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How to Build a Sustainable Fashion Business

Learn from leading entrepreneurs what it takes to create a successful fashion business, with a social or environmental ethos.

23,954 enrolled on this course

Copyright: Deborah Campbell Atelier
  • Duration

    5 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours

We’re the Ethical Fashion Forum, the global industry body for sustainable fashion. Since 2006, we’ve been helping fashion professionals achieve commercial success, while maximising benefits to communities and minimising negative environmental impacts.

Research shows that most CEOs believe that sustainability is important to their company’s reputation, and that companies with strong ethical commitments often outperform those who don’t. Consumers too increasingly care about the social and environmental impact of the products they choose to buy.

Learn how fashion can make a difference

In this five-week, free online course we explore what sustainability means in the context of running a fashion business. This course is for anyone who wants to start or grow a fashion business, in a sustainable and ethical way.

We’ll cover:

  • goal setting and business strategy;
  • an overview of the key sustainability issues;
  • brand strategy and product planning;
  • financing your work;
  • how to set up a supply chain;
  • how to find sustainably made fabrics and ethical manufacturers;
  • product development;
  • how to tell your sustainability story;
  • marketing strategy and promotion;
  • and how to find customers and sell products.

Gain insights from established entrepreneurs and experts

You’ll hear from established entrepreneurs and brands about how they’ve managed to build a successful business without compromising their values. You’ll also get practical tips from industry experts with many years’ experience turning ideas into products and taking them to market.

You will hear from:

  • Orsola de Castro, Co-founder of Fashion Revolution and From Somewhere
  • Ada Zanditon, Creative Director of Ada Zanditon Couture and Co-founder of Ada + Nik
  • Merryn Leslie, Owner of 69b boutique
  • Michelle Lowe-Holder, Owner of Michelle-Lowe Holder
  • Riz Smith, Creative Director of Riz Boardshorts
  • Anna Skodbo, Owner and Creative Director of Phannatiq
  • Russell Spiller, Director of Mantis World
  • Deborah Campbell, Owner of Deborah Campbell Atelier
  • Sarah Greenaway, Founder of Mosami
  • Clare Lissaman, Founder of Arthur & Henry and supply chain consultant

Build your business strategy with a purpose

Each week will contain a variety of learning activities that will help you understand how to start up and grow a fashion business, and how to do this with positive social and environmental impact.

  • Week 1 - Introduction to Sustainable Fashion
  • Week 2 - Building Your Brand
  • Week 3 - Getting Started: The Business of Sustainable Fashion
  • Week 4 - Building Sustainable Supply Chains
  • Week 5 - Sales and Marketing

This course should equip you with the confidence to get started in the area of sustainability and fashion. You’ll be encouraged to discuss your thoughts with other learners and educators, and to unleash some of your creative thinking.

Image credit: © Deborah Campbell Atelier

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.

Who is the course for?

There are no entry requirements beyond a desire to learn more. However if you already have some fashion and/or business studies or experience this course will enhance your knowledge with practical takeaways. This course is for anyone who wants to see fashion have a more positive impact on our world.

Who will you learn with?

Product & Impact Director at Mysource and the Ethical Fashion Forum. Specialist in labour standards in global supply chains & fair trade. Co-founder www.arthurandhenry.com.

Marketing Manager, Ethical Fashion Forum and Mysource - enabling fashion professionals to #DoFashionBetter

Sarah Ditty is the Head of Policy at Fashion Revolution. Sarah's work focuses on the regulation of social and environmental issues in the fashion industry.

Who developed the course?

Creative Skillset

Creative Skillset empowers the Creative Industries to develop skills and talent.

Ethical Fashion Forum

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join:

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