Balancing the books: creating a model of responsible fashion business education

Natascha Radclyffe-Thomas, Rosemary Varley, Ana Roncha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
336 Downloads (Pure)


This research article provides an account of a series of curriculum interventions at undergraduate and postgraduate level which engage fashion business students with real world practical and ethical complexities faced by twenty-first-century fashion businesses. Fashion education has predominantly nurtured creativity in design and promotion whilst focusing on identifying efficiencies for business operations, but increasingly the negative environmental and social impact of the global fashion industry requires a new focus on how fashion business can promote ethical and sustainable practices. The authors explore how research into sustainable fashion can be integrated into the business curriculum to guide students as they develop their personal positions on engagement with the serious issues the fashion industry faces today and tomorrow. The authors applied their research into sustainable fashion with contemporary sustainability pedagogies to design teaching delivered through case studies, lectures, seminars and assessment tasks designed to engage students with a 360-degree understanding of sustainability and to promote students’ development of creative solutions to our industry’s challenges. The authors sought to develop a range of teaching resources and learning sessions in line with the United Nation’s Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) and in doing so used the lens of sustainability to explore every aspect of the fashion industry: production, design and promotion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-106
Number of pages18
JournalArt Design and Communication in Higher Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018


  • ethics
  • sustainability
  • responsible management education
  • Ethics
  • Sustainability literacy
  • Graduate attributes
  • Employability
  • Fashion
  • Business education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • Education
  • Communication


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