Sustainability in an Interdisciplinary Fashion Class

By Noël Palomo-Lovinski.

Published by The International Journal of Design Education

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: November 20, 2015 $US5.00

Sustainability in the fashion industry is an overlooked issue that stems in part from a lack of understanding and an inability by designers to affect significant change. The diversity of considerations required in sustainable practice is not totally solvable by designers alone, requiring an interdisciplinary approach. The overarching problems within the supply chain can be tackled collaboratively with diverse individuals combining their specializations to one goal. In support of these ideas, a 15-week elective class was created, combining merchandisers and designers focusing on the entire life of a sustainable product. Student’s reactions, thought processes, challenges and project outcomes were recorded in surveys, classroom observation, interviews and critiques. The purpose of the class, and study, was to discover the prevailing issues that deter students from adopting sustainable practices, and what methodologies can be taught in the college experience that will improve the future of the fashion industry. The results are seen in a variety of final products and presentations elucidating tangible outcomes for future implementation. It is incumbent on design educators to create graduates that take an active role in concrete solutions rather than continue with the status quo within the US fashion industry.

Keywords: Sustainability, Interdisciplinary, Fashion

The International Journal of Design Education, Volume 9, Issue 4, December, 2015, pp.19-26. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: November 20, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 445.849KB)).

Noël Palomo-Lovinski

Associate Professor, The Fashion School, Kent State University, Kent, OH, USA