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Fashion and Sustainable Development

(second year students only)
New for 2023-2024!

Dr Jane Webb

Module Leader

Term 1
10 weeks
9 lectures, 9 seminars
Not available to students outside the School for Cross-Faculty Studies

Moodle Platform ยป

The global fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries on the planet, impacting communities and their environments at all stages of the production and use of clothing and associated products. This module aims to explore our relationship with fashion in its broadest sense, and to evaluate contemporary approaches to redressing the impact of the industry, labour and supply-chain and the behaviour and expectations of consumers. Students will explore, map and analyse the sustainability of contemporary projects and enterprises that are working in this field, using an evaluative framework that they will develop. This analysis will be supported by considering the scope of what we think of as fashion, the histories and current circumstances of the industry in a global context and its social and cultural functions.

Principal Aims

To investigate the global phenomena of fashion in its broadest sense. To analyse the impact of fashion on social and environmental worlds. To assess potential solutions to the negative impacts of fashion on social and environmental worlds. To propose policies and other solutions to the impact of fashion on social and environmental worlds. To understand the relationship between creative practice, economy and sustainable development.

Principal Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module, students will be able to:

Demonstrate critical and creative thinking about the role of fashion in society.
Effectively assess and analyse the interplay of fashion design within a multidisciplinary context.
Develop research strategies and practices that enable and ensure informed analysis of the global fashion industry in its broadest sense.
Enhance and hone skills in textual, visual and verbal communication.
Demonstrate a participatory approach and positive attitude to peer-to-peer learning throughout the module.

Employability Skills

Through this module, you will develop a number of different skills that are sought by employers which will support your professional development. We will highlight these to enable you to identify and reflect on the skills you have acquired and apply them throughout your professional journey including during the recruitment processes whether this on an CV/application form or at an interview.


Week 1 Exploring the scope of fashion, terms and ideas. Week 2 Considering the emergence of fashion. Week 3 Global fashion, alternative models and ideas. Week 4 The fast fashion industry and its systems.Week 5 Material production (textiles, materials, dyes). Week 6 Manufacture (the making of garments, products). Week 7 Selling (transport and retail). Week 8 Wearing (the use of garments). Week 9 Discarding (garments as refuse). Week 10 Mapping the prospective futures of sustainable fashion.


  • Seminar workshop: 25%

  • Critical Review: 50%

  • Poster presentation - Individual: 25%

  Please note: Module availability and staffing may change year on year depending on availability and other operational factors. The School for Cross-faculty Studies makes no guarantee that any modules will be offered in a particular year, or that they will necessarily be taught by the staff listed on this page.