Back to School: 5 Universities Lead for Sustainable Fashion Studies

A new generation of aspiring eco-fashion designers heads back to school this week.

As the lazy days of summer end, a generation of aspiring fashion designers is heading to school to design the clothing of the future. While the field of fashion design is growing like never before, if an analogy was made between green fashion and the fitness industry—we’re only at the leg-warmer stage. Yet analysts predict that eco-conscious clothing will soon develop into a multi-billion-dollar industry.

Aspiring green fashion designers need training in sustainable fashion design, responsible manufacturing, eco-friendly materials, and how best to use resources such as organic cotton, wool, and recycled textiles. Its up to future designers to turn consumers from ‘democratically’ priced fashion to clothing that everyone values as long term wardrobe treasures. Innovative designers are needed to transcend seemingly unusable materials like waste perch skins into the alternative leather jackets of the future. The bottom line is, if it doesn’t look good nobody will buy it. There are some major challenges facing our fashion future, but wannabe designers have five hot programs to choose from that are dedicated to educating the students who will shape fashion’s future.

1. London College Of Fashion.

The Centre for Sustainable Fashion (CSF) was set up at London College of Fashion to be an internationally recognized leader in sustainable fashion eduction, aiming to change the landscape of the fashion industry for good.

2. California College of the Arts.

Dedicated to producing not only sustainable products, but also a sustainable culture and society. CCA also offers a course for professional development, the Fashion Sustainability Workshop Series and Certificate Program. Leading industry light Lynda Grose, assistant professor of fashion and sustainability at CCA, teaches a comprehensive approach to sustainability.

3. Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design.

The world renowned art school offers a master’s degree in design for textile futures and focuses on smart, environmentally friendly textile technologies.

4. IED Moda Lab Madrid

Courses are offered in Eco Textiles, Ethical Design, and Business & Innovation.

5. Ecotece Institute

Brazil’s eco-fashion resource was inspired by São Paulo based journalist Ana Candida Zanesco as a tribute to Mother Earth. In addition to advising fashion designers of the future they allocate resources to collecting research on everything related to fabrics.


Rowena Ritchie

Rowena is EcoSalon’s West Coast Fashion Editor and currently resides in San Francisco, CA.