(Re) Fashioning the Local Textile Industry


Make Change Studio: (Re) Fashioning the Local Textile Industry is a collaborative 1-year, 4-course experience bringing together designers and business students at SFU who are interested in entrepreneurship and social change. This program is a unique offering at SFU that focuses on sustainability, and building and defining a design-led and socially responsibility ventures. This course emphasizes learning by doing: you will be researching, prototyping, and delivering products and services to real customers.

This year, the program will focus on  wicked problems relevant to the textile and apparel industry. You will dive deep to unravel social, cultural, and political issues and discover your own position within the narrative. You will meet with local makers, mentors and industry professionals in the field to gain further perspectives and situate your work within regional and international sustainability movements.

Students will work under the guidance of two local experts in textiles and clothing - Emily Smith (co-founder of Vancouver Mini Maker Faire and Vancouver Fibreshed) as well as Stephanie Ostler (founder and CEO of Devil May Wear) to reignite the local textile industry, and bring together fashion and textile entrepreneurs to support one another as they create an ecosystem of local opportunities and environmentally conscious initiatives.

This course steps away from the traditional department and faculty separation towards an integrative, interdisciplinary approach that requires students to work together with like-minded individuals from different faculties. You will work together to find sustainable solutions to real-world problems and implement them in the world in real time. You will discover, design and implement your own design process, and discover the methods that resonate with and empower you.


The four BoD 2019-2020 courses will each deal with different aspects of recreating the textile industry in Vancouver:

1)    In IAT330 (Fall 2019), you will work as a team to come up with a single solution that will “kickstart” the textile revolution in Vancouver. You will work with Emily and Stephanie to fully understand how the problem developed. You will connect with local designers to understand issues in the industry and the market, producers’ and consumers’ needs, and how to balance these with the economic and sustainability crises we are facing; and to imagine and implement a single intervention that could form the necessary basis for the rekindling of the industry.

2)    In BUS339 (Spring 2020), you will work over the semester to ideate, prototype and iterate on various venture ideas that would connect to and form part of a local, sustainable textile ecosystem.

3)    In IAT440 and BUS476 (Summer 2020), you will work in teams to take to market your local, sustainable textile-based ventures. You will launch your ventures publicly at a local, textile-focused fair in which key members of the ecosystem will participate.


***Make Change 2019-2020 is being co-offered by SFU and Emily Carr University of Art & Design; and SFU and ECUAD students will work together to recreate a sustainable textile ecosystem!!!***

If you want to participate in this opportunity, email the instructors, addressing your application to both Emily Smith and Stephanie Ostler (sfu-bod@sfu.ca). Spaces are limited!