Parsons The New School for Design (New York, USA)
What They Offer: Sustainable fashion courses, option to specialize in sustainability
Overview: Parsons was one of the first leading fashion schools to recognize the importance of sustainable design, offering one of the world’s first fashion courses in zero waste developed by Timo Rissanen. And they’re working to increase the amount of courses offered on the discipline in the near future: Parsons will be rolling out a new course this fall that will be required for all freshman that teaches them the basics of sustainability, and will be a building block for future courses in the program.
Their Approach: Parsons does not have a specific program that specializes in sustainable fashion design preferring instead to build sustainability into “everything they do.” The school offers innovative courses on the subject, and, according to a Parsons spokesperson, a number of students choose to focus on sustainability for their thesis collection. They also work with industry leaders on special projects–most notably partnering with Loomstate–with the goal of creating jeans that are as close to zero waste as possible but are also good-looking.
Notable Professors and Guest Lecturers: Timo Rissanen, zero-waste menswear designer and author; Bernard Kahn, fashion industry consultant for large companies for over 25 years; Dr. Hazel Clark, Research Chair of Fashion at Parsons and author of countless seminal publications
Notable Courses: Zero Waste Design, Sustainable Fashion, Ethical Fashion, EcoFashion: Sustainable Solutions