Glasgow Kelvin College


Fighting Fast Fashion

At Glasgow Kelvin College (GKC) we recognise that ‘Fast Fashion’ can’t be eradicated overnight.  Our Fashion Department strives to embed relevant sustainability practices into teaching and learning and has pioneered this endeavour, redesigning, and revitalising its curriculum to address the negative environmental and social impacts of the fashion industry.

Coursework includes: implications of ‘fast fashion’ and modern shopping habits; zero-waste manufacturing; skills in transforming existing garments; and the circular economy.  It includes projects that engage with the wider community whilst driving home sustainability aims, including: ‘Project Runway’, a two-day sustainable fashion workshop and show with students from local schools; planning and implementing a College-wide Swap Shop event; and a year-long Bridal Gown Project where students design and create original bridal gowns using only materials from donated ‘showroom’ gowns destined for landfill.

Our goal is for a ‘just transition’ as students are equipped with the skills and knowledge to inspire future change.

What the Judges Thought

Coming from the fashion sector, this is a brave application led by students, which really pushes the boundaries on what is possible around the circular economy, reuse, and upcycling. You engaged multiple stakeholder groups with a multitude of projects, with skills development at the forefront. The focus on dissemination was exceptional, and your work beautifully combines economic, social, and environmental concerns and opportunities for improvement. This should run and run.

What it Means to Win

“Glasgow Kelvin College is thrilled to receive Green Gown Award recognition for our students’ and staff’s trailblazing work within the Fighting Fast Fashion initiative. The drive for sustainability and a ‘just transition’ is a game-changer for industry and a potential model of best practice in delivering the curriculum of the future.”

Derek Smeall, Principal & Chief Executive

Top 3 Learnings

  1. Our students gained more from taking ownership of their learning and agency in creating change.
  2. Sustainability through re-use and recycling has made our College more acutely aware of the insidious impact of the fashion industry on the environment.
  3. We have been very impressed at our students’ engagement and ability to break down barriers and the stigma surrounding second-hand clothing.
1- No Poverty 4 - Quality Education 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production 13 - Climate Action
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