Addressing Sustainable Apparel Design Challenges with Problem-Based Knowledge
Abstract: As consumers’ social and environmental concerns have grown in the last decade, so has interest in eco-fashion. Behind fast-changing fashion trends, the apparel industry generates substantial environmental and resource depletion problems throughout the textile lifecycle. To respond to these trends, fashion designers and merchandisers have been motivated to practice sustainability in design and production. Some sustainable options are available, such as organic fibres and environmentally safe dyes. Still, there are challenges for apparel designers and merchandisers when trying to realize sustainability. To help undergraduate apparel students learn problem-solving approaches to sustainable garment design, a problem-based learning project was created and implemented in an undergraduate design course. In the course, students designed and produced an original sustainable garment. Student feedback following the project was largely positive, with most students indicating they would continue using sustainable practices in future work.