Whitecliffe Announces Master of Fine Arts Degree in Fashion Sustainability

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Whitecliffe Announces Master of Fine Arts Degree in Fashion Sustainability

In 2016, Whitecliffe launched a new stream of the Master of Fine Arts programme focusing on Fashion and Sustainability. The programme offers postgraduate opportunities for Fashion Designers with an interest in ecologically ethical and sustainable fashion.

Sustainability in fashion is part of an expanding branch within the fashion industry focused on social responsibility and environmental impact through the ethical treatment of factory workers, use of sustainable and organic materials, disuse of harmful chemicals and dyes and reduction of textile waste.

Recent BFA Fashion Design graduates Benjamin Farry, Zuzana Kristofova, Sophia Butler and Courtney Harper have joined the programme to continue their focus on sustainable practices. These exceptional students have all travelled a very personal journey through their studies at Whitecliffe and have produced outstanding work. The programme will be delivered by the very best of our industry specialists, designers and expert faculty. International guests will be invited for presentations and assessment periods to support students in their design research throughout the course of the programme. Recent guests and professionals have included Liz Mitchell, Elizabeth Finlay (Zambesi), Marina Davis (Ovna Ovich), Elizabeth Brown (Ethical Sourcing Contractor Corporate Social Responsibility) and Marianne Franklin (Professor of Global Media and Politics at Goldsmiths).

The Whitecliffe Fashion Design department has already had a strong focus in sustainable practice within the BFA programme for the last three years. In 2014, the department was awarded The Prime Minister’s Scholarship for Asia (PMSA) for BFA students’ ongoing participation in Project Matatika 2015. The venture was part of a sustainable fashion project established through Seed to Self, an organisation founded by entrepreneurs Theresa Grantham and Gijs Spoor, that seeks to bring more awareness of ethical and sustainable practices into the world, through students designing products made of organic cotton from an ethical supply chain.

The MFA Fashion Sustainability candidates have recently been accepted to participate in the 2016 Youth Fashion Summit in Copenhagen. Over 100 students from all over the world are invited to attend the event, which takes place from 9 -12 May this year. The event’s core focus is to develop ways in which sustainability can be achieved within the fashion industry to reduce demands on resources and impact on the environment. Visit the Whitecliffe MFA to Copenhagen Youth Fashion Summit Facebook page to help support. 

For more information about the new MFA Fashion & Sustainability programme, please contact HOD Fashion Design Belinda Watt via email: belindaw@whitecliffe.ac.nz

(image at right from Zuzana Kristofova's graduate collection presented at the 2015 Whitecliffe Fashion Show) 

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