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Wageningen University

Circular Fashion: Design, Science and Value in a Sustainable Clothing Industry

Wageningen University via edX


The fashion industry has a large influence on the global economy and is more and more known for its social and environmental impact. Everywhere, new sustainable initiatives are arising from recycling, upcycling to creating clothes from compostable materials. Circularity tough, is a complex phenomenon. What will the future bring us? Are we indeed going to decompose our clothes in our own garden?

The MOOC Circular Fashion: Design, Science and Value in a Sustainable Clothing Industry brings you a comprehensive introduction in circular fashion brought to you by roughly thirty different experts from both academia and practice. You will learn about the versatile task of transitioning towards circular fashion, from the unique collaboration between Wageningen University & Research, ArtEZ University of the Arts and many other experts.

After the course you will know the core concepts and tools to help better understand circular economy in the fashion industry. Some of the topics that are covered focus on understanding the challenge of recycling, design for circularity, alternative textiles through biobased innovation and circular business modelling to help bring innovations to the market.

For whom?

This course will provide designers, retailers, scientists, engineers and all working at the industry or with an interest in fashion with holistic insights in the complex challenges of circular fashion, while engaging you to start the transition to circularity within your personal and/or professional practices. We will bring together art, design and science to move beyond an ego-centric approach of fashion and start from an ecosystems perspective.

Learn the theory, understand the practice and start your own circular fashion journey. Join the movement towards a circular fashion industry!


Module 1: Translation and interpretations

Introduction to terms and concepts such as sustainability and circularity, understanding the role of eco in fashion. First introduction to design for circularity.

Module 2: Ecosystem circularity

Understanding the role of ecosystems in fashion. How to disrupt current thinking and mindset in the fashion industry and govern this transition.

Module 3: Closing the loop

Introduction to the complexity of materials and recycling of textiles. Understand the importance of design for disassembly and recycling.

**Module 4: Biobased innovation & new materialism **

Learn about new biobased materials for textiles, understand the change in production processes and reflect on the future influence of biobased materials in fashion.

Module 5: Business as crafting value

Introduction to economic paradigms and new forms of value creation for circularity in the fashion industry. Understand investment and acceleration and circular retail models.

Taught by

Kim Poldner


4.7 rating, based on 42 Class Central reviews

Start your review of Circular Fashion: Design, Science and Value in a Sustainable Clothing Industry

  • Anonymous
    The course is very informative and professional. The information presented is extremely progressive and current, as I have not encountered similar courses of this caliber. The speakers are very engaging and knowledgeable about the subject matter. All of the courses I have taken through Wageningen have been exceptional and this one is highly recommended.
  • Anonymous
    The content of this class is extraordinary, I was very impressed. Many of the concepts explored were theories I was very interested in and this was the first time I have had the chance to really do a deep dive. I would highly recommend this course for ANYONE who has anything to do with the textile and fashion industry.
  • Anonymous
    This course not only engaged me in learning, but also in my behaviour. To my surprise it even had impact on my work. The course is divers, accessable and really makes you work.
  • Anonymous
    The best engaging course I have ever being part off. Life changing, my life Will never he the same again. Excelent team.
  • Anonymous
    Excellent course with great topics. Would have given it 5 star if there had been some feed back on my work !
  • Profile image for Adebimpe Bashorun
    Adebimpe Bashorun
    This course helped me to understand where I stand with regards to fashion sustainability in a country where we want the cheapest clothes in exchange for the expensive clothes we see online, where we worry about our standing when we wear second hand…
  • Profile image for Milagros Salvatierra
    Milagros Salvatierra
    I give five stars to the course that changed my life. I was a fashion designer without the encouragement to do something in the fashion industry. But it gave me hope to find a conscious and sustainable path to do things right. In this way, I don’t want to make a garment that you know is going to be thrown away in two years. I desire to be the vehicle, the channel, the body to narrate an authentic story, but in a very unauthentic and disruptive system. Things are the way they are and not the way we want them to be, but that does not mean that we have to stop fighting to change those ways. The best course ever, thank you so much!
  • Anonymous
    This course completely changed the trajectory of my career and what I thought I wanted to do in my life. I took it just to get through the first Covid-19 lockdown here in Italy, as a way to keep my brain active. I didn’t have expectations to learn so much that I would consider changing the career path I had thought up for myself, and instead I discovered a whole world of reasons why I should adjust my career to include a solid focus on the environment and on educating those that don’t know about the negative impacts that the fast fashion system has on the world and climate. I can’t recommend this course enough!
  • Anonymous
    This course exceeded by expectations. I was looking for a course to learn about circularity n fashion industry. This course gave me a complete understanding about the topic. The course is somewhat extensive on the workload but very rewarding if you take the time to read and study the material. The teaching material is consistent and the teachers are leading experts on the subject, what makes the course very academic and analytic. The business template assignment is a great tool to understand the complexity of circularity in fashion and the iterative methods serve the purpose well.
  • Paula Blomster
    I loved this course! It showed with precise examples what a great opportunity Circular Economy offers. It is the way to finish the unsustainable extraction of resources, but it also creates new local and viable jobs. So inspiring!

    The fashion industry was analyzed from various perspectives; design, sociological, artistic and technical (fibers, use of block-chain…) to mention few. Philosophy & arts were used to open one’s mind. Extensive amount of information, but presented in such a professional and engaging way, that you are ready to change the world!
  • Anonymous
    One of the best courses I have studied, sustainability is the future of fashion and fashion. Let's unite to save the world.
    We must wake up and focus on the details around us, Of course we can stand in the face of the danger threatening the world, yes we are in danger.
    This course gives us basic principles of organizing fashion and fashion. It is very important to know the errors, risks and causes, and it is also important to find other ways to open the way towards sustainability and reduce the risks that pollute our planet.
  • Anonymous
    The content of this online course holds many keys which will open many doors for those in the fashion industry. Designers, fabric and accessory manufacturers, customers, models the whole of the business. Without this type of development and evolution of the fashion industry the future looks bleak, if not unsustainable. My eyes were wide open as I worked my way through the sections. I sat astonished, broken hearted and optimistic throughout, I learned so much more than anticipated. A sequel is needed desperately.
  • Profile image for Stephanie Faria
    Stephanie Faria
    This course changed the way I perceive fashion and consumerism. After graduating from it I decided to not buy any clothes for an year and to study my relationship with clothes. Insightful for anyone that is not happy with the way the fashion industry works right now and it is eager to change at least their own relationship with it. Also, the final project inspires you to create a real Business Model applying all the rich content you got in touch during the MOOC.
  • Anonymous
    I love the topic, so it’s very interesting. There are so many informations and the other people are great.
    Unfortunately my English is not perfect, so it’s hard to understand everything.
    The technique/methods are also interesting, but not always working.
    Also the conditions are not clear, before I pay for the course. So it’s hard to handle everything what I need to do.

    Thanks for the possibility to be part of the course.
  • Anonymous
    This course was very thorough in everything it taught. I learned all aspects of this sustainable fashion industry and it helped me with finding the career I want to pursue in college. I found it both interesting and engaging and I learned a lot. I especially loved learning about three sustainability of different textiles and also the ones made of things like seaweed or other plants.
  • Anonymous
    This is an awesome course! It goes deep into concepts of the circular economy and how it pertains specifically to the fashion industry. It addresses the topic from various perspectives: environmental, social, economical and from different points of view. I would definitely recommend this course to anyone who wants to learn about sustainability and in particular circularity.
  • Anonymous
    I tried this course and here's the thing: it gives you knowledge on pollution and what needs to be done. the problem is it's so boring you have to listen to a person staring at the camera for 6 minutes at a time and answer questions. Then they give you 10 page articles to read and answer questions. These programs are supposed to be fun and this definitely isn't
  • Anonymous
    This is a good and healthy source to improve the quality of the environment and the product clothing with out hurting the cycle environment also to improve the source of income for the textiles industry such as their workers,as if it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t have the quality of options and opportunities in the fashion clothing industry.
  • Anonymous
    This course was the best one I discovered this year because it was not inly interested but also structured in a very concise and easy to follow way. Also, what it differentiate it from other courses on the same subject is that this course was I believe more insightful and providing not only theory but the practical part was also great!
  • Anonymous
    the course it's so complete and show a big view of the circular fashion.For me was very incredible to learn about different topics during the moths. I love the experience of the live day with the teachers and others students. For sure this course be part of my studies as an important tool to develop my design view.

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