Developing textile sustainability education in the curriculum: pedagogical approaches to material innovation in fashion

Jane Wood, James Redfern, Joanna Verran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The textile industry needs to adopt environmentally sustainable approaches to address ecologically damaging practices. Whilst driven by initiatives such as Textiles 2030, it is current students who will carry this agenda forward. This project investigated pedagogical approaches to develop sustainable textiles for the fashion design curriculum. Pilot studies, using bacterial cellulose (BC) as a material for millinery, revealed members of the public were prepared to experiment with this novel material, and BC was compatible with traditional hat-making techniques. A further study challenged secondary school students, based on an experiential learning model, to grow their own BC biofilm, exploring this as a sustainable apparel fabric. Initial attitudes of reluctance developed into acceptance once engaged in the practical activity. This study illustrates that with appropriate communication and education strategies, the principles of sustainability in fashion, and the acceptability of novel materials, can be engendered in different audiences.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2022
EventManchester Science Festival 2017: Hats Off to v Leather - Hatworks - Museum of Hatting - Stockport, Manchester, United Kingdom
Duration: 17 Oct 201729 Oct 2017


  • Textile
  • Fashion
  • Sustainability
  • education for sustainable development
  • Education
  • Curriculum Development

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Manchester Institute of Biotechnology
  • Sustainable Futures
  • Advanced materials
  • Biotechnology
  • Creative Manchester


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  • Hands on Biofilm!

    Jane Wood (Co-Organiser), James Redfern (Co-Organiser) & Joanna Verran (Co-Organiser)

    28 Oct 2022

    Activity: Participating in or organising event(s)Organising a conference, workshop, exhibition, performance, inquiry, course etcResearch

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