Online ExpertTrack in Creative Arts & Media

Sustainable Fashion: Current Systems and the Future of Fashion

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

Created by

Parsons School of DesignParsons School of Design

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Unpack the current state of sustainable fashion and reimagine its future

From toxic chemical dyes and plastic pollution to unsafe working conditions and exploitation, our current fashion ecosystem harbours many unsustainable and damaging practices. In order to create a better future, we must explore and reimagine each stage of the industry.

On this ExpertTrack, you’ll delve into the current fashion system to understand the human and environmental issues within it – and what can be done on a personal and global level to shape a sustainable future.

Explore the concepts of sustainable fashion

To help determine what a sustainable future looks like, you’ll delve into the notion of sustainable fashion and what it really means.

You’ll also examine fashion systems on both a local and global scale before exploring emergent alternatives that are having a positive impact.

Discover how your personal actions can promote sustainable practices

Exploring your own relationship with fashion, you’ll identify the potential pitfalls for many wearers and how this contributes to an unsustainable industry.

You’ll learn to identify your values and ensure your behaviours align with them as you develop an action plan to drive sustainable change.

Discover human impacts on the environment

As you unpack the fashion industry, you’ll start to understand the complex web of systems within it and how each must be addressed in order to achieve sustainability.

With this knowledge, you’ll explore how we can move not only to a better model, but one that could help boost biodiversity, support communities, and clean up pollution.

Explore different fashion relationships, including circular fashion

On the final course, you’ll investigate the web of sustainable fashion and how to address the three pillars of the fashion system to create more balance.

As you delve deeper into the fashion industry and its relationships, you’ll explore different models such as linear and circular fashion, and active and passive actions to understand the best routes towards sustainability.

Learn from the experts at Parsons School of Design

Among the top three design schools worldwide, Parsons School of Design draws on a range of academic fields to bring you a specialist ExpertTrack to increase your knowledge of sustainable thinking in fashion.

Key skills you will learn

  • Value mapping
  • Worldmaking
  • Research
  • Grassroots activism
  • Sustainable thinking
  • Global thinking

Learning outcomes

By the end of the ExpertTrack, you’ll be able to...

  • Describe the concepts of sustainable fashion
  • Classify the types of fashion ecosystems
  • Explore actions that will influence sustainability and the future of fashion ecosystems
  • Evaluate the social, economic, and environmental elements of the fashion system.
  • Compare the existing fashion ecosystem with emergent alternatives
  • Interpret the relationship between the fashion wearer and the fashion industry
  • Discuss the context and connections of the various fashion ecosystems

Experience required

This is an introductory ExpertTrack and so there is no experience within the industry. required. All concepts will be defined and clearly explained, so no prior knowledge is required.

Getting started

This ExpertTrack will help broaden your knowledge of sustainable practices and how your personal actions impact the fashion industry.

If you’re interested in gaining an understanding of sustainable fashion and growing your confidence in communicating the issues of the fashion industry, this ExpertTrack will arm you with the skills and knowledge to clearly articulate your points.

ExpertTrack course overview

  • Course 1

    Discover what sustainable fashion really means and use this knowledge to reevaluate the future of the fashion industry.

    3 weeks

    4 hours per week

    • Week 1

      Understanding Our Thinking of Sustainable Fashion
      • Introduction
      • Assumptions and Preconceptions about Sustainable Fashion
      • Value Mapping
      • Exploring Values/Action Gaps
    • Week 2

      Intersections of Fashion Ecosystems
      • Welcome to Week 2
      • Diversity of Ecosystems- Personal, Local, and Global
      • Industry Movements Towards Change
      • Activating Change Within Ecosystems
      • Wrap Up
    • Week 3

      Reimagining Future Sustainable Fashion Ecosystems
      • Welcome to Week 3
      • Breaking Old Cycles: From Individual to Industry
      • Targeting New Mindsets and Behaviors
      • Case Studies in Sustainable Fashion
      • Course Conclusion
  • Course 2

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

    3 weeks

    4 hours per week

    • Week 1

      Personal and Local Fashion Ecosystems
      • Introduction
      • Personal Fashion Ecosystems
      • The Local to Global Fashion Ecosystems
      • How We Can Affect Systems
      • Wrap Up
    • Week 2

      The Existing Fashion System and Emergent Alternatives
      • Welcome to Week 2
      • Broader Issues of Sustainability within Existing Fashion System
      • Understanding Your Values around Sustainable Fashion
      • Emergent Alternatives
      • Wrap Up
    • Week 3

      The Existing Fashion System and Future Alternatives
      • Welcome to Week 3
      • Reimagining a Sustainable Fashion System
      • Emerging Technology in Fashion
      • Modern Alignments of Fashion, Nature, and Society
      • Wrap Up
  • Course 3

    Investigate sustainable business practices and relationships within the fashion industry to create a more balanced fashion system.

    3 weeks

    4 hours per week

    • Week 1

      Forging New Connections within the Fashion Ecosystems
      • Introduction
      • Sustainability Models
      • Inputs to the Fashion System
      • Wrap Up
    • Week 2

      Relationship Between the Wearer and the Fashion Industry
      • Welcome to Week 2
      • Defining the Relationship
      • Impacts of your relationship with the fashion industry
      • Future Relationship Scenarios
      • Wrap Up
    • Week 3

      Building Dynamic Relationships
      • Welcome to Week 3
      • Fashion Ecologies in Terms of Relationships
      • Active to Passive Relationships
      • Moving toward circular relationships
      • 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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World-class learning with 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

Meet your instructor

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

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