Fashion’s earth-friendly future
Sustainability: The Future of Fashion
Can fashion be both beautiful and sustainable? In this course, you will discover the innovative ways the fashion industry is responding to our ecological crisis. Learn about the life cycles of products, eco-friendly approaches to design, the upsides and downsides of “green” branding, and more. Develop your own vision of a sustainable future for fashion. Whether your interest is in design, marketing, or another field, if you are passionate about the creative opportunities possible at the intersection of fashion and sustainability, this course is for you.
Multiple 2- and 4-week sessions
For students ages 13 and up
Learn how sustainability principles are inspiring a new vision for fashion
Understand how we got to our environmental tipping point
What is sustainability? Gain an in-depth historical understanding of this issue by looking at the way humans have affected the planet. Examine current activism, brand involvement, and key legislation such as the Paris Agreement. Start drafting your own definition of sustainability.
Discover alternatives to our disposable culture
Most products are used for only a small fraction of their actual life cycle, resulting in needless waste. Learn how we can revise our thinking to protect the environment through the intelligent use of materials and product design.
Learn Techniques for Communicating Your Ideas
Organizations are embracing sustainable practices. Find out about the challenges and career opportunities this presents. Choose a product and research the sustainable practices behind it.
Explore the ecological and emotional impact of fast fashion
Gain insight into the way speedy consumption, whether of food, fashion, or other goods, is hurting our world. Learn how fashion is moving away from planned obsolescence and toward “durables.” Take part in a repair exercise, mending a garment at home and posting your work online.
Delve into fashion media, greenwashing, and the way sustainability is covered in fashion magazines
Explore the effect of the fashion media on sustainability. Learn about “greenwashing,” the practice some companies use to mislead people about the environmental impact of a product or service. Find out how street and online activism converge.
Prepare for a future in the world of sustainable fashion
Topics covered in this course offer a foundation for a career in a field such as fashion branding, advertising, public relations, corporate social responsibility, and sustainable sourcing management.
How You Will Benefit
- Learn about the history of fashion and its impact on our environment
- Explore moral and ethical issues related to sustainability
- Learn about the environmental effect of product life cycles
- Gain critical tools for evaluating sustainability claims in advertising
- Develop your own vision of sustainable fashion
- Receive input on your ideas from university mentors
- Learn asynchronously through video lectures, enabling you to tune in whenever your schedule allows and giving you ultimate flexibility
- Earn a Certificate of Completion from Parsons Paris
Apply now for the next available course
All course options, whether 2 or 4 weeks, contain the identical educational content, learning materials, number of assignments and access to mentoring. The difference in length of course is due to time of year (not amount of instruction). We know the school year keeps you busy, so we've made the course longer during that time so you can get assignments done.
The course culminates with a special final project that allows you to:
- Demonstrate what you’ve learned in this course
- Receive feedback on your work from mentors
- Develop your vision of a sustainable fashion future and present it in an illustrated essay, manifesto, business model, image, or another way
Course designed by Parsons Paris faculty
Miriam Josi is an independent designer based in Paris. Born in Switzerland, she has lived all over the world and studied at the School of Fine Arts in San Juan, Puerto Rico; ENSCI-les Ateliers, Paris; and Parsons School of Design. Low tech minimalism informs Josi’s aesthetic approach as well as the manufacturing processes she uses. Her work has been exhibited at Paris Design Week, in the London Design Festival, and at other leading fashion design events.
Dr. Morna Laing
Dr. Morna Laing is Assistant Professor in Fashion Studies at The New School, Parsons Paris. She is the author of ‘Picturing the Woman-child’ and co-editor of ‘Revisiting the Gaze: The Fashioned Body and the Politics of Looking’ (Bloomsbury Academic). She was awarded her Ph.D. in Cultural Studies from University of the Arts London in 2016 and is Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in the UK.
You’ll receive guidance from a Parsons mentor who can support you and answer questions as you deepen your learning experience. You can expect:
- Encouragement and direction on all assignments
- Inspiration and motivation to help you succeed
- Brainstorming to help you prepare for your final project
Meet The Mentors
BFA, Fashion Design, Parsons School of Design. Five years of experience in Fashion Industry.
MA, Fashion Studies, Parsons School of Design. Currently teaching at Parsons and working on curriculum development.
BFA, Fashion Design, Parsons School of Design. Currently ready-to-wear menswear and womenswear designer.
MA, Fashion Studies, Parsons School. Designer of the patent-pending school uniform that grows, and currently working as co-founder of the sustainable fashion initiative Eleos Initiative.
BFA, Fashion Design and Communication, Parsons School of Design. Currently working as a Graphic Designer in New York.
BFA, Fashion Design, in progress at Parsons School of Design. Currently building an open gender expression brand based on vintage textiles and zero waste design.
- 100 percent online, works with your schedule
- 20 to 30 hours of totally asynchronous instruction and course work, including engaging multimedia, simulations, and assignments on which you will receive guidance and support through video lectures, allowing you to tune in anytime that works for you
- Regular online live group sessions with a Parsons mentor
- The opportunity to meet fellow students from around the world
How to Apply
It's easy. No transcripts or letters of recommendation are required. Our application asks you to provide the following:
- Basic contact information for you and your parent or guardian.
- An explanation of why you wish to take this course.
- You can tell your story through writing, video, photos — any media you prefer. All communication must be in English.
Begin the guided process. It should only take a few minutes of your time to answer the questions.
We offer need-based scholarships to students exhibiting great potential who are unable to pay full tuition. If you would like to be considered for a scholarship but you:
- Haven't applied to the program, complete your application now. The scholarship application is included.
- Applied to the program and didn't fill out a scholarship request, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
- Are unsure whether you applied for a scholarship, contact us at email@example.com for assistance.