Collaborative Production for Sustainability and Fashionability: A Multi-Course Learning Experience

By Catherine Amoroso Leslie, Kim Hahn, Trista Grieder and Nancy Stanforth.

Published by The International Journal of Arts Education

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: October 8, 2015 $US5.00

The purpose of this case study was to connect class concepts of sustainability to real-world application in two fashion courses to maximize learning outcomes and provide insights into how creative and business-minded students can collaborate for a common goal: to increase sales of student-produced work at the school-sponsored store. Sustainability in design and production are important concepts for the future of the fashion industry. It is especially challenging for creators to develop sustainable clothing that is perceived as fashionable. Collaborative Fashion Production students were charged to use organic cotton materials and apply sustainable methods, such as zero-waste design, to develop fashion merchandise for retail sale. Ten women’s garments were created and shown to 130 students who had completed an introductory fashion industry course including sustainable practices. With students acting as surrogate buyers, data were collected addressing perceptions of fashionability and marketability based on a number of concepts. Results show that students successfully merged sustainability and fashionability in producing merchandise suitable for the School Store. Three out of ten garments were most highly rated, informing future product development. Students in both classes expanded understanding of the possibilities of sustainability and zero-waste design, one of the important movements in the fashion industry.

Keywords: Arts Education, Arts Pedagogies, Sustainability, Fashion Production

The International Journal of Arts Education, Volume 10, Issue 4, December, 2015, pp.1-11. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: October 8, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1023.213KB)).

Dr. Catherine Amoroso Leslie

Associate Professor, The Fashion School, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio, USA

Dr. Kim Hahn

Associate Professor, The Fashion School, Kent State University, Kent, OH, USA

Trista Grieder

Instructor, The Fashion School, Kent State University, Kent, OH, USA

Dr. Nancy Stanforth

Associate Professor, FDM, Kent State University, Kent, OH, USA