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How a short course helped put sustainability at the forefront of a new fashion business


Written by
Yusuf Tamanna
Published date
13 January 2021

Prior to taking part in the Introduction to Sustainable Fashion for Professionals and Brands Online Short Course, Mariya Bondareva obtained degrees in both International Business and PR. She is currently working as a Project Manager at The Kohen and Rapoport Group, a law company based in the UK.

But like many people who found themselves with an abundance of free time on their hands during the 2020 lockdown, Mariya travelled back to her native Ukraine and decided to use this time to better her skills. In Mariya’s case she wanted to learn more about what role sustainability plays within the realm of fashion and beyond.

“Just before the lockdown, I went for a weekend course focused to sustainable fashion and became more aware of the global sustainability agenda in the fashion world.” Mariya tells me.

Despite her educational and professional background being in business and law, Mariya says her interest in the growing facets of fashion has been a life-long affair. She tells me she even used to write for esteemed titles Paris Social Diary and Culture Trip as well as dabbling in a bit in styling, albeit more as a hobby.

“I have always enjoyed fashion and often dreamed of launching my own sustainable and cruelty-free brand, and finally I found a way to develop it between my professional and social life. I wanted to widen my knowledge on the most current sustainability issues and understand more about fashion’s response to the growing concerns around the environment.”

"After I finished the course, I started paying more attention to ecological materials and how to use them. I travelled back to Ukraine and was inspired to launch my own small business"

— Mariya Bondareva

While on the course, Mariya says she really appreciated meeting new people with a common interest during circumstances that meant people couldn’t easily socialise. She also enjoyed hearing about their own stories and thoughts on sustainability.

A mock advert feating Mariya

Mariya says she was so invigorated by what she learned that she started looking into how she can become part of the sustainability conversation while tying in her passion for fashion.

“After I finished the course, I started paying more attention to ecological materials and how to use them. I travelled back to Ukraine and was inspired to launch my own small business - a brand of natural merino wool outerwear and accessories called MERINOWEAR. I am dedicating all my free time and putting in a lot of effort to develop my brand.”

Looking back at her time on the short course, Mariya says she’d recommend others to consider how a short course can help them, whether it be professionally or personally.

“I would definitely recommend taking a short course! It’s always useful to develop your knowledge and skills for whatever your own reasons may be.”


Do you want to know more on how the fashion industry is responding to our ever-changing world? We offer a variety of short courses focused on sustainability, including Promoting Sustainability in Fashion Online Short Course - read Michelle Simmon’s experience on the course - as well as our Sustainable Sourcing for Fashion Online Short Course.

We also have our Design for Sustainability Online Short Course for a wider view on how you can consider the environment during every step of the design process, whether it be fashion, art or technology.

Our diverse collection of online short courses are here to inspire you! We have courses on everything from art, business, interior design and fashion. Where will a short course take you?

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