Sustainability and Ethics

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Educational Unit: Human, Social, Psychological and Economic Contexts


Keywords: environmental impact, sustainable thinking, ethics


Sustainability is a critical challenge for fashion-tech. With both the fashion and tech industries working to increasingly fast product cycles in which novelty and obsolescence are key drivers, sustainability is now slowly emerging as an area of concern. Moreover, the combination of fashion and tech products presents unique sustainability challenges which require new approaches and competencies. These include digital fashion rental and maintenance models, the recycling and re-use of textiles incorporating electronic components, localised production of complex products which merge traditional supply chains, on-demand production, balancing the impacts of physical materials and digital data (server farm carbon footprints) and the design of interactive technologies for social and environmental benefit. The objective of this unit is for students to develop critical theoretical thinking around the notion of responsible practice within the field of fashion-tech.

Indicative Content

  • Environmental impacts of the fashion industry

  • The trajectory of sustainability thinking

  • Fashion industry tech futures

  • Speculative design and futures thinking

See also