Discover the complex systems within the fashion industry and explore emergent alternatives that can lead to a sustainable future.

clothes in varying shades of yellow on a rack
  • Duration

    3 weeks
  • Weekly study

    4 hours
  • 100% online

    How it works
  • Included in an ExpertTrack

    Course 2 of 3
  • Get full ExpertTrack access

    $39/monthFind out more

Explore types of ecosystems in fashion

From garment production through to sales, the fashion industry is made up of different ecosystems that are complex and multifaceted.

On this three-week course, you’ll explore these systems to gain a deeper understanding of the industry and the many areas that need to make sustainable changes.

With this knowledge, you’ll gain a holistic view of the fashion industry, as you analyse the social, economic, and environmental issues within it.

Understand human impacts on the environment

To gain a broad perspective of the environmental crisis, you’ll delve into the human impact on the biosphere before exploring how this relates to the fashion industry.

With this knowledge, you’ll explore emergent alternatives to current unsustainable practices to understand how we can move from our existing fashion ecosystem to a better model.

Discover sustainability in fashion and how to change the industry

To help promote change, you’ll focus on a radical rethinking of the fashion industry and what a sustainable future will look like in fashion.

You’ll explore possible alternatives that could boost biodiversity, support communities, and clean up pollution.

Gain specialist knowledge from Parsons School of Design

The course is led by experts from Parsons School of Design - giving you insights from those who truly know the fashion industry, its practices, and sustainable solutions.

By the end of the course, you’ll have the knowledge and skills to not only envision a sustainable future for fashion but to act upon it too.


  • Week 1

    Personal and Local Fashion Ecosystems

    • Introduction

      Welcome to week 1

    • Personal Fashion Ecosystems

      Personal Fashion Ecosystems

    • The Local to Global Fashion Ecosystems

      Moving from local to global Fashion Ecosystems

    • How We Can Affect Systems

      Look at how effective are human made systems and how we can come to terms with our impacts on the biosphere.

    • Wrap Up

      Nature’s Dynamic Equilibrium - starting to understand ecosystems

  • Week 2

    The Existing Fashion System and Emergent Alternatives

    • Welcome to Week 2

      Welcome to Week 2

    • Broader Issues of Sustainability within Existing Fashion System

      Broader Issues of Sustainability within Existing Fashion System

    • Understanding Your Values around Sustainable Fashion

      Sustainability as Non-Consumption

    • Emergent Alternatives

      Emergent Alternatives

    • Wrap Up

      Week 2 Wrap Up

  • Week 3

    The Existing Fashion System and Future Alternatives

    • Welcome to Week 3

      Welcome to Week 3

    • Reimagining a Sustainable Fashion System

      Reimagining a Sustainable Fashion System

    • Emerging Technology in Fashion

      Emerging Technology in Fashion

    • Modern Alignments of Fashion, Nature, and Society

      Modern Alignments of Fashion, Nature, and Society

    • Wrap Up

      Course conclusion

Prove you're job ready

Highlight the new, job-relevant skills you’ve gained and supplement existing qualifications with a hard-earned, industry-specific digital certificate – plus one for every course within your ExpertTrack.

  • Learn the latest in your chosen industry or subject.
  • Complete each course and pass assessments.
  • Receive certificates validated by the educating organisation.
  • Impress employers with learning outcomes you can add to your CV.
  • Make your career dreams a reality.

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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...

  • Evaluate the social, economic, and environmental elements of the fashion system.
  • Compare the existing fashion ecosystem with emergent alternatives.
  • Explore possible alternatives for fashion to boost biodiversity, build soil, support communities, and clean up existing pollution.
  • Identify your values around sustainable fashion.

Who is the course for?

This course is for anyone interested in fashion and moving toward a more sustainable model.

It will help you discover the social, environmental, and economic impacts of the fashion industry.

Who will you learn with?

I am a sustainable systems educator, researcher, and designer. I work on developing new mindsets, models, and systems for alternative ecologies of fashion practice for social and environmental justice

Who developed the course?

Parsons School of Design

For more than a century, Parsons School of Design has been inspired by the transformative potential of design. Today, the school’s groundbreaking academic programs carry forward that mission, making Parsons the number one design school in the U.S. and among the top three globally. At the heart of a comprehensive university — The New School — Parsons draws on a range of academic fields to deliver a uniquely interdisciplinary education enriched by the resources of its home in New York City

About this ExpertTrack

Address the human, environmental, and economic issues of the fashion industry and discover best practices for sustainable change.

Start learning today - free 2-day trial

After your free trial you can:

  • Pay $39 per month to keep learning online
  • Have complete control over your subscription; you can cancel any time
  • Work at your own pace and set your own deadlines at every stage
  • Only pay while you’re learning; the subscription will cancel automatically when you finish
  • Complete online assessments to test your knowledge and prove your skills
  • Earn digital course certificates and a final award that you can share online, with potential employers, and your professional network
  • Keep access to the content of courses you complete even after your subscription ends

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
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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