LIM College

Sustainability: Concepts, Practices and Applications for Fashion

business skills circularity extended producer responsibility LIM place-based thinking sustainability transparency
Online course

This course introduces fashion industry professionals to the concept and science of sustainability, its relationship with the business of fashion, and strategies and work practices to shift the business to a sustainable operating mode. Coursework topics focus on defining sustainability, understanding human-induced climate change, and local and global effects that fashion has had on the Earth and its peoples. Learners will examine the impact of supply chains and apply sustainability practices to create an action plan for a fashion company.

8 hours
This course is designed for professionals in fashion in areas of design, merchandising, product development, production, sourcing, who want to further their knowledge and shift onto sustainability teams.
It is especially well suited for mid-level roles and above. A minimum working knowledge of 5 years in the fashion industry is required to best benefit from this course.

How will you learn?

The course is self-paced and includes a pre-assessment test and modules of interactive instruction based on slide shows, lectures, videos, interactive exercises, case studies and knowledge assessments.

All participants who successfully complete the course will receive a MOTIF Certificate of Completion.

What will you learn?

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

1. Articulate the meaning of sustainability and apply systems thinking on fashion and consumer-product development, production and distribution.
2. Examine and investigate innovative solutions and design-for-efficiency techniques and apply them with place-based strategies in a Sustainable Development Goal framework.
3. Understand steps to measure, access, reduce and offset greenhouse gas emissions, air and water pollution, toxicity and waste issues.
4. Conceptualize and create a sustainable action plan for a fashion business to reduce their impacts and footprints.

Online course Detailed outline

Module 1: What Is Sustainability and Why Must We Act Now in Fashion? Free trial

  • Defining sustainability
  • Comprehending why sustainability is needed in fashion now
  • Human and fashion’s impacts on earth systems and the global effects of climate change
  • Systems thinking
  • End of Module assessment

Module 2: Supply Chains and Sustainable Practices and Strategies

  • Mapping the fashion supply chain
  • Tiers, impacts and complexities
  • Place-based thinking and DFE strategies
  • Sustainable sourcing
  • End of Module assessment

Module 3: Sustainability Steps and Environmental Issues

  • Triple Bottom Line
  • Steps to Reduction
  • GHG emissions
  • Water
  • Material Impacts
  • Waste
  • End of Module assessment

Module 4: Visions, Goals, Action Plans and Working for Change

  • Creating visions and setting goals
  • SDG Frameworks
  • Planning for change: Delivering information and fostering behavioral and operational change
  • End of Module assessment

Andrea Kennedy

Course Instructor

Andrea, with 30 years’ experience in the fashion industry, is the founder and sustainable lead of and a professor at LIM College teaching sustainability and fashion merchandising courses.

About LIM College

Fostering a unique connection between academic study and its application in the workplace, LIM College has been at the forefront of educating fashion’s future business leaders since 1939.

Based in New York City – the heart of the global fashion industry – LIM offers both online and on-campus associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs in a variety of fashion-focused majors. Classes are taught by industry professionals and veterans who are experts in their fields. Areas of study include Fashion Marketing, Fashion Merchandising, Retail Management, Global Fashion Supply Chain Management, International Business, Visual Studies and Fashion Media.

With over 800 industry partners, and a community of alumni with thriving careers in every aspect of fashion and its related fields, LIM College is recognized worldwide for its specialized and immersive approach to fashion education. Our online degree offerings were included in U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of 2020’s “Best Online Graduate Business Programs” and “Best Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs,” and in 2019 we were named as one of “The Best Fashion Schools in the World” by the BoF (Business of Fashion).