Fall 2023 Sustainability Management GR6125 section 001



Call Number 12717
Day & Time
R 6:10pm-8:00pm
224 Pupin Laboratories
Points 3
Grading Mode Standard
Approvals Required None
Instructor Elizabeth Cline
Method of Instruction In-Person
Course Description

The fashion industry is an ideal case study on how governments, citizens and international institutions attempt to limit the environmental and social impacts of complex consumer industries with global supply chains. Historically, apparel and textiles have been at the center of some of the most consequential government actions under liberal Western democracy, including the abolition of slavery and the passage of the first workplace safety and labor laws in the United States. In recent years, fashion has returned to the center of dynamic policy debates within the sustainability and social impact space.


The $2.5 trillion global fashion industry’s social and environmental impacts often evade regulation. Major brands leverage long and opaque supply chains for raw materials and cheap manufacturing costs with very little accountability. Private regulation and voluntary commitments have policed fashion for the better part of four decades, an approach that arguably has ended in failures to protect human and environmental rights. The industry’s lack of accountability has cost lives, including the notorious Rana Plaza building collapse in 2013 where 1,132 garment makers died, and now contributes to a sizable percentage of annual climate change. Profits have been pushed to the top of the supply chain while garment makers consistently toil for poverty wages, and the pollution and environmental degradation of fashion is a burden almost exclusively carried by low-and-middle income nations and communities of color that manufacture clothing and produce raw materials.


But the tide is turning. Governments are being asked to step in and regulate the fashion industry. Can effective fashion policies police international supply chains and achieve their intended aims? Might they unleash unintended consequences and in what ways? This course is an introduction to the fast-evolving space of modern environmental and labor policy as it intersects with fashion, and which seeks to incentivize more responsible business behavior in the realm of social, environmental and governance impacts. The class will use recently passed and proposed fashion social and sustainability policies as our case studies, including the New York State Fashion Sustainability and Social Accountability Act; mandatory human rights due diligence in Europe; California’s Garment Worker Protection Act and Congress’s FABRIC Act; the FTC Green Guides and the UK CMA’s Green Claims Code; and Europe&rsquo

Web Site Vergil
Department Sustainability Management
Enrollment 18 students (27 max) as of 11:06AM Saturday, February 24, 2024
Subject Sustainability Management
Number GR6125
Section 001
Division School of Professional Studies
Campus Morningside
Note Graduate Students Only. Cross-registrations opens 9/5/23.
Section key 20233SUMA6125K001