most relevant and applicable to your own work and principles. We will guide you through steps to create a draft manifesto.

  • Week 3

    Material Dimensions: Sourcing for luxury fashion

    • The role of materials in luxury fashion and sustainability

      This set of steps introduces you to social and environmental considerations within fashion supply chains, and helps you to understand how to make better informed materials related decisions.

    • The challenges of sustainable sourcing

      Material specialists explore the environmental, social, economic, aesthetic and logistical challenges that sourcing materials exposes.

    • The sourcing debate

      The debate! Exploring how differing priorities need to be negotiated and resolved in the developing of sustainable luxury products.

  • Week 4

    Informed Decision Making: tools and methods

    • The business of fashion and sustainability: tools for measuring environmental profit and loss in luxury fashion

      Welcome to week 4! This week we introduce you innovative tools for environmental and social measurement, and its impacts on luxury fashion.

    • Shifts in scale and habit

      In this step we would like you to think about the scale and volume of fashion consumption, changes in fashion habits, and how we might reimagine ways in which fashion success might shift from quantity sold to value gained.

    • Social sustainability and ethics in luxury fashion business

      This step introduces the imperative for social responsibility and explores ways in which this can be considered in luxury fashion business practice.

  • Week 5

    Creative Possibilities

    • Empowering imagination: innovative approaches

      Welcome to week 5! This week we will be using design for sustainability methods and processes to generate and explore ideas. We’ll be discussing what is good design, and how to approach fashion design for sustainability.

    • Design methods

      In this step we introduce you to design methods that offer structured techniques that help us design solutions to real world problems.

    • Design challenge!

      Now it’s your turn! In this step we have set a design challenge around the agendas and issues. You will follow the same steps that we have just guided you through to work through a design challenge.

  • Week 6

    Creative Realisation

    • Be a changemaker

      You have reached the final week of the course - congratulations! In this final week we invite you to be a changemaker, encouraging you to revisit, reflect, refine and share your manifesto for fashion and sustainability.

    • Creative narratives

      This step offers tips on how to creatively communicate your manifesto and tell your story.

    • Looking ahead

      Congratulations, conclusions and reflections – together we look ahead to our future where we can make positive impacts and effect meaningful change across fashion.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Discuss the complex nature of sustainability through the introduction to materials sourcing for luxury fashion; informed decision making; and creative realisation of ideas.
  • Apply understanding of fashion & sustainability knowledge and reflection to your practice through manifesto creation and design thinking processes.
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of key sustainability agendas, issues and contexts associated with luxury fashion design, production and consumption.
  • Debate current and emerging perspectives, design approaches and business strategies relevant to the contexts of planetary boundaries and human equality.
  • Develop innovative approaches to fashion that can contribute to ecological resilience and thriving societies.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone working in fashion and fashion education. It may also be useful for anyone interested in sustainability in the fashion industry.

Who will you learn with?

Professor Dilys Williams FRSA is Director of Centre for Sustainable Fashion, a University of the Arts Research Centre based at London College of Fashion.

Head of Education (Sustainability) at Centre for Sustainable Fashion, London College of Fashion

Who developed the course?

London College of Fashion

London College of Fashion, UAL is a world leader in fashion design, media and business education. We have been nurturing creative talent for over a century, offering courses in all things fashion.


Kering sees sustainability as a necessity, for sustainability and luxury are one and the same.

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Buy this course

$134/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Subscribe & save

$349.99 for one year

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 4 Aug 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

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  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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