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Fashion Values: Economy

Explore the global fashion economy and sustainability, creating a plan for fashion that nurtures wellbeing for people and nature.

2,425 enrolled on this course

A dozen or so grey fashionable robes with hoods and diagrams of hearts on them, hanging in a white empty room.

Fashion Values: Economy

2,425 enrolled on this course

  • 4 weeks

  • 3 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Introductory level

Find out more about how to join this course

Explore the relationship between economics, fashion, people, and nature

Fashion is an integral part of the global economy, yet we know that dominant economic practices in fashion are contributing to the exploitation and degradation of people and nature, perpetuating inequality and contributing to the climate emergency.

On this four-week course, you’ll explore fashion and economy from a design perspective. You’ll look at fashion in relation to concepts of value, use, access, exchange, regulation, work, and making. You’ll learn from alternative economic models and fashion practices that value more than financial gain.

Use design thinking to radically rethink fashion economies

You’ll respond to a design thinking challenge, developing a fashion economic practice that nurtures wellbeing for people and nature. You’ll be guided through the steps to empathise with people and nature, and will ideate, prototype, and communicate your own concept for fashion that nurtures wellbeing for all. This process will help you develop critical skills to creatively respond to the challenges of our time.

Respond to sustainability challenges with London College of Fashion

This course is led by fashion and sustainability experts from Centre for Sustainable Fashion and shares knowledge from world-leading fashion practitioners and researchers.

With over 80,000 learners on our FutureLearn courses to date, you’ll gain valuable insights from fellow fashion and sustainability changemakers from around the world.

Skip to 0 minutes and 3 seconds Welcome to Fashion Values A new portfolio of courses brought to you by Centre for Sustainable Fashion. There’s never been a more important role for fashion than in our current times. It can be both joyful as an expression of who we are a contributor to livelihoods, cultures, societies and economies. It is also a destroyer of dignity lives cultures and the only true economy, nature’s wealth. Fashion is many different activities and businesses large and small doing different things so everyone who engages with this is an active part of the fashion system.

Skip to 0 minutes and 39 seconds Anyone who engages can make changes to that system and the more that we recognize and elevate our values in action both professionally and personally and the more that we call out destructive practices the closer that we can get to a world that we can really all thrive in. Time is short. The evidence is starkly apparent the climate emergency is recognized by governments and organizations around the world. Social injustice is also starkly apparent. Racism, gender and other social inequalities must be stopped. We need to develop skills and capabilities for deep change. This is what these courses seek to develop with you

Skip to 1 minute and 26 seconds They start with a provocation, a new lens through which you can re-imagine what a thriving system might look like. We are seeking to give you a thirst for knowledge about fashion in the context of our times. Not to give you answers to every question that you have. We are very keen to share with you what we know what we’ve learned but there’s no crystal ball for any of us to look into. It’s our ambition to give you a sense both of what is but also a sense of what isn’t yet, but could be.


  • Week 1

    Fashion and Economy

    • Introductions

      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 four weeks.

    • Fashion and Economy

      In this part we will look into the intricacies of fashion's connection to an economy.

    • Understanding Economic Components and Systems

      In this part we will look at some economic components and systems.

    • Design Thinking Challenge

      In this section we introduce you to the design thinking challenge and a provocation to develop your design thinking skills.

    • Summing Up and Looking to Next Week

      Reflect on what you have learned so far in Fashion Values: Economy.

  • Week 2

    Fashion's Systems 1: Value, Use, Access, Exchange and Regulation

    • Introductions

      This week we will start to focus on some of the systems found in an economy that were introduced in week 1.

    • Value

      The first system we will consider is Value - what we place importance on in an economy.

    • Use

      The second system we will turn our attention to is Use.

    • Access

      The third system we will delve into is Access.

    • Exchange

      The fourth system this week is Exchange.

    • Regulation

      The final system this week is Regulation.

    • Summing Up and Looking to Next Week

      Thank you for your participation in week 2 of Fashion Values: Economy.

  • Week 3

    Fashion's Systems 2: Work, Making, and business models

    • Introductions

      This week we will explore the two remaining systems - Work and Making.

    • Work

      Work is about how human labour is used to support the functioning of society on individual, local, national and global scales.

    • Making

      Making is about how we grow, manufacture, convert or otherwise create things we need or want.

    • Business models for sustainable prosperity

      We've looked at all seven systems that make up an economy. Let's now turn our attention to fashion business and how businesses are challenging conventional economic ideas.

    • Design Thinking Challenge: 'Define'

      This stage is where we can analyse our data and observations so far in order to better define and personalise the task you wish to explore over the remainder of this course.

    • Design Thinking Challenge: 'Ideate'

      This stage involves you generating ideas to respond to your problem statement.

    • Summing Up and Looking to Next Week

      Thank you for your participation in week 3 of Fashion Values: Economy.

  • Week 4

    How Will Fashion Economies Nurture Wellbeing for People and Nature?

    • Introductions

      Congratulations! You have made it to the final week of Fashion Values: Economy.

    • Design Thinking Challenge: 'Prototype'

      This stage is all about prototyping, evaluating, refining and communicating. These are important practices that we can develop to enable the change that we want to see in and through fashion.

    • End of Course

      Congratulations! You have made it to the end of Fashion Values: Economy.

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...

  • Explore the relationship between economics, fashion, people and nature.
  • Understand that economies are made up of different components and systems.
  • Think creatively about how economies work and consider alternative approaches in and through fashion that nurture wellbeing for people and nature.
  • Use design thinking to develop, prototype, evaluate and communicate a fashion economic practice that nurtures wellbeing for people and nature.

Who is the course for?

This course will empower learners with the tools to address challenges facing fashion today.

This includes students, sustainability professionals, fashion and business professionals, educators, designers, strategists, and communicators.

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

Education Project Coordinator 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.

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Buy this course

$69/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 20 Aug 2024

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

Learning on FutureLearn

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  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
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  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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