Buckinghamshire New University has developed the United Kingdom’s first undergraduate fashion degree with an “eye on sustainability and ethics.” Now accepting applications for enrollment in September, the three-year bachelor’s of arts program will teach the next generation of designers to consider the way garments and materials are produced for fashion, as well as the environmental impact these processes have. Students will also explore the inner workings of the trend and forecasting industry, learn how to make sense of global supply chains, and develop skills in visual communication, pattern-cutting, and manufacturing.

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Mass manufacturing in the fashion industry has, I believe, got a poor reputation for environmental issues, as well as its treatment of its labor force,” says course leader Sian-Kate Mooney, who ran her own fashion business for a decade. “As part of the course, we will be looking at alternative ways of the production of materials and clothing. These do exist and are being adopted slowly by all sectors of the industry, so it is important that graduates understand these issues and know about the alternative methods.”

Mooney hopes to provide a creative environment built upon an understanding of sustainability issues.

Mooney says she hopes to provide an experimental and creative environment built upon an understanding of ecological and labor issues. “The staff team at Bucks have very strong links with industry and we will be looking to utilize these to provide students with live briefs and lectures to ensure they have a real-life experience of the fashion sector,” she says.

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