Cookies and Privacy

The University uses cookies on this website to provide the best experience possible including delivering personalised content on this website, other websites and social media. By continuing to use the site you agree to this, or your can go to our cookie policy to learn more and manage your settings.

Design for a Sustainable Circular Economy

  • Level: Short Course
  • Starting: TBC
  • Study mode: Short Course (5 days)
  • Location: City Centre

Studying with us in 2021/22

It is possible that the 2021/22 academic year may be affected by the ongoing disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Any arrangements put in place by the University for the 2021/22 academic year will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, pandemic-related/health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

Through applying circular design strategies, how do we redesign fashion and textiles without harm for our environment and humankind? How can design thinking help to tackle products going to landfill before they are even expired? Finding innovative ways to develop sustainable products is the challenge we have to solve jointly as creatives, scientists and business people.

Course Description

This five-day short course introduces you to the systems of Circular Economy. It helps you to understand the specific approach to sustainable, circular fashion and business design within the fashion industry, based on the following principles:

  • Design out waste and pollution
  • Keep products and materials in use
  • Regenerate natural systems

You will explore various parts of the production chain including sourcing, product development, sales and (re)use to define opportunities for circular change.

We will provide you with a practice-based challenge (given by a UK firm within the fashion industry) to explore Circular Economy and gain experience in interdisciplinary team work.

We highly welcome participants from different professional backgrounds interested in actionable knowledge in the field of circular fashion.

Duration: 5 days
Dates: New dates for this course are to be confirmed
Times: 10.00am - 4.00pm daily
Price: Early Bird price £340 until February 2020 (£400 thereafter)
Venue: City Centre (The Parkside Building)

What will you study?

On the first two days we will introduce you to the challenges of the current fashion industry and guide you through innovative approaches for potential improvement. We will present the impact of circular design on complex difficulties and how it can be a driver for change whilst being economically valuable. Case studies and best practices will show you how Circular Economy can be implemented and inspire you to think differently.

For the following two days, a live fashion project will give you the possibility to research existing problems in mini groups and find solutions that can ignite your cooperation partner to change for the better. On the last day you will present and discuss your individual implementation of circular design strategies.

Tutor description

Johnny Kerkhof is CEO at Start Up Mix in the Netherlands. He has developed educational courses on Circular Economy for different academic institutes since 2014. His work has a focus on fostering an entrepreneurial mindset in students and participants. In the past five years he has designed and run circular business case challenges for different sectors, including the fashion sector where his social enterprise runs the

Sabine Lettmann is a Senior Lecturer specialising in fashion and costume design, currently teaching on the BA Costume Design and Practice course at Birmingham City University. Since finishing her Diploma in Fashion Design at the University of Applied Sciences in Hamburg in 2001, she has been working as fashion designer and consultant. Her focus lies on finding sustainable alternatives to common design practices. Within her own circular collection concept she uses transparency, collaboration and open source strategies to approach fashion design from a holistic point of view.

This course is open to International students

Fashion and Textiles Right Column

Discover the School of Fashion and Textiles

Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

Visit the School website

School of Fashion and Textiles Blog

Our blog is the online home for our community of aspirational, innovative and creative individuals. It’s for sharing our experiences and visionary ideas with each other, the industry and the world.

Read our blog

  • UK students
  • International students




  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Short Course
  • 5 days
  • TBC




  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Short Course
  • 5 days
  • TBC

The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

Early bird price: £340 (available until February 2020)
Regular price: £400

New dates for this course are to be confirmed.

For any enquiries, please contact Beth White using the button below.

Contact us

Parkside and Curzon Buildings

Our Facilities

You’ll be based in our School of Fashion and Textiles, within The Parkside Building. The Parkside Building is part of our new multi-million pound City Centre Campus development in the heart of Birmingham's Eastside development.

Sabine Lettman

Senior Lecturer - BA (Hons) Costume Design and Practice

Sabine started teaching Fashion Design in 2015. Since then she taught fashion design, concept development, dissertation and sustainable design systems. In February 2018 she joined BCU as a VT to teach level 4 to level 6 students. Following this experience, Sabine started to work as a part-time Senior Lecturer at BCU in 2019.

With more than 19 years of experience as a freelancer in fashion design, Sabine looks back at working for her own label and other brands. She focusses on sustainable systems and designs womenswear and knitwear developed in her Hamburg studio. Collections were presented internationally, for example at Paris’ fashion fair Who’s Next”. As not only the place of production plays a main role for her production but also the manner is key to her philosophy, workways include integrative approaches through working with social workshops and migrants since the very beginning.

Sabine has worked for Hamburg State Opera, Hamburg Ballet and various film productions alongside her own designs to gain broader knowledge in costume design. She had the pleasure to work with Christian Lacroix, Swiss fashion label Akris or John Neumeier to implement historical and contemporary costume concepts.

Realising the importance of public relations and presentation skills for brands, Sabine additionally began to work in public relations and consulting for companies like Dior and German label JOOP!. Her holistic point of view influences her teaching intensely as she evaluates design concepts always from different angles.

Read Sabine's full profile