By Addison Martin, Brand Coordinator, THR3EFOLD
If you’re someone who is looking to start an ethical and sustainable fashion business, take your business in a more conscious direction, or just want to dip your toe in to learn more, here' some free resources you might want to check out.
Chances are you didn’t study ‘sustainable fashion’ at university, as the term has only recently entered the general lexicon. If you’re interested in sustainable fashion, there is a wealth of knowledge in articles and journals on the internet, but it can be time consuming to sift through everything and find credible information that is pertinent to you. Luckily, you don’t have to attend an expensive four year college or be your own fact-checker to have access to good resources that will shape your understanding of sustainability in the context of the fashion industry. We have compiled a list of online courses that you can take for free, or for a reasonable price that complements any resume or LinkedIn profile.
1 | Who Made My Clothes? - University of Exeter
This course guides learners through the process of discovering who made their clothes from a consumer perspective, illuminating the frustration that the convoluted and opaque supply chain induces when you actually try to discover this information. Developed in partnership with ‘Fashion Revolution’, the movement and the course are united by asking the question “who made my clothes” and acknowledging that “Every commodity ‘contain[s] stories encompassing geography and time, supply and demand, raw materials and market forces, and people. People with names and toes and sores and wages and fancies and parents and memories.’ (Cohen 1997, 14). Over three weeks you will learn about garment supply chains, trace your own clothes by becoming an online detective, question responsibility, and become a fashion revolutionary.
2| Fashion and Sustainability - London College of Fashion
Offering a luxury perspective of the industry, this course introduces issues, agendas, and contexts relating to sustainability and fashion in an ever-changing world. Kering, who owns luxury goods brands like Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, and Alexander McQueen, partnered with the London College of Fashion to provide invaluable lessons in creating a more sustainable industry by empowering individuals. During the six weeks that this course runs, you will draft an ethical fashion manifesto, learn about materials and sourcing, listen to and debate different approaches, and even get into design methods, storyboarding, and prototyping.
3 | Fashion as Design - The Museum of Modern Art
The content of this course is centered around the ‘Items: Is Fashion Modern?’ exhibit at the MoMA. Each of the 111 items of clothing and accessories featured in the exhibit have had a strong impact on the world in the 20th and 21st centuries, and this course explores their profound consequences—social, political, cultural, economic, and environmental. This course orients you to the current state of fashion, how we got where we are, and asks you to imagine where we can go from here.
4 | Social Entrepreneurship - Copenhagen Business School
The ‘Social Entrepreneurship Specialization’ on Coursera is not a single course but a series of courses that will help you create social impact through entrepreneurship. The coursework guides you through establishing a business that addresses a social or environmental problem. You will develop your idea and refine your business model over approximately five months, and finish the specialization by completing a business plan. You can also take the courses individually, which include ‘Identifying Social Entrepreneurship Opportunities’, ‘Social Business Model and Planning for Social Innovation’, and ‘Unleashing the Impact of your Social Enterprise’.
To make informed business decisions and evaluate the impact of these decisions, education is key. These courses offer an opportunity to learn and collaborate with like minded students around the world and join a growing community of conscious professionals and citizens. As we like to say at THR3EFOLD, educate yo self!
Ready to dive into the deep end and start learning like we did? Join our community of sustainably-minded professionals and brand owners working to build a better industry for people and planet today. You shouldn't have to do this alone.