CCA's Fashion Sustainability Workshop Series is an intensive, creative, educational experience for fashion professionals wanting to accelerate and deepen their understanding of sustainability, sharpen their capacity to innovate, and respond to complex problems in a continually shifting environment.
Working collaboratively in small groups to provide support, feedback, and peer-to-peer learning, participants develop key entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial skills and mindsets required to innovate using sustainability principles.
Ecology + Design Strategy
The program integrates principles of ecology with design strategy and leadership to create a framework that enables participants to lead positive change for themselves, their company, and the fashion industry.
Arranged as a series of intensives, each session is highly focused and guided by dynamic design experts, industry professionals, and academics. Students engage in deep dialogue about sustainability, the future of the fashion sector, and its part in the world at large.
Given the space and time to explore critical questions, participants address urgent issues rarely possible within the context of day-to-day work and experience the ways in which design thinking (ethnographic research, prototyping, critique, and iteration) can be applied to foster sustainability.
The beginning of each workshop is inquiry-based, focusing on best practices plus new insights, concluding with vision-based investigations into next practices. Each workshop consists of lectures, presentations, and discussions with experts in their fields, along with hands-on exercises, and lab time.
Participants are encouraged to identify an individual project or challenge relevant to the workshop subject and to their company, discipline, or fashion industry as a whole, through which to apply and test the principles, tools, and techniques presented.
Guest faculty span many disciplines and include leading visionaries such as the following:
- Bob Adams, designer/farmer and IDEO Fellow
- Karen Brown, creative director of the Center for Ecoliteracy
- Sissel Waage
- John Warner, founder of the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry
- Eric Wilmanns, co-founder Brown and Wilmanns Sustainability
- Amanda Cattermole, Levi Strauss & Co.
- Timo Rissanen, pioneer in no-waste pattern cutting and coeditor (with Alison Gwilt) of Shaping Sustainable Fashion
“There is a certain ethos of being a San Francisco based company, there’s a local cultural force that requires us to deal with our scraps.” — Chris Lindland, owner of Betabrand
“Sustainability is an imperative call-to-action for humanity.” — Mark Dwight, founder of Rickshaw Bagworks
“Nature sustains life by creating and nurturing communities.” — Fritjof Capra, founding director of the Center for Ecoliteracy
"The seminar was first rate! Three days packed with information and hands-on experiences . . . with speakers who are leaders in their fields such as Timo Rissenen, whose two-day, hands-on workshop was a tremendous learning experience. For an educator like me, it was good to be on the other side of the desk for a change. . . . I had to completely let go of everything I thought I knew about pattern making and design and learn to think about the process in an entirely new manner. A marvelous experience." — Sally Aitken, instructor, Fashion Design and Apparel Technology, West Valley College
“Getting creative with waste is the design imperative for our times—a shift in focus from limitation to opportunity.” — Lyndsie Nash, CCA Fashion Design faculty
These workshops are geared to professionals working in the following company areas: creative design, textile development, production, sales, marketing, business/costing. Processing skills are not essential. Participants should be practicing fashion professionals (including but not limited to design) who have worked in the industry for at least three years.
(Photographer: Sean Michael; Director: Rob Phillips, London College of Fashion; Designer: Karina Michel, Fashioning the Future Awards; Model: Hannah Hardy, Elite London)