The fashion industry ranks as the second-largest global polluter after oil. Responding to demand for fast and cheap clothing, the industry also outsources much of its production to overseas companies that may subject workers to low wages and poor working conditions.  Some are calling for the industry to start focusing on solutions to these global environmental and social problems.

New sustainable fashion production program at George Brown College

Through its new sustainable fashion production program, George Brown College in Toronto is training students to do just that.  In September 2017 the College introduced its post-graduate Sustainable Fashion Production program, open to applicants with a fashion, business, or engineering background.

“We need our future designers to be problem solvers,” says Winnie Leung, Professor of Fashion Studies at George Brown College. “In addition to the aesthetics, we need to look at what the environmental and societal issues are and what we need to change with our production processes, raw materials, and labour practices.”

Graduates gain a competitive edge in the workforce

Students learn to design processes that save energy, reduce waste, and recycle — practical skills they’ll be able to apply in business practices to move the fashion industry forward toward sustainability. Graduates of the program can expect to work as production managers, sourcing managers, and sustainability auditors, depending on prior experience or education. “We’re seeing a paradigm shift in the industry,” says Leung. “With brands facing pressure to clean up their supply chain, students with sustainable production skills will have a competitive edge in the workforce.”


Those considering future career options in sustainable fashion can learn more about the program at georgebrown.ca/adit/news/sustainable-fahion-program.aspx.