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  • Megan St Clair Morgan

Education is the leverage point for change

a group of London College of Fashion students working on a table

Looking toward how much more needs to be done in education for sustainability, our Interim Report on Education for Sustainability Transformation – takes a systems thinking approach to enable change at an institutional level. This is the first time we’ve been able to report on development across sustainability teaching and learning at London College of Fashion (LCF), understanding the shared responsibility to develop this further.

“In a world where information and resources are more accessible than ever before, the overall impact of human actions shows that we are further than ever from understanding how to co-exist with each other and with nature. As a community of art and design students, tutors, researchers, administrators, technicians and senior leaders at LCF and UAL, we have an unprecedented imperative, opportunity and duty of care to shape a new era of interdependence” CSF Director Prof. Dilys Williams notes as an introduction to the interim report.

Fashion is represented both as the problems and opportunities of our times and LCF’s role as educators in fashion is a vital one in creating conditions for creatively challenging students and tutors and to contribute to restorative personal and professional practices in fashion.

“Education is the leverage point for change in societies, cultures and economies – and radical individual and systemic change is needed now more than ever. As world-leading fashion educator sit is our responsibility to design learning experiences that challenge the damaging and outdated practices we see around us, and cultivate the critical skills, knowledge and mindsets of sustainability in LCF’s fashion designers, communicators and strategists.” – Nina Stevenson, Education for Sustainability Leader
students from London College of Fashion, sat in a circle talking

Aligned to global initiatives such as Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME), which has the mission to inspire and champion responsible management education and research globally in order to develop a new generation of business managers and leaders.

Our work so far has come in many shapes and forms – which include:

  • Through the Better Lives Unit, every first year undergraduate student at LCF explores the foundational themes of sustainability, social responsibility and diversity, and applies them to the context of their subject specialism. During 2018/19, 1,826 first year undergraduate students and 58 members of staff have engaged in this unit.

  • UAL’s first ever MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) in Fashion & Sustainability, developed by CSF with the support of Kering, has created a network of global sustainability changemakers with over 37,580 learners from 186 countries since 2018.

  • The LCF Sustainability Projects Fund (SPF) is a fund providing projects with a budget of up to £500, totalling £5,000 per year. It is funded by the Pro Vice-Chancellor to support students-and staff-led projects to enhance sustainability on campus.

  • By 2021, a platform of co-created knowledge, tools and resources to support fashion educators to practice Fashion Design for Sustainability will be available through the Erasmus+ funded FashionSEEDS, a European network of fashion universities coordinated by CSF. Tutors from BA Womenswear have been testing some of the tools and ideas emerging from the project, and took part in a 3 day workshop at Design School Kolding.

  • In the last seven years, UAL has won 10 Green Gown awards and has been highly commended three times. UAL has also won two Green Apple Awards, one Royal Institute of British Architects Sustainability Award, one Soil Association Gold Award and an Ethical Procurement Award from the Observer.

  • CSF has submitted evidence to The Environmental Audit Committee inquiry into the social and environmental impact of disposable ‘fast fashion’ and the wider clothing industry.

“We’ve come a long way, we are leading by example, and we need to support each other now to take this work much further, to build on what we can be proud of and to stop doing the stuff that is damaging to our fellows and our home in nature.” – Prof. Dilys Williams, Director of Centre for Sustainable Fashion


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