Fashion for Good Launches Mbo Programme – The Circular Fashion Programme

The Fashion for Good Museum launches a post-secondary vocational education (hereafter: mbo) programme for schools: the Circular Fashion Programme.

23 November 2021

AMSTERDAM – The Fashion for Good Museum announces a new vocational secondary education (hereafter: mbo) programme for schools: the Circular Fashion Programme. With the support of VSBfonds and Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, the mbo programme will be further developed and improved for a year in collaboration with 3 mbo schools. The programme introduces students to sustainable fashion and why the fashion industry must change into a circular system for people and the environment and how they can influence this as consumers and in the professional field. Mbo students are not only an often forgotten target group for museums, mbo students are also the largest group in the future labor market. It is therefore very important to share knowledge with this target group and to inspire students with a sustainable and circular design and way of thinking.

The Fashion for Good Museum is a young fashion museum with a strong educational character and excellent expertise in sustainable fashion. It is the first and only sustainable fashion museum in the world. The museum tells the stories behind our clothing, explains how we got to fast fashion, what the fashion industry’s future will look like, and how consumers can make better fashion choices.

The latest innovations are also made visible and tangible in the museum, inspiring a broad audience by presenting clothing and fashion accessories. A good example of this is a dress from the permanent collection, made by fashion designer Stella McCartney, dyed sustainably with technology from the company Colorifix*. The dress reflects the vision that fashion can be beautiful, tell stories, ensure identity, and at the same time be good for people and our planet.

The Circular Fashion Programme and the fashion industry
The fashion industry is one of the sectors that needs to change drastically to meet the Dutch sustainability goals by 2050, of which the circular economy is an important pillar. The Fashion for Good Museum strongly believes in actively involving the new generation in sustainability: fashion designers, art directors, stylists, and other fashion professionals, but also consumers, play a crucial role in this. That is why Fashion for Good has developed in-house, a tailor-made school programme for mbo fashion students: the Circular Fashion Programme (CMP). In this programme, they inform, inspire, and activate mbo students with a fashion background to develop creative solutions, each based on their specialisation, that fit with a circular fashion industry.

Gwen Boon, Museum Manager, explains: “Initially, we focus on mbo fashion education because most of the workforce in the fashion sector has an mbo education, while the circular economy is currently not receiving enough attention there. As a sustainable fashion organisation, we see a great need for more knowledge about sustainability and circularity: it is asked a lot by young designers, clothing brands, fashion press and other media, amongst others.”

Although this is also recognised in the most recent educational objectives for mbo fashion, the teachers often lack expertise in this area. The ROC of Amsterdam, Zadkine Rotterdam and the Summa College in Eindhoven confirm this need and are involved as cooperation partners in this project and will provide feedback during the pilot year and participate in the development of the education programme.

What does the CMP day programme entail?

During a day programme, mbo students are taken into the sustainable fashion world, where we learn the stories behind our clothing, receive an explanation about how fast fashion comes to us and what the future of fashion will look like. The programme builds on increasing awareness about sustainable fashion, provides more insight into circularity, shows new developments in the fashion industry and presents potential solutions to make the industry more sustainable and how they can influence this as a consumer and in the professional field.

The Fashion for Good Museum recently started a pilot project. The current mbo day programme will be further developed over the course of a year, together with input and feedback from 3 mbo schools, and will eventually take its final shape in September 2022. The day programme in its current form can already be booked for mbo fashion students**.

With the Circular Fashion Programme, Fashion for Good aims to reach at least 13,000 students who annually start fashion-related mbo training after the development year. In addition, the programme can also be interesting for the other disciplines within mbo because fashion and clothing offer a tangible example for everyone for the transition to a circular economy. The programme is adapted for these target groups to fit in with subjects, such as citizenship or study career guidance. The Circular Fashion Programme fits in well with the existing curriculum of mbo schools.

Schools of all levels are already welcome in the museum for guided tours with a guide who can answer questions from the students, and mbo courses that want to participate in the pilot programme are also very welcome.

* Colorifix has invented a revolutionary dyeing technology. They use a biological process to produce, transfer, and fix pigments to textiles, eliminating the need for chemicals used in conventional techniques and reducing water and energy consumption.

** Schools of all levels can already book a guided tour with a museum guide, teach students about sustainable fashion and innovations for an hour, and have the opportunity to ask questions.

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