VCAD Launches New Curriculum to Draw Awareness to Sustainability in Fashion, the First of Its Kind in North


Published: Monday, 04 April 2016

Published: Monday, 04 April 2016

VANCOUVER, BC – April 4, 2016 – The Visual College of Art & Design’s (VCAD) is proud to introduce an updated curriculum for its fashion programs that feature a dedicated course on sustainability within the industry, the first diploma program of its kind in North America.

Consumer consumption rates are continuously rising, increasing pollution while simultaneously depleting natural resources. As a result, many businesses and designers – local and global – are drawing attention to more sustainable practices that can minimize the environmental impact from the fashion industry.

“We are starting to see the real effects of global production and global marketing and how the dialogue needs to be inclusive of more considerations than just expenses and bottom line,” said Glencora Twigg, a Fashion Design instructor at VCAD and co-owner of Twigg & Hottie Boutique. “The biggest consideration when creating the Sustainability course,” she added, “was to balance the macro issues with the components that are of particular relevance to the fashion and apparel industry. We want to ground our students in the biggest, most influential issues and sustainability is becoming a strong consideration for many businesses including local giants Lululemon, MEC, and Arcteryx.”

Sustainable fashion is becoming integral to fashion design philosophies, technologies, and trends in manageable sustainability. Regarded as a pioneer in fashion training, VCAD’s new Fashion Design and Marketing & Merchandising for Fashion curriculum is one of the first to focus on sustainable, authentic, and organic practices. As part of the program, students will conduct market research examining political, economic, social, and technological sustainability issues using PESTLE analytical techniques.

The new Sustainability course will help students gain fundamental knowledge on how to align ethical, eco-conscious values with the manufacturing process to minimize waste generated from pre- and post-consumption. A prime example of reusing post-consumption apparel can be seen at the 10th Edition of Eco Fashion Week, which will be taking place next month.

Created from 81 pounds of discarded clothes – the average amount of clothing and textiles thrown out by an individual each year – VCAD’s Fashion Design and Marketing & Merchandising for Fashion students will be participating in the VCAD 81lbs Challenge presented by Value Village to showcase a contemporary collection of upcycled clothing. To put things into perspective, one pound of clothing on average consists of three shirts, nine pieces of kid’s clothing, or one pair of shoes.

For more information on VCAD’s Fashion Design or Marketing & Merchandising for Fashion programs or the VCAD 81lbs Challenge presented by Value Village, visit or follow us on social media using #EFW, #VCAD81LBS, and #ReuseRethink.

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