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We Asked the World’s Top Fashion Schools: How Are You Teaching Sustainability to Tomorrow’s Designers?

Kent State University

Image: fashionschool.kent.edu

Image: fashionschool.kent.edu

Answers provided by Noel Palomo-Lovinski, Associate Professor at The Fashion School

Is sustainability offered as a subject at your school? We have one class that is devoted to sustainability, in which merchandisers and designers come together to create a product centered on the body. The product aims to take into consideration every stage of a product’s life and be as close to cradle-to-cradle standards as possible. Additionally, the required Junior Design Studio that is a 6-credit class has sustainable practice infused throughout. We have the TechStyle LAB, a laboratory that helps inspire small batch and localized production.

What year did you start to incorporate sustainability into your curriculum? We have been attempting to create sustainable practice within our curriculum for about five years now, with varied results. We have an increasing understanding about the need amongst the faculty, so sustainable practice will only increase as a curricular model.

Are ethics and sustainability an active and growing area of interest at your school, among either faculty or students? Yes, for both — we have added several new faculty that have that interest as a main area of research and the Director, J.R. Campbell is dedicated to help facilitate the emphasis.

How do you classify ‘sustainability’ as a practice within your school? There is not a single part of the design, manufacturing or disposal of a garment that does not need a major overhaul.

Are there textbooks that specifically address ethics and sustainability in your school? We generally use Cradle to Cradle, Design Journeys and just found A Practical Guide to Sustainable Fashion by Alison Gwilt.

Image: fashionschool.kent.edu

Image: fashionschool.kent.edu

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Central Saint Martins | ESMOD Berlin | Kent State | London College of Fashion 

Parsons | Pratt | San Francisco Academy of Art University