Established in 2014, the five year partnership delivered four strands of activity:
A co-created Curriculum module for Masters’ students (‘Empowering Imagination’);
An Awards programme, open to final year undergraduate and Masters students (‘The Awards’);
An annual keynote symposium for industry leaders and students (‘The Kering Talks’);
Research exploring design for sustainability through this industry-academia partnership. This research collated and analysed data from the partnership to assess the progress and impact of the Curriculum and Awards, to create new knowledge in Fashion Education for Sustainability.
Fashion Education for Sustainability: Kering
The LCF x Kering five year partnership was formed in 2014 based on a shared vision to recognise sustainability as the greatest creative challenge and imperative of our time.
The partnership was located at Centre for Sustainable Fashion (CSF) under the vision of its director, Professor Dilys Williams. Academic partner activities were delivered by CSF's Education and Knowledge Exchange teams, with leadership from Nina Stevenson (Education for Sustainability Leader), and Sarah Needham (Knowledge Exchange Manager). The outstanding commitment of colleagues across LCF also ensured the success of this unique industry-academic alliance.
Industry partner activities were devised by the Sustainability team at Kering, under the leadership of Marie-Claire Daveu (Chief Sustainability Officer & Head of International Institutional Affairs). Alongside this, expert contribution was given by colleagues at the Kerig brands Stella McCartney*, Alexander McQueen, Brioni, Pomellato and Gucci.
The partnership has also mobilised a network of thought leaders and practitioners to join together across LCF, the industry and media to find innovative and creative new ways of working collaboratively.
The achievements of the Curriculum and Awards are as follows:
Curriculum – CSF and Kering developed course modules shaped by industry and academia in partnership. The content of the modules was created and agreed through a team made up of Kering and CSF researchers as well as LCF academics. This knowledge exchange across industry and academia has informed industry and education practices. Outcomes include scientific and technical knowledge, principles and practices of design for sustainability that can be applied to fashion business practice.
Awards – Kering worked with LCF and CSF to set an annual student brief which addressed issues being faced by Kering and its brands. All LCF Masters students and third year BA students were invited to respond to the brief with their creative solutions. Kering brands provided mentoring to selected students who were invited to fully develop their initial concepts. Thirteen job and internship opportunities as well as ten €10,000 cash prizes were awarded to winning students over five years.
*Stella McCartney was a member of the Kering group until 2019
The Curriculum programme has offered a progressive model for teaching and learning based on pedagogic principles for sustainability. The Awards programme has empowered a new generation of sustainable innovators, who are disrupting and reinventing the fashion system. The Awards programme has offered winning students jobs and internships at Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen, Brioni, Pomellato, and Gucci. A total of €100,000 has also been given to winning students in recognition of their innovations in fashion and sustainability. LCF also hosted a series of ‘Kering Talks’, where 1,050 representatives from education and industry discussed sustainability and luxury fashion.
The project also facilitated the development of new research activity that contributes to Fashion Education for Sustainability. This research strand explores the following questions:
What can we learn about the teaching, learning and practicing of fashion design for sustainability through this industry-academic exchange?
What change can we demonstrate in the application of fashion design for suitability into graduate work and industry practice?
In what ways might such an industry-academic exchange contribute towards the amplification of change in practice in each domain? i.e. towards transformation
In 2018 an additional project strand was developed: a free, six-week MOOC. The MOOC is titled ‘Fashion and Sustainability: Understanding Luxury Fashion in a Changing World’. In this course, over 60,000 learners from 191 countries have explored key sustainability and luxury fashion topics. The MOOC also received a prestigious Green Gown award in 2018 as part of the Next Generation Learning and Skills category.
Nina Stevenson, Education for Sustainability Leader
Lou Budd, Education for Sustainability Project Co-ordinator