Sustainability in Fashion and Creative Industries – what is this actually?
Sustainability in the interaction of design and management means taking equal account of economic, social and ecological aspects along the value chain. This covers the entire life cycle of a design product. It begins with the procurement of the most renewable raw materials possible from the natural environment. During transport, production and distribution, for example, attention is paid to low emissions and socially fair working conditions. Sustainable design also includes considerations on useful life, recycling and disposal. Creative upcycling is an important keyword here – an area in which AMD is actively researching in cooperation with companies.
Fast Fashion vs. Slow Fashion – what are the challenges especially for a design manager?
With the cradle-to-cradle approach, even a sustainable fast fashion industry is possible because the disposal of products is completely harmless to ecosystems. The focus is on natural energy and material flows. This leads to a circular economy. And sustainable thinking design manager strive for this with their strategies. Sustainability performance must of course be transparent and credible. They can be measured using eco-design instruments such as the product carbon footprint or life cycle assessments and communicated via sustainability reports or eco-fair labels.
This requires a technical-analytical understanding, but also the choice of suitable marketing measures. A sustainably oriented design manager must be able to apply the right methods and develop them strategically. In order to meet these challenges, interdisciplinary broad knowledge is required.
What motives do creative companies have for sustainable business?
Smart companies in the fashion and creative industries today rely on sustainability, simply because they want to be able to meet the ethical demands of their stakeholders. Consumers in particular have become more critical. They want high-quality and durable design products that are manufactured in an environmentally friendly manner and under fair conditions. Future-oriented designers and managers automatically bring these ethical standards with them. Because they tap market potential with sustainability innovations, they become more competitive. At the same time, their creative work contributes to make the world a bit more livable. Sustainability and economic success – this is no longer a contradiction, but requires a new way of thinking and acting. This is precisely where the idea of the Master’s program Sustainability in Fashion and Creative Industries comes in.
What is special about the Master program Sustainability in Fashion and Creative Industries?
The Master’s program is future and practice-oriented as well as interdisciplinary. The combination of sustainability, fashion, design and management is unique in this form. After all, tomorrow’s designers are also managers and must be able to deal with complex technical, political and economic conditions. Therefore, demanding seminars on business ethics, ecosystem research, material innovation, business psychology and digital marketing are an integral part of the study program. All this is done with a high level of practical relevance, for which AMD with its broad corporate network has been known for decades. The students are trained as sustainability experts with comprehensive specialist knowledge. We can already see from job advertisements that such farsighted experts are urgently needed, especially in management positions in the creative industries.
How is the study program structured?
The Master’s program comprises 3 semesters with a total of 90 credits. In the first semester there are the main modules Design Strategies, Business, Production. In addition, modules on fashion product, brand development or merchandising can be chosen. In the second semester these topics will be deepened. Students can decide whether they want to specialize in design or management with appropriate courses. In addition, practical projects are offered. In the third semester the focus is on the master thesis. This can be written either artistically and creatively, e.g. in the form of a sustainable fashion collection, or analytically in the management area. For this purpose, there are supporting tutorials, coaching sessions and the accompanying course “Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Financing”. The curriculum overview provides more detailed information on the content of these modules and courses.
What are the requirements for the Master’s program?
First of all, one should have an interest in shaping the future of the fashion and creative industries. This also includes willing to see the bigger picture and assuming social responsibility. If you have already completed an industry-specific Bachelor’s degree in the fashion or creative industry with a design or management focus in the amount of 210 credits, you can be admitted directly. Missing credits can be compensated by professional experience or qualifying modules. The qualifying modules are offered directly at AMD. They can be taken before or during the first semester. These credits are also available to all applicants who, although they have 210 credits, have studied either fashion or design or economics. This means that even those applicants who still lack some skills in design or management have the chance of being admitted. These requirements are decided individually by the Admissions Committee. Individual advice on the Master’s program is provided at AMD Berlin at any time, at information evenings, by phone or on Skype.
What made you decide to become Dean for this Master’s program?
Sustainability has always fascinated me. My banking apprenticeship and my classical business studies simply weren’t enough for me. For example, there was no explanation how to assume exponential growth in a limited world. The question of the actual meaning of our social system has also been asked far too little. That’s why I dedicated my doctoral thesis at Free University Berlin to the topic of the financial market economy and ethics. I have been a university lecturer in sustainability management for more than 10 years. At the same time I have built up a sustainable design company in the furniture sector in addition to many practical projects in the free economy. I now combine my two passions with my professorship at AMD: Sustainable design and management. Research and teaching are great fun. I want to encourage students to reflect critically and to develop themselves. With the responsibility as Dean for the Master Sustainability in Fashion and Creative Industries, this goal can be realized even better. After all, imparting knowledge about sustainability approaches also has something to do with values. In addition, international cooperation between science and business is very important to me in the Master’s program. Berlin as a creative and dynamic place offers excellent conditions for this.
Prof. Dr. Demele
Professor of General Management
Program Director Sustainability in Fashion and Creative Industries (M.A.)
Telephone: +49 (0)30 – 58 58 308-14