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Sustainable Sourcing for Fashion (Online Short Course)

Sustainable Sourcing for Fashion (Online Short Course)

Central Saint Martins
Taught by
Manjula Witharana


Sustainable fashion is a fast-growing trend and this is an exciting time for brands and retailers. However, if not carefully managed, sustainability can become just a trend without a real benefit in terms of reducing the environmental impact of the fashion industry.

Managing sustainability depends on information systems throughout the sourcing process, and cannot be verified by lab-based testing. The complex nature of the supply chain in the fashion industry makes traceability even more difficult. Therefore, it is very important to follow a due diligence process and authenticate any sustainability claims that go on your products.

In this online course you will learn the systems and management practices needed to foster truly sustainable fashion brands. We will meet for weekly live sessions in the online classroom, for presentations and discussion with your tutor. Then you will apply what you have learned by completing hands-on assignments, and receiving feedback from your tutor.

The course covers all aspects of sustainability with special emphasis on standards, traceability and verifications to help you manage sustainability claims with confidence.


  • What is sustainability and responsible sourcing and why is it important in fashion?
  • The impact of textile and fashion industry on the environment
  • Sustainability initiatives and developments that are currently available for our use
  • All we need to know about sustainability attributes
    • Sustainable fibres and finishes/treatments
    • Environmental sustainability
    • Social sustainability
    • Sustainable packaging
    • Chemical compliance
    • Animal friendly attributes
    • Contribution to the community
  • Naturally sustainable fibres
  • Sustainable and responsibly sourced options for Cotton and other natural fibres, Polyester and other synthetic fibres, Viscose and other manmade fibres.
  • More about sustainable cotton: key cotton certifications, standards and sources. (ex: BCI, Organic cotton, Faire trade etc.)
  • More about recycled polyester and saving our oceans!
  • What we should know about sustainability standards, certifications and the verification processes when claiming sustainability attributes on our products.
  • An insight to due diligence, traceability systems and the guidelines
  • Sustainable design inspirations
    • Minimising waste
    • Reduced chemical impact
    • Reduced use of non-renewable energy sources
    • Promoting reusability and longevity
    • Introducing environmentally friendly technologies/sources
    • Ethically responsible sourcing and production.
  • Sustainability challenges
  • Sustainability trends: examples from some brands/retailers and their sustainability initiatives

Course Outcomes:
By the end of the course you will have;

  • Developed a thorough understanding of sustainability and responsible sourcing in the fashion industry.
  • Gained confidence in carrying out verifications and traceability requirements in order to market appropriate sustainability claims on your products.
  • Developed a good understanding of sustainable design inspirations.
  • A useful database of all available sustainability attributes with direct contacts and tools for efficient sourcing.

Who is Sustainable Sourcing for Fashion (Online Short Course) for?
Anyone that would like to build their knowledge for how fashion could be more sustainable.

Level: Beginner.

Why choose a CSM Online Short Course
Our online learning short courses allow you to experience Central Saint Martins wherever you are in the world. The real-time chat sessions are fully interactive allowing you to communicate easily with the tutor at the same time as fellow students. Additionally all CSM Online Short Courses include;

  • Live sessions with expert
  • Lesson recordings
  • Practical assignments
  • Personal feedback
  • VLE with course content
  • Forums for support
  • 3 months online access
  • CSM Certificate upon completion

Please note that all courses are taught in UK time. To check and compare times please click here

Please note: This course is for students aged 18 and older
Please note that Online courses are closed to all new bookings 48 hours prior to the course starting.

Tutor Description

Manjula is a senior technologist with 20 years of fashion industry experience, with an in-depth knowledge in textiles, sustainability, and colour technology.

Her experience consists of both UK and overseas, where she has successfully covered all areas of the supply chain from fabric and garment manufacturing, product development, through to retail head office, witnessing the fashion's negative impact throughout the supply chain.

She is also a qualified textile engineer, with a 1st Class pass in BSc (Hons) Engineering in Textile and Clothing and a sought-after professional, with a proven track record in delivering training courses in the industry.


To fully participate in and to complete the course assignments, please make sure you have the following equipment;

  • Notepad and pen
  • Pencils, sketchbook or paper, eraser, ruler, etc.
  • Software to prepare assignments - Powerpoint, Word, Photoshop, etc.

In addition to the materials listed above, you will need;

  • A desktop computer or laptop (tablets and phones can be used but some functionality will be limited)
  • Headphones
  • Microphone
  • Webcam
  • An up-to-date version of Google Chrome
  • A fast and reliable internet connection - a minimum of 1Mbps is required. You can check your network here -

You can find out more about our live classroom software here - Blackboard Collaborate

Available dates