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Sep 7, 2020
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Harris Tweed and Glasgow uni dive into Europe-wide sustainability skills project

Published
Sep 7, 2020

Glasgow Caledonian University has partnered with luxury brand Harris Tweed and Madrid-based retail group Tendam to lead a £300,000 European-wide sustainability project.



Designed to foster sustainable fashion skills and develop new business models, the three-year initiative is funded by Erasmus+, the EU’s programme for education, training and youth.

Glasgow Caledonian University will be working with industry partners to develop intensive study workshops for students and staff within the fashion industry. The workshops will examine everything from clothing design, manufacturing, and supply chain management to ethical practices, climate change, digital skills, and communication.

The project also aims to create new teaching resources for universities and training providers across Europe, and a blueprint for how sustainability can be achieved in other sectors of the economy supported with appropriate skills and knowledge.

Lindsey Carey, principal investigator and senior lecturer in marketing at Glasgow Caledonian University​, said the initiative comes at a crucial time as Covid-19 has brought issues around throwaway fashion to the fore.

She said: “The fashion and luxury industry is in the middle of the crisis right now -- no one knows what the long-term future will look like but there is a need to change. There is a lack of understanding of what sustainability means and how to implement it.

“There’s no doubt there is a gap between what is offered by universities and what the fashion industry requires at the moment in terms of employability skills for the implementation of a sustainable approach.”

The workshops will have strong industry links, with industry partners Harris Tweed and Tendam sharing how customers are reacting to the latest developments in fashion. 

Harris Tweed is handwoven in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland and generates sustainable local employment, while Tendam -- one of Europe’s largest retail groups- - has been recognised by the UN Global Compact for its commitment to climate change. 

GCU also has various university partners in the form of Madrid’s Centro Universitario Villanueva, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Edhec Business School in France, and Universidade da Madeira in Portugal.​

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