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Feel and Think! Teaching Aspiring School Teachers to Teach Slow Fashion
The Slow Fashion School is a practical approach to confront aspiring school teachers with the dark sides of fast fashion and engage them in the design of learning boxes to teach sustainable fashion to young learners.


By: Heike Derwanz (Academy of Fine Arts Vienna)

Session type: Multiples session, TT level, Medium size


  • Sustainable fashion

  • Game


Introduction to the teaching example:

The exercise has two objectives: first, to show aspiring textile educators the drawbacks of fast fashion and help them realize that making the switch to slow fashion requires more than just buying more expensive items labeled as such; and second, to give aspiring textile teachers the tools they need to teach this challenging subject in diverse classroom settings with the aid of learning boxes.


Students in teacher education with a focus on craft education engage in this project to explore fast fashion and the difficulties of implementing slow fashion principles. Based on these discoveries, they create the Slow Fashion School, a set of learning boxes for students. 


Three steps were taken to complete the task. By going on a field trip to a slow-fashion exhibition online or in a museum (, students first gained knowledge on the subject. This was followed by a debate regarding how fast fashion and slow fashion were portrayed there. An online exhibition or watching a fast fashion documentary may serve as an alternative.


The class then moved on to assess the methods used by existing learning boxes, suitcases or backpacks which are typically given by NGOs or museums and cover topics like cotton, water or coffee. Students spoke about how the information and facts in these boxes (such as the fact that a cotton plant needs x liters of water) may be "repackaged" as a game or activity tailored to young learners, reflecting the requirements of the students (age, skills, profiles). 


In the third stage, the class divided into workgroups to come up with new suggestions on how to teach students about slow fashion. The student groups translated these concepts into learning games, the components of the newly created or revised learning box.

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