Developing a Responsible Culture: Aligning Fashion and Textiles Education with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals06/2020
It is a pivotal time for fashion and textiles education. Concerns about ethical production and climate change, with the effect the industry has on the planet, is receiving intense media coverage. There are environmental consequences at each stage of a garment’s life cycle. These, combined with the rise of fast fashion over recent years, should make every citizen examine what positive changes they can make to reduce their environmental impact.
De Montfort University (DMU) is in the top 50 world universities for impact as assessed by the UN sustainable development goals (SDG). This paper presents initiatives taken by the School of Fashion and Textiles to consider how responsible design has been integrated into teaching. A baseline review of the current curricula compared to the 17 UN SDGs was undertaken. A funded innovation and sustainability project highlighted the different approaches students had taken to sustainable design. Joint initiatives with international partners consider the global perspective. This work continues with a review of key environmental activists and considers how the curriculum can be further co-created with students to address industry needs. Student engagement will be evaluated by reviewing the influence of sustainable development within final year major project proposals.