Former Kering employee launches apparel sustainability college program
Lauren Becker, coordinator of Orange Coast College's fashion department, told Apparel News, "This is a field of growth in job placement." She added, “If you’re paying attention to the industry, it’s a must.”
While other schools offer courses in sustainable design, Orange Coast College is the first community college to create a standalone program for the fashion industry.
The program's teacher Derek Sabori is a former Volcom executive who started Volcom's sustainability initiatives. When Kering bought Volcom in 2011, Sabori was enlisted to share sustainability practices across all of the group's brands which include Gucci and Saint Laurent.
"This is coming straight from the industry. It’s hard to find in a textbook", he said.
To that end, the curriculum for the certificate is based on three courses. Titles of the courses include Apparel Industry—The Environment, Ethical Business Practices and The Law, and an Intro to Sustainability in Business and Fashion. Students will gain real world experience through internships and site visits to the numerous apparel businesses embracing sustainability in Orange County.
Other academic programs focusing on sustainability in fashion are seeing increased popularity with several colleges in Southern California developing degree programs relating to sustainability. Master's programs in the field already exist at the London College of Design and the University of Delaware.
And demand seems to be strong, as the two-day seminar organized by Sabori to preview the new program at Orange Coast College filled to capacity.
The program will begin in September, 2018.
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