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Fashion SEEDS

People in class listening to a presentation
People in class listening to a presentation
Image courtesy of Centre for Sustainable Fashion, UAL

Fashion Societal, Economic and Environmental Design-led Sustainability

Funding Period: 1 September 2018 - 31 August 2021
Funded by: EU funded Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership

Project summary

Whilst fashion is a global industry offering livelihoods to 50+ million people, generating over EUR2.4 trillion, its practices are built on systems that cause severe environmental and social damage. The societal impact of the industry in contentious due to working practices and the wider impact of fashion production and consumption. The industry is oft-cited as being the second most environmentally polluting industry in the world.

Fashion SEEDS strategic partnership share an imperative commitment to prove design-led fashion sustainability education leveraging on their world leadership in fashion education. The project aims to develop a holistic framework for a design-led approach for fashion sustainability education, and a construct of related graduate skills & capabilities. A learning resource repository and sustainability teaching materials will enable educators to adapt and apply the framework to a range of Higher Education Institutions (HEI).

Project team

Aims and objectives

  • A Research Benchmarking Report: consortium HEIs integrate innovative best practices to design-led sustainability education
  • The Framework Document: increased quality of fashion BA/MA programmes at partner HEIs, better aligned with the sector skills needs and the employment prospects of the global fashion industry
  • A Learning Resource Repository: new open educational resources and learning materials for fashion-sustainability education
  • Sustainability Teaching Materials: more student-centred, participatory and hands-on training approaches and pedagogies to better support the development of fashion-led sustainability education to empower teachers with the confidence to teach fashion sustainability
  • Promoting internationalisation, recognition and mobility in line with Bologna principles
  • Provide professional development opportunities and tools for increased capacity and professionalism of academics, trainers, tutors and mentors relating to fashion sustainability

Intellectual Outputs and project events

Design-Led Education for Sustainability Conference, September 2020

Project partners tried collectively find an answer to the question as to ‘what type of designer is needed as Europe moves towards a climate-neutral circular economy?’ Exploring this question, we held a conference ‘Design-Led Education for Sustainability’ as part of the 15th Tallinn Design Festival at 17 September 2020. This recorded event was also a part of #ErasmusDays 2020.

Associate Professor Pirjo Kääriäinen from Aalto University (Finland), opened the conference by delivering a keynote speech focused on collaboration and interdisciplinary followed by UAL, POLIMI, DSKD and EKA, delivering project’s findings from our Benchmarking Report and the Framework for Design-led Sustainability Education. Sharing insights as to what sustainability teaching materials are available as part of the emerging learning resource repository, enabling educators to adapt and apply the framework in a range of Higher Education Institutions.

Short staff training, February 2020

In order to develop Framework Document for Design-led Sustainability Education (IO2), Learning Resources Repository (IO3) and Sustainability Teaching Material (IO4), the FashionSEEDS team invited 12 fashion tutors from the partner institutions to participate in a tutor training workshop as a collaborative participatory inquiry on 3-5 February 2020 in Kolding, Denmark.

Participants got to know each other, identified areas of mutual interest and need, and formed learning groups that will remain active beyond the workshop. Participants came away with an understanding of the key concepts, tools and resources relating to Fashion Design for Sustainability. Partners got valuable feedback to inform project development, and personal and collective reflections on how the teaching and learning of fashion design can change.

Benchmarking report, October 2019

The Benchmarking Report (BR) is a foundational intellectual output that aims at mapping existing practices in teaching and learning of fashion and sustainability in Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) and identify the interest or pursuit of a small sample of companies active in the Fashion Design for Sustainability (FDfS) field, in Europe and worldwide. It also identifies gaps and possible points of intervention that can enable subsequent outputs to be of greatest benefit in realising change towards sustainability within HEIs.


  • Politecnico di Milano, Italy
  • Design School Kolding, Denmark
  • Estonian Academy of Arts (EE), Estonia

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