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Brief Published: 20 Sep 2019

UAL Launches Compulsory Sustainability Education

Material Futures Course @ Central Saint Martins

University of the Arts London (UAL), which includes Central Saint Martins and London College of Fashion, has announced plans to make sustainability a required part of all courses offered.

The university will require all students across all courses from art to fashion design to undertake compulsory classes in sustainable practice. All academic and training staff are also required to complete a carbon literacy training programme.

Led by pro-vice chancellor and sustainable architect Jeremy Till, the compulsory programmes mark the first steps in the institution’s mission to place “decarbonisation at the heart” of its academic offering. The university’s aim is to grow and facilitate the knowledge and use of renewable energy and sustainable practices throughout the industry.

UAL has worked to reduce its environmental impact in the past few years, switching to 100% renewable electricity in 2018 and pledging to cut its carbon emissions by 43% in 2020.

For the university, which is famed for producing some of the world’s most prominent designers, the compulsory eco education is an exciting and necessary move. It comes just days after sustainable activist group Extinction Rebellion protested London Fashion Week with a funeral procession to signify its end.

UAL’s steps are just one of many ways in which the industry must recognise and respond to the need to foster sustainable education where it has significantly lacked. For the latest in fashion’s sustainable progress, see our Sustainability Round-Up August 2019.