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How to Build a Sustainable Fashion Business

via FutureLearn

This course may be unavailable.


We’re the Ethical Fashion Forum, the global industry body for sustainable fashion. Since 2006, we’ve been helping fashion professionals achieve commercial success, while maximising benefits to communities and minimising negative environmental impacts.

Research shows that most CEOs believe that sustainability is important to their company’s reputation, and that companies with strong ethical commitments often outperform those who don’t. Consumers too increasingly care about the social and environmental impact of the products they choose to buy.

Learn how fashion can make a difference

In this five-week, free online course we explore what sustainability means in the context of running a fashion business. This course is for anyone who wants to start or grow a fashion business, in a sustainable and ethical way.

We’ll cover:

  • goal setting and business strategy;
  • an overview of the key sustainability issues;
  • brand strategy and product planning;
  • financing your work;
  • how to set up a supply chain;
  • how to find sustainably made fabrics and ethical manufacturers;
  • product development;
  • how to tell your sustainability story;
  • marketing strategy and promotion;
  • and how to find customers and sell products.

Gain insights from established entrepreneurs and experts

You’ll hear from established entrepreneurs and brands about how they’ve managed to build a successful business without compromising their values. You’ll also get practical tips from industry experts with many years’ experience turning ideas into products and taking them to market.

You will hear from:

  • Orsola de Castro, Co-founder of Fashion Revolution and From Somewhere
  • Ada Zanditon, Creative Director of Ada Zanditon Couture and Co-founder of Ada + Nik
  • Merryn Leslie, Owner of 69b boutique
  • Michelle Lowe-Holder, Owner of Michelle-Lowe Holder
  • Riz Smith, Creative Director of Riz Boardshorts
  • Anna Skodbo, Owner and Creative Director of Phannatiq
  • Russell Spiller, Director of Mantis World
  • Deborah Campbell, Owner of Deborah Campbell Atelier
  • Sarah Greenaway, Founder of Mosami
  • Clare Lissaman, Founder of Arthur & Henry and supply chain consultant

Build your business strategy with a purpose

Each week will contain a variety of learning activities that will help you understand how to start up and grow a fashion business, and how to do this with positive social and environmental impact.

  • Week 1 - Introduction to Sustainable Fashion
  • Week 2 - Building Your Brand
  • Week 3 - Getting Started: The Business of Sustainable Fashion
  • Week 4 - Building Sustainable Supply Chains
  • Week 5 - Sales and Marketing

This course should equip you with the confidence to get started in the area of sustainability and fashion. You’ll be encouraged to discuss your thoughts with other learners and educators, and to unleash some of your creative thinking.

Image credit: © Deborah Campbell Atelier

There are no entry requirements beyond a desire to learn more. However if you already have some fashion and/or business studies or experience this course will enhance your knowledge with practical takeaways. This course is for anyone who wants to see fashion have a more positive impact on our world.

Taught by

Sarah Ditty


5.0 rating, based on 3 Class Central reviews

Start your review of How to Build a Sustainable Fashion Business

  • Anonymous
    I absolutely loved this course! It was inspirational, motivational and professinally put together. It was the perfect amount of video, coursework, reading and interacting. I would absolutely love, love, love to take other sustainable and fashion courses like this!!!
  • Anonymous
    Love this course. I haven't finished it yet, it's a lot of work but also a lot of inspiration, knowledge, resources... Very high quality online course.
  • Anonymous
    Thanks for wonderful post. The post was very informative and I personally learned a lot from it. Thanks for sharing. As my personal suggestion you can consider  fashion Designing courses, as this is a growing field where the demand is high for skilled professional.

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