Design Museum Academy Design for Business

Circular Design for Fashion

Join us on a one-day course tailored to small and medium sized fashion design businesses that are looking to implement actionable steps to reduce waste and enhance their circularity practices.


This course has been postponed. Please email if you'd like to join the waiting list and be notified of a future date. Alternatively, sign up to our newsletter or become a member to be the first to know about this and other future learning events.

What to expect

This introductory-level CPD-certified  is ideal for small and medium sized fashion design businesses wishing to enhance their understanding of zero waste design and zero waste principles around pattern cutting, the sustainable use of materials, and the case for reuse and regenerative materials.

The Fashion and Textiles industry is a major contributor to global carbon emissions and the UK alone generates c.300,000 tonnes of textile waste per year.

A part of Design Museum Academy’s Design for Business series, the Circular Design for Fashion workshop will empower businesses who are seeking practical tools to reduce carbon emissions and waste as part of their design practice.

This course has been developed in partnership with British Fashion Council’s Institute of Positive Fashion and Future Fashion Factory, blending expertise from academia and industry, matching evidence-based insight with hands-on practical workshops led by top designers and industrial experts.

Sessions will include in-person case studies from fashion designers Phoebe English and Kresse Wesling, who will showcase how they have used circular design concepts within their practice.

The final section of the day will cover some of the key aspects of the proposed new regulations per EU’s sustainable and circular textiles strategy, which will introduce new requirements on how fashion products are being designed and manufactured, marketed and disposed of.

Programme Outline

09:00 – Arrival reception and coffee 

09:30 – Welcome and introductions 

09:45 – The Design Museum: 'What is Circular Design?' featuring content from the exhibitions Waste Age: What can design do? and REBEL: 30 Years of London Fashion

10:15 – University of Leeds: What does Circular Design mean for fashion?

11:15 – Break 

11:30 – Case study: Elvis and Kresse

12:15 – Practical workshop – putting theory into practice

13:00 – Lunch

13:45 – Case Study: Phoebe English

14:30 – Institute of Positive Fashion: Changing Landscapes – a legislative focus

15:30 – Break

15:45 – Curated surgery

16:30 – End

• Lunch and light refreshments will be provided throughout the day.

• Your workshop ticket will give you same day access to our exhibition REBEL: 30 Years of London Fashion sponsored by Alexander McQueen.

Images by Future Fashion Factory

Book online

Booking information

Adult: £330
Early bird Adult: £300
Members: £280
Early bird Members: £250

Check out the Design Museum Academy refunds and cancellations policy here.


This course has been postponed. Please email if you'd like to join the waiting list and be notified of a future date. Alternatively, sign up to our newsletter or become a member to be the first to know about this and other future learning events.


Dr Mark Sumner

Sumner is a lecturer in Sustainable Fashion at the University of Leeds. His research topics include textile and fashion sustainability, microplastics, modern slavery and consumer behaviour. He has made major contributions to UK and International sustainability initiatives and contributed to the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee report on Fast Fashion, as well as industry projects with a wide range of clothing brands.


Shailja Dube

With almost 25 years’ experience, Dube leads the Institute of Positive Fashion (IPF) programme at the British Fashion Council (BFC), responsible for its strategy and delivery.  Within this role, she supports BFC members prepare for the EU’s sustainable and circular textiles strategy and directs the IPF’s flagship programme, the Circular Fashion Ecosystem Project, which is establishing a circular economy for UK fashion. Dube also sits on the Steering Committee for the Future Fashion Factory.

Phoebe English

PHOEBE ENGLISH was founded in 2011 and designs clothing with our planetary boundaries in mind. The studio has dual roots in textile craftsmanship and reduced environmental impact: aiming to develop ways of working with design, and fashion systems, that align within the realities of our planetary limitations. A personal narrative runs throughout the work within the studio's established aesthetics of both the decorative and the utilitarian. English recently received: Marie Claire: Best Sustainable Designer (2022).

Rebecca Lewin

Lewin is a curator and writer based in London. Currently developing her first exhibition as Senior Curator at the Design Museum, she was previously Curator, Exhibitions and Design at Serpentine, London. As well as producing independent exhibitions and texts, she has also been a guest lecturer at Chelsea College of Art & Design and Slade School of Art, and has taught on courses at the Royal College of Art and Design Academy Eindhoven.

Eleanor Scott

Scott is a Lecturer in Fashion Design: Creative Knit and Innovation, at the University of Leeds. Previous industry experience has provided her with a distinct knowledge on issues facing the fashion knitwear sector, most notedly the urgency of waste reduction and the inefficiencies of product development. Eleanor’s explores these issues through many intersections, such as wearer perception, garment optimisation and environmental impact to reinvent the fashion system, from ideation to disposal.

Kresse Wesling

Wesling, CBE, is a multi-award winning environmental entrepreneur. She launched Elvis & Kresse, which rescues and transforms decommissioned fire hose into innovative lifestyle products and returns 50% of profits to the Fire Fighters Charity. The company now collects 12 different waste streams and has several charitable partnerships across industries. In 2021 Elvis & Kresse also took on a farm to establish a regenerative agriculture project, generate their own renewables and implement a host of environmental initiatives.

Previous workshop testimonials

'I left with a much better understanding and some clear pathways to look into, as well as good quality resources and a reading list! It was also a great opportunity to network with like-minded design led businesses'.

'So much content, …, it was excellent. Great to have so much variety and such a high level of info packed into one day'.

'Huge insights on so many levels. Need to go away and digest it all'.

Further reading

Working to make change in ‘Waste Age’

Reducing impact is everyone's business and a continuous learning process. Discover how the Design Museum is experimenting with adopting new methods to cut the environmental cost of its exhibitions. Through Waste Age: What Can Design Do, on display until 20 February 2022, the museum set out to understand the resource use, production methods, supply chains, and lifecycles of all exhibits and materials.

To make sure the museum was genuinely challenging existing methods, an advisory panel of leading experts were appointed alongside URGE to guide the development of the exhibition, and the museum teams also partnered with designers dedicated to ecological practices.

"We asked specialists to monitor our process, helping us to make change throughout."
– Gemma Curtin, Waste Age Curator, the Design Museum

The museum's commitment to a greener future

The Design Museum makes the impact of design visible to all, therefore we are committed to showing how we can all do things differently to get better outcomes for the environment. Through our programmes and how the museum’s operations are run, the museum will continue to champion design that makes a difference. Below you can find how we have sought to put in practice this thinking so far.

Background image by image by Future Fashion Factory.