Course Title: Fashion Ethics

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Fashion Ethics

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Coordinator: Dr Rebecca Van Amber

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 9157

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: B513 F01 R003

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Required Prior Study

Successful completion of SOCU2301 Fashion, Textiles, Place and Story.

Alternatively, you may be able to demonstrate the required skills and knowledge before you start this course.



Course Description

This course critically examines the complex and interconnected production and consumption cycles of fashion, and their social and environmental impact and poses the question “what is the responsibility of the fashion industry to behave ethically?” 

You will explore the role and effect of the consumer, producer, grower, manufacturer, designer as well as trend forecasting, retail, business and government, and the interconnections between these actors. Through case studies, you will examine critical ethics issues and look at current legislation, and concepts such as transparency, traceability, product lifecycle assessment and corporate social responsibility. 

You will also examine how can innovation/technology/materials improve the ethical position of the fashion industry. You will consider alternative systems-based strategies and new models such as the integrated product-service-system, traceability, on-demand production, digital tracking and blockchain, and the sharing economy, to deliver an ethical and sustainable global fashion industry.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Program Learning Outcomes 

In this course you will develop the following program learning outcomes:

PLO2: Critically analyse, synthesise and reflect on sustainable innovation in both local and international contexts. 

PLO3:  Demonstrate creativity, critical thinking and innovation when identifying and solving problems in diverse contexts within the field of fashion and textiles sustainable innovation.

PLO4: Communicate using diverse formats and strategies with stakeholders within and external to your discipline.

Course Learning outcomes 

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

CLO1: Critically discuss the complex and interconnected production and consumption cycles of fashion, and their social and environmental impact. 

CLO2: Explain how design, manufacturing, retail, trend forecasting and the consumer impact on a typical fashion garment’s lifecycle. 

CLO3: Analyse and apply concepts to support improved sustainable practices such as transparency, traceability product lifecycle assessment and corporate social responsibility. 

CLO4: Propose alternative systems-based innovations, strategies and models to deliver an ethical and sustainable global fashion industry.

Overview of Learning Activities

Your learning will be facilitated via a range of in-class and online activities that will require both individual and collaborative engagement. Class activities will promote your ability to propose, investigate, plan, analyse, and realise sustainable innovative fashion and textile solutions.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.

A list of recommended learning resources will be provided by your lecturer, including books, journal articles and web resources. You will also be expected to seek further resources relevant to the focus of your own learning.

RMIT Library provides extensive resources for fashion and textiles students. 

Search the library and consult the Fashion and Textiles Subject Guides for more information. 

The library also provides guides on academic referencing and assistance is available via phone, chat and email.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes. 

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

Assessment tasks are directly aligned with each Course Learning Outcome.  They are as follows:

Assessment Task 1:  Ethics survey (20%)
CLOs: 1   

Assessment Task 2: Ethics report (50%)
CLOs: 1, 2, & 3

Assessment Task 3: Traceability innovation project (40%)
CLOs: 1, 2, 3 & 4

If you have a long-term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more.
Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions.