Luxury conglomerate Kering and the London College of Fashion (LCF) have teamed up to launch the world’s first open-access digital course in luxury fashion and sustainability.
Entitled “Fashion & Sustainability: Understanding Luxury Fashion in a Changing World”, the course aims to “strengthen sustainability education in the luxury and fashion realms in order to promote the wider adoption of more sustainable practices”.
The course was co-developed by LCF academics and sustainability experts at Kering and comprises six key modules including: Why Sustainability Matters in Fashion; Contextualising Sustainability for a Changing World; Sustainable Sourcing for Luxury Fashion; and Informed Decision-Making.
Using podcasts, films and discussions the six-week course (a total of 18 hours of teaching time) covers both the theoretical aspects of sustainability as well as real-life business cases. Registration for the course opens here today, with the first course beginning on 9 April. Kering and LCF say the course is open to anyone who wants to take part but has the specific aim of educating future talents, designers, luxury fashion professionals and members of the public with an interest in fashion.
Speaking at the launch of the initiative, hosted by the British Fashion Council on the last day of London Fashion Week today, Kering chairman and CEO François-Henri Pinault said: “At Kering we believe that the shift towards sustainability and innovation in luxury fashion is not only an imperative, in our world of finite resources, but also a goldmine of opportunity.
“We actively work with our Houses to craft tomorrow’s luxury via our 2025 sustainability strategy, but also wish to contribute to the evolution of luxury fashion as a whole, by sharing our expertise with industry counterparts and educating future generations. Today I am proud that Kering’s partnership with London College of Fashion takes a new step, making education accessible outside of the classroom with this the world’s first open-access digital course on sustainable luxury fashion,” Pinault said.
Professor Frances Corner of the London College of Fashion said the course had been over a year in the making based on the research, teaching and practice of Centre for Sustainable Fashion at London College of Fashion, UAL as well as the expertise and leadership of Kering’s Sustainability team.
“[…] we are delighted to present the world’s first luxury fashion online course developed between higher education and industry. This is significant because it signals a real desire and commitment from the industry to the ‘open sourcing’ of knowledge. Only through collaboration and the sharing of experience can we face the enormity of the challenges that lie ahead together,” Corner said.
“Often we can feel overwhelmed or unsure what sustainability means for our industry – we feel disempowered because there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution – but this course aims to empower aspiring and existing fashion professionals alike and help them develop their own manifesto for change,” she added.
As part of the platform’s rollout, LCF and Kering are teaming with the British Fashion Council (BFC) to reinforce the wider adoption of sustainable practices by industry professionals and future talents. Via the BFC, young British designers are currently previewing the platform, to ensure its relevancy to creative designers and luxury fashion professionals.
BFC CEO Caroline Rush added: “In 2018 London Fashion Week focuses on Positive Fashion, an initiative designed to promote and celebrate diversity, sustainability, and openness; encouraging fashion to be used as a platform to promote global positive change, so we are thrilled that Kering and LCF have chosen to launch their new open-access digital course dedicated to sustainability with us today. Every season we see an increase in designer brands at LFW adhering to sustainable principles within their businesses and in turn promoting and contributing to positive change within our industry.”