• The Hopenclass logo
  • logo

Upcycling and the Circular Economy: Ghanaian Creative Solutions to Global Textile Waste

Explore the environmental impact of fast fashion in Ghana and discover localised solutions to a global issue.

592 enrolled on this course

  • Duration

    2 weeks
  • Weekly study

    2 hours

Learn to create collective change with Ghanaian creatives at THE REVIVAL

Almost three-quarters of all textile waste is incinerated or sent to landfill.

On this two-week course, you’ll discover the global impact of fast fashion. You’ll explore how THE REVIVAL, a collective of Ghanaian creatives, are using artistic ingenuity to resolve textile waste challenges in their community and use this as inspiration to create your own localised solutions.

Investigate a global perspective of circular economy

In the UK alone, over a million tonnes of clothing ends up as waste.

You’ll examine what happens to waste textiles and how a circular economy can transform fashion waste by generating jobs, reducing inequality, and minimising the environmental impact of the fashion industry.

Using real-world case studies to contextualise your learning, you’ll be able to develop your own approach to conscious fashion and take responsibility for your fashion choices.

Explore upcycling culture and develop creative upcycling ideas

You’ll learn practical tips for upcycling, discovering how community level actions impact global fashion consumption.

Sharing your ideas, you’ll engage with other learners, developing upcycling ideas and projects with an ethical purpose.

Develop an understanding of sustainable fashion using ethnographic research

The work of THE REVIVAL is extensively featured in the Eileen Fisher Foundation & Pentatonic Textile Waste Crisis report (launching 6th July).

You’ll learn about their ethnographic, creative approach to creating change and its wider implications for fashion sustainability and global textile waste.

By the end of this course, you’ll understand circular economies as a response to global textile waste. You’ll be equipped with the knowledge to develop a community of changemakers and inspired to upcycle fashion into one of a kind treasures.

Download video: standard or HD


  • Week 1

    Who is a circular economy for?

    • Who is a circular economy for?

      Who is the circular economy for? Why should it matter to you?

    • Where do your clothes go? Introducing Ghana's textile waste problem

      By the end of this activity, you will be better able to define the cultural, economic, and environmental impacts of fast fashion and foreign "fashion aid/textile donations" in Ghana.

    • Recognize the relevance of the Ghanaian perspective in the debate on the circular economy

      By the end of this activity, you will be better able to recognize the relevance of the Ghanaian perspective in the debate on the circular economy.

    • Introduction to upcycling culture: local solutions for global problems

      By the end of this activity, you will be better able to explore how contemporary visual art and upcycling can create positive fashion action around the globe.

  • Week 2

    Upcycling for Transformation

    • Introducing upcycling culture with THE REVIVAL

      You’ve already learned some impressive ideas, skills and techniques for becoming a leading changemaker yourself. You are on your way to becoming an upcycling culture detective!

    • How to design fashion that can make a difference

      By the end of this activity, you will be better able to explore how upcycling textile waste can positively impact communities.

    • How to become a fashion researcher in your community

      By the end of this activity, you will be better able to evaluate the concept of ‘ethnography’ and story-based research powered by communities, for communities.

    • What does it mean to build a legacy?

      Debate how global collaboration is important for the circular economy debate and that we all have an important job to do to protect people and nature.

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...

  • Apply contemporary visual arts and upcycling culture as a tool to shape popular consciousness and foster positive fashion action around the globe
  • Describe the cultural, economic and environmental impacts of fast fashion and foreign "fashion aid/textile donations" in Ghana
  • Explore how THE REVIVAL built a global, textile waste enterprise through organic, digital collaboration and trust
  • Living-the-data: introduction to concept of ‘ethnography’ and story-based research powered by communities, for communities

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone with an interest in fashion and sustainability. It is particularly suited to creatives, professionals in the fashion industry, and environmental activists.

Who will you learn with?

Creative social entrepreneur tackling social and environmental issues through art, education and entrepreneurship in Ghana and across Africa. @therevival.earth

Sissi is the Founder of The Hopenclass with
a 10 year-experience learning, unlearning, researching, & teaching critical fashion studies, business and innovation around the world at post-graduate level.

Award-winning environmental activist, sustainability consultant, educator, artist and author since 2008. Certified in Circular Economies and Sustainable Business by Cambridge Business School.

Art and fashion enthusiast addressing global textile waste issues from a Ghanaian perspective through art, conscious design, education and entrepreneurship.

Digital anthropologist, user researcher, writer and creator. Founder of Flowers Consults and proud board member of THE REVIVAL.

Who developed the course?

The Hopenclass

The Hopenclass is a cultural and creative space to (un)learn. Our global think tank stands at the intersection of Culture and Academia. We explore interdisciplinary subjects from entertainment, to business, sustainability and art, and how these influence humanity. The Hopenclass values emotional intelligence and soft skills over IQ, and the real world agrees with us.

The Revival

THE REVIVAL is a community-led sustainable design non-profit educating, creating awareness, art, and jobs with upcycled global textile waste coming to Ghana.

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

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

Learner reviews

Learner reviews cannot be loaded due to your cookie settings. Please and refresh the page to view this content.

Do you know someone who'd love this course? Tell them about it...