Pioneering in sustainable fashion

Celebrating fashion and sustainability at Bath Spa University

With our commitment to sustainability and protecting the environment at the forefront of BSU's Green Week, we talk to Melanie Pope, from Fashion Roundtable and the National Centre for Fashion and Sustainability, about how the fashion industry has a big part to play in protecting our planet.

Our clothes are contributing to climate change

As we celebrate Green Week, we think about a range of issues causing damage to our environment, be it individuals using private jets, the deforestation taking place across our planet, or the state of our oceans.  

However, there is something very close to home which contributes to climate change - quite literally the clothes on our backs.  

The fashion industry contributes to 10% of global carbon emissions. To put that into context, that’s more than international flights and maritime shipping combined.  

Taking a pioneering approach to sustainable fashion 

Bath Spa has taken a pioneering approach by establishing The National Centre for Fashion and Sustainability (NCFS) and appointing Tamara Cincik as Professor of Fashion and Sustainability.  

The NCFS is a space where leading thinkers, learners, businesses and communities will connect and drive the fashion and textile industry toward new, regenerative practices that will be healthy for people and the planet. 

Professor Cincik brings her wealth of experience in the fashion industry to help us find solutions to a key global climate challenge.   

Striving for net zero emissions in fashion 

As the CEO of Fashion Roundtable, Professor Cincik has produced reports on a number of issues facing the fashion industry. This includes 'Cleaning Up Fashion', setting out the case for the sector to take collective action to ensure net zero emissions and for limiting the negative impact of waste.  

Professor Cincik is also a member of the UK Business and Trade Commission, ensuring Bath Spa’s work on sustainable fashion is integrated with the work of other industries on sustainability, so we can all learn from each other’s best practice. 

Learning from the past to find a way forward 

As the role of fashion and sustainability moves higher up both the political and cultural agenda, Bath Spa’s work will be crucial at looking at both the past and future of fashion.  

Working in partnership with the Fashion Museum Bath and their world-renowned fashion collection, Bath Spa is bringing together a heritage legacy, with new, regenerative ways to grow our internationally-acclaimed fashion and textile industry.  

By combining an educational and museum environment, the partnership can discuss what we can learn from how clothes were made and kept in the past, to what we can do to help save the planet now.  

Every facet of the industry will be addressed, from how we create, the jobs of the future, localism at scale, to where we can work together to find regenerative solutions.  

Finding opportunities to make sustainable choices  

The good news is that there is a myriad of opportunities out there; whether that’s choosing to buy wool made from farms which use regenerative methods or by learning more about the circular economy and how fashion waste can be turned into something new.  

And we’re not alone; by next year it’s predicted that 10% of global sales will be second-hand, adding to an industry already worth £156 billion.  

If you fancy a career in fashion, our range of fast-paced and dynamic courses could be just what you’re looking for.

Disclaimer: The Bath Spa blog is a platform for individual voices and views from the University's community. Any views or opinions represented in individual posts are personal, belonging solely to the author of that post, and do not represent the views of other Bath Spa staff, or Bath Spa University as an institution.



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