Our clothing consumption has reached an all time high, and in response, advocates for mindful, more eco-friendly design are screaming their message louder than ever. And it seems the fashion industry is finally listening: The CFDA recently created the first-ever sustainability committee, Levi’s and Zara have committed to going toxic-free, and H&M has unveiled a series of ambitious sustainable design projects.
The growing trend towards sustainable and ethically designed clothing is not only helping to create a greener planet–it’s created a whole new job market, one where having an education in sustainable design may give you a considerable edge in the industry.
“As our population continues to grow, sustainability will only become more important,” Melissa Joy Manning, co-chair of the CFDA’s sustainable committee told us. “Learning to incorporate sustainable practices at process inception will add both a competitive advantage and encourage smart design.”
“The education space is possibly one of the greatest places for possibility to be guided and developed into the change that we need in the world,” Dilys Williams, Director of Sustainable Fashion at the Center for Sustainable Fashion, said. “Education for sustainability applied to fashion gives us ways to explore, test out, visualise what we might be, who we are as citizens and to wear our values for each other to see.”
In other words: As the demand for more sustainable and ethically designed clothing increases among consumers, so too does the demand for designers trained in those fields.
“Absolutely, I think it’s a smart investment for students to learn about sustainable design, because it’s very much the future of our industry,” Amy Williams, chair of the fashion program at the California College of Arts, said.
So, with that in mind, and this being Earth Day and all, we rounded up the top five eco-minded fashion programs all around the globe.