Sustainable Fashion

Master of Science in Sustainable Fashion

Unique among college programs focusing on fashion, Glasgow Caledonian New York College’s Master of Science in Sustainable Fashion prepares students for leadership in transforming the business and creative strategies of the fashion industry to support sustainability, social equity, and ethical practice. With classes held in the evening and full or part-time options, our fashion degree flexibly accommodates working professionals.

Building a strategy for a sustainably-focused fashion business requires a specific set of skills, considering all needs of the business from supply chain to merchandising, to marketing messaging. Students in the Sustainable Fashion program will learn the benefits of operating a business under a new paradigm, eschewing the former singular goal of profit for shareholders and replacing that with the need to serve a wide range of stakeholders. Success under such a paradigm is not just doing better than before but actively doing good.

Participating in a research-based curriculum, students in the fashion program will write master’s theses designed to address real-world challenges, collaborating with partner companies and organizations. Thesis partnerships are facilitated by GCNYC’s new Center for Social Impact and Innovation, which provides a support network and collaborative research opportunities for students, social entrepreneurs, and leaders in sustainability across industries.

The fashion industry needs new leaders who can thrive on the challenges of an increased demand for sustainable and ethical fashion solutions. Upon graduation, students have pursued careers related to sustainability and corporate responsibility, supply chain management, as well as entrepreneurial opportunities creating sustainable fashion brands.

Sustainable Fashion Program Structure at GCNYC

This sustainable fashion program at GCNYC can be completed on a part-time basis in 16 months with one to two classes weekly or on a full-time basis in 12 months with three weekly classes. All classes take place in the evenings either online or at our SoHo campus to cater to working professionals. Note: international students on a F-1 student visa must be full-time students. 

See below for information on our course curriculum, and learn more about enrolling in the MS in Sustainable Fashion degree program at Glasgow Caledonian New York College.

Student Experience at GCNYC

GCNYC’s sustainable fashion program builds on the long-standing reputation of its parent institution Glasgow Caledonian University while opening up new possibilities for innovation in the social impact and sustainability fields. Our close-knit academic community is made up of a diverse group of highly motivated, creative change-makers from all over the world. GCNYC students learn from compassionate faculty who can straddle academic theory and real-world experience, and their student cohort who refuse to compromise between career success and the Common Good.

Sustainable Fashion students take core courses with students from all of our master’s programs, providing the opportunity to learn from vastly different perspectives, challenge one other, and make connections across industries. Our small class sizes ensure meaningful interactions with professors and guest speakers. 

The other guiding principle of the GCNYC experience is excellence in applied research. Our faculty build their coursework from applied research to help students connect their actual and future work challenges to new knowledge and insights from the global academic community. In addition to being exposed to applied research outcomes during coursework, fashion students at GCNYC have the autonomy, time and support to ask important questions through their own independent research. Completing a master’s-level thesis demonstrates to your employers that you have what it takes to tackle important issues in sustainable fashion and to propose solutions that emphasize sustainability as well as profitability.

Program Learning Outcomes

The primary goal of this program is to provide a broad, analytical and integrative study of Sustainable Fashion. Specifically, the educational aims are:

  • To develop intellectual acuity in the relevant theories, principles and practices of social business.
  • To critically understand impact, sustainability, and equity considerations in a changing world and how to apply them to new and existing business dynamics in the fashion industry.
  • To critically examine the trends in contemporary marketing campaigns to effect social, political, and ethical impact and deploy marketing communications for ethical and social impact.
  • To demonstrate critical understanding of cultural heritage, cultural appropriation and intersectionality in the fashion space.
  • To develop critical thinking and analytical skills to comprehend and select appropriate methodologies and research techniques for independent research.

 

The overall learning outcome of a master’s degree at Glasgow Caledonian New York College is to provide a differentiated master’s-level learning experience that combines program-specific and common modules. Students benefit by building general expertise in global business strategy, organizational ethics and personal and professional development alongside their program’s niche strengths in sustainable fashion. The coursework at GCNYC offers a broad spectrum of knowledge and skills relating to organizational management to give students the tools needed to succeed as a responsible and ethical professional manager/practitioner. Students are offered opportunities to simultaneously develop critical thinking skills, their knowledge of contemporary and sustainable management practices and the personal and entrepreneurial abilities necessary to gain employment.  The culmination of the program develops critical research skills necessary for the successful completion of a complex and independently designed research project.

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Program Courses

Our Master’s degree in Sustainable Fashion features courses in purpose-driven marketing, leadership, and business strategy, as well as coursework related to the cumulative thesis that is the capstone of this graduate degree.
Values Based Leadership Skills for an Interconnected World

This course will enable students to identify, understand, develop and articulate their key personal abilities in the context of their future career aspirations. The development of their academic and professional skill set is essential to securing and/or developing fulfilling careers as expert managers and leaders in increasingly diverse and international workplace organizations.

Navigating Global Change: Business Practices for the Common Good

This course reflects the fact that organizations do not operate in a vacuum: they are both shaped by and themselves also shape the geo-political, economic, social and technological environments in which they operate. Understanding the interaction between organizations and their wider contexts is essential to effective management and responsible leadership. This course is designed to equip students with the information and analytical skills required to critically reflect upon some of the most significant issues which pose challenges to business managers and organizational leaders in the modern world.

Business Strategy as an Instrument for Economic, Social and Environmental Sustainability

This course aims to provide students with academic knowledge and analytical tools with which to discuss and practice strategic management in a world characterized by rapid change and increasing concerns for economic, social and environmental sustainability. The course seeks to address the who, what, why, where and how of strategic decisions, with an emphasis on generating sustainable growth across national boundaries. Students will develop the knowledge and skills required to undertake the necessary research and analysis to advise a firm on the issues that organizations face, and the choices they must make, to develop strategies for sustainable growth.

Purpose-Driven Marketing and Communications

This course covers the end-to-end process of marketing communications planning – from research to creative briefing – using a lens of ethics, integrity and responsibility. It takes both an analytical and a creative approach to develop a strategy for both traditional and digital marketing initiatives by introducing a framework that helps marketers cover all critical elements for a successful campaign. The strategy is built with the consumer, their needs and their rights, at its core, not the product.

Fashion as Culture / Culture as Fashion

This module covers the range of considerations specific to operating with a common good lens but general to every fashion business, focusing on product creation including designing for reduced impact, material sourcing for sustainability and ethics, supply chain considerations, tools and metrics by which to manage sustainability/ethics/impact in your business, merchandising, brand voice and impact messaging, circular economy considerations, risk management, positive impact opportunities, best business structures for positive impact, and shifting stakeholder perspectives. Through readings, lectures, class discussion, guest speakers, and development of a sustainability focused business outline students will develop the toolset needed to function at any level of a business – from independent contributor to CEO – to support positive impact.

Sustainable Fashion Strategy

Building a new sustainably-focused fashion business, or shifting an existing business not currently managing sustainability considerations, requires a specific set of skills, considering all needs of the business from supply chain to marketing messaging. As the world changes and demands a new paradigm for operating a business – eschewing the former singular goal of profit for shareholders and replacing that with the need to serve a wide range of stakeholders – a new knowledge base, a greater flexibility and an entirely different skill set is required to succeed. Success under such a paradigm is not just doing better than before but actively doing good.

This course covers the range of considerations specific to operating with a common good lens but general to every fashion business, focusing on product creation including designing for reduced impact, material sourcing for sustainability and ethics, supply chain considerations, tools and metrics by which to manage sustainability/ethics/impact in your business, brand voice and impact messaging, circular economy considerations, risk management, positive impact opportunities, best business structures for positive impact, and shifting stakeholder perspectives. Through readings, lectures, class discussion, guest speakers, and development of a sustainability focused business outline students will develop the toolset needed to function at any level of a business – from independent contributor to CEO – to support positive impact.

Research Methods

This course aims to develop advanced skills related to a range of contemporary research methods needed for academic and practical research at a Master’s level. Students should be able to critically evaluate new concepts, ideas and evidence from a range of sources and crucially and transfer their skills into practice. Emphasis is placed on written and oral presentation skills at an advanced management level.

Thesis

The aim of this course is to conduct business research/consultancy and report on the findings. Drawing on the proposal developed in Research Methods, the course focuses on the business research project, which involves an investigation of a substantial business issue or problem. Students are required to demonstrate critical awareness of business practice, relevant theories and research techniques and approaches. The project element of the course in particular offers students the opportunity to apply course concept, theories and techniques, draw on internationally published literature and good practice, and develop and interpret knowledge about management practice in their area of study.

Learn More About GCNYC's Sustainable Fashion Program!

Advance your career with an innovative Master of Science in Sustainable Fashion degree focused on sustainability for the Common Good. Learn more about our master’s degree in Sustainable Fashion at Glasgow Caledonian New York College. 

Ready to apply? Detailed information about GCNYC’s application process can be found on our Admissions page.

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