Fashion in Florence: An Introduction to Sustainable Consumption

Table of Contents

New Course

Description

Environmental sustainability is one of the main topics on the EU agenda for the educational sector. Yet, many schools lack the competencies to introduce green education in their context.

Would you like to approach this subject in your classroom focusing on engaging topics for the students such as shopping and fashion design?

The course will help school teachers and educators raise their learners’ awareness of environmental sustainability.

Students are attracted to fashion as it is a form of expression they can control directly. However, they often lack a precise understanding of the impact of this industry on the planet. At the same time, younger generations are deeply interested in ecological issues.

The course will join these two “hot topics” to spark interest and curiosity in the students and increase their engagement. Participants will take part in a mix of active learning sessions and visits to the city of Florence.

Activities in the classroom will help participants discover how to introduce sustainability in their school, along with lessons with real-world examples and discussion on the Fashion Industry.

Participants will discuss and understand the different facets of sustainability, how it affects our daily life, and how companies and governments are reacting to a challenge that 10 years ago was just a “nice newspaper headline”. This course will also explain what problems affect the Fashion Industry and the solutions that are undergoing.

Participants will also learn practical activities they can propose to their students to increase their awareness as critical consumers, which can help the industry change, by addressing a change of mentality that represents the first and major driving force in the sustainability discussion.

In the outdoor activities, participants will “touch with their hands” the topics covered in the classroom. Together with the trainer, they will visit the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum, a famous Italian fashion designer, to learn how fashion design can go hand in hand with environmental sustainability.

Participants will also make a “market check” visit in Florence, to see how brands and independent stores are including the concept of sustainability in their day-to-day operations. This is an important part of the course, as participants will see applied some of the topics introduced in the classroom. It will also serve as a good experience to show participants how to distinguish “good” from “bad” practices while shopping.

By the end of the course, participants will understand what sustainability is, and have a few resources to introduce its discussion among their students. They will feel ready to activate schools in supporting the green transition and strengthening the sustainability competencies of their learners.

Learning outcomes

The course will help the participants to:  

  • Understand the key concepts and ideas related to sustainability;
  • Master a set of basic tools to promote and check sustainable practices related to the fashion industry;
  • Create learning activities to increase awareness of a field that has a very high impact on our society;
  • Understand how major brands are changing the fashion industry to make it more environmentally friendly;
  • Learn how to visit fashion stores and speak with the staff to understand how sustainability connects to day-to-day operations.

Tentative schedule

Day 1 – Course introduction: what is sustainability?

  • Introduction to the course, the school, and the external week activities;
  • Icebreaker activities;
  • Presentations of the participants’ schools;
  • Sustainability 101 – theories and practical examples.

Day 2 – Sustainability today: International institutions and the industry point of view

  • What are we really doing?
  • The UN sustainable development goals and the European Green Deal;
  • Over-consumption: why is the industry pushing towards it?
  • Activities – “My Wardrobe” – “Water Footprint” – “Research Assignments”.

Day 3 – Green washing and marketing – how to tell “good” practices from “bad” ones

  • Green washing, concept and practical examples;
  • Sustainable practices in shopping and marketing;
  • Outdoor visit: market check in Florence;
  • How are stores changing to reflect the sustainable challenges of today?

Day 4 – Dive deep into a major fashion house: is sustainability changing also the way iconic brands are operating?

  • Discussion on how sustainability is becoming a key value for fashion brands;
  • Activity – research and analysis of your favourite brand;
  • Outdoor visit to Ferragamo Museum.

Day 5 – Wrapping things up

  • Roundtable: can we connect in a stronger, non-linear way, with younger generations through fashion?

Day 6 – Course closure and cultural activities

  • Course evaluation: round-up of acquired competencies, feedback, and discussion;
  • Awarding of the course Certificate of Attendance;
  • Excursion and other external cultural activities.

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