Education as a Tool for Change for Responsible Businesses

Education as a Tool for Change for Responsible Businesses

with our industry experts

Education is central to what we do at The Sustainable Fashion Collective. We've witnessed first-hand the amazing changes that can be brought about thanks to the structures and systems that allow us to share and communicate the knowledge and skills needed to improve the fashion industry.

The UN Sustainable Development Goal 4 aims to ensure inclusive and quality education for all and there are many approaches for fashion businesses to engage with this important goal and embed its principles in their model and strategy. Whether you're setting out to establish educational programmes to improve literacy rates or build skills among impoverished communities, or thinking about how to create an online video course to share your knowledge with a wider audience, this Masterclass carries a range of case studies, information and expert interviews to explore this topic in depth.

In this Masterclass, you will learn:

  • How Ethical Fashion Can Support Quality Education

    with Stephanie Steele

    This overview lesson looks at the key issues and targets within the Sustainable Development Goal 4: Quality Education, and addresses practical solutions that you as a fashion or creative business can include within your business model in order to support education.

    We look at some case studies of fashion brands that have implemented strategies to provide support in terms of giving back to charities, achieve long-term stability through building training schemes.

  • How To Use The Online Space To Share Your Knowledge And Educate

    with Sophie Rochester

    Sophie Rochester, the founder of UK-based social venture Yodomo, joined us to impart wisdom on the state of craft and material education, and provide advice on how you as a business can use the online space to share your knowledge and story.

    Yodomo's aim is to increase wellbeing and understanding of materials through facilitating participation, so in this conversation, glean guidance on how you can do this through your own business to educate yourself and your audience - and create an additional revenue stream.

    This is a 25-minute lesson.  

  • The Role Of The Design Industry In Ensuring Accessible Education

    with Stephanie Steele

    For this lesson we look at the organisations and institutions that are educating within the design and creative industries, and the ways in which they can help support you as an entrepreneur in educating yourself - and in turn, using this as a tool for change.

    The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic still has to be fully felt, with widespread disruption to schools, colleges and universities, not to mention business and the economy, still ongoing and likely to come in waves for time to come. The primary Governmental focus across the world is on vaccine rollout and recovering from debt caused by supporting people and business - so where does education fit into this?

    As education is an investment, the already strained discrepancies in access have been exacerbated by the pandemic. For everyone across the world it has become apparent that we need to continue to educate ourselves to build resilience and increase knowledge across many sectors. For fashion, design and the creative industries, there is a responsibility to ensure children in schools receive interdisciplinary curriculums that will showcase collaboration, and for institutions to guide new graduates into purposeful career paths. Yet, alongside this, it is the responsibility of businesses to educate the public on ways these industries can and should be held accountable for their actions, and why there is power in knowledge.

  • Indigenous Food Systems And Land Justice

    with Stephanie Steele

    As all of our fibres come from the land - whether natural or synthetic - it is integral to understand and acknowledge the remarkable value within every single thread woven or knitted into the clothing we wear. Fibre systems are tied within food systems, and as a designer and business owner, it is your responsibility to educate yourself on where your materials come from, who produced them for you, and whether there is disparity in the basic human rights of those involved.

    There are major discrepancies in the land rights of indigenous peoples who fight against big corporations for what is rightfully their common property, and inequalities in land access across the world due to race, gender and caste. Wherever you look within your supply chain - even if you only operate digitally - there is a requirement of land to allow business to run, for products to be made, for people to survive.

    So what do you as an entrepreneur need to know in order to ensure you are supporting land justice, and therefore ensuring a future for incoming generations? Where do you look to educate yourself on seemingly new terminologies like "environmental justice", "intersectional environmentalism", "biodiversity", and "indigenous food systems"? In this lesson, we pull together resources that will get you started on understanding this topic and how it relates to fashion and textiles.

    Thumbnail image: iStock

  • Working Respectfully With Indigenous Artisans

    with Maud Lerayer

    Founder of New York-based ethical homewares brand Behind The Hill, Maud Lerayer, joined us to impart wisdom from her experience working with indigenous communities in Guatemala and Mexico who produce the colour-grown cotton that the designer uses for her products.

    Understanding your responsibility as a designer to respect those along your supply chain, and appreciating your role in being collaborative rather than extractive, are both imperative tools to equip yourself with no matter what your product. When working with any artisan (indigenous or not), it is essential to acknowledge that they are the business owners, the skilled ones, and without them your business would not work.

    So how do you approach artisanal communities? How do you ensure that you design a product that will sell in order to educate on ancestral techniques and practices? What key considerations should be made when stepping out to build relationships with indigenous peoples?

    Learn more in this 30-minute conversation.

  • Fashion production and its impact on deforestation

    with Niels Wielaard

    Niels Wielaard, founder and CEO of satellite intelligence company Satelligence joined us for a conversation about how fashion and textile production impacts deforestation. What fibres cause the biggest devastation? How can fashion brands work with farmers to monitor issues of deforestation, land grabbing and water stress? Why is traceability so important in reducing environmental and social damage? Dive in to this 38 minute conversational lesson to learn more and understand fashion production's impact on deforestation and subsequent issues, and how you can monitor and prevent future damage.



Technical Tutorials

Additonal links:

Making A Living: Craft Entrepreneurship Courses [Yodomo]

How businesses can support education through Covid-19 [Business in the Community]

Fashion As Sustainability In Action Guidebook [Centre For Sustainable Fashion]

Fashion Values: Nature Course [Centre For Sustainable Fashion]

Follow on Masterclasses:

Fighting Poverty With Fashion

How To Build A Sustainable Business Model

Building A Healthy And Happy Work Culture

Additional Reading