Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this lesson, students investigate the relationship between fast fashion and sustainability. They begin by exploring what fashion and fast fashion are before conducting research into the environmental and social impacts of fast fashion. Students are then introduced to the concepts of planned and perceived obsolescence and how these relate to fast fashion and sustainability. They then work collaboratively to produce a communication piece that describes these relationships. Students can use their learning from this lesson as a basis for the follow-up social action lesson.

Cool Australia’s War On Waste lessons have been developed in partnership with Lune Media and with support from the Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network. These lessons have been designed to lead students through a deeper understanding of some of the big issues relating to waste in Australia and to support them to take action to reduce the impact of waste on our environment. To access the full War On Waste unit for Years 7 to 10, click here.

Learning intention:

  • Students understand what fast fashion is and how it has come to be
  • Students recognise some of the social and environmental impacts of fast fashion
  • Students recognise planned and perceived obsolescence as business strategies
  • Students understand the relationships between sustainability and planned and perceived obsolescence.

21st century skills:

CommunicatingCreative ThinkingCritical ThinkingProblem FindingTeam Work

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 7 Economics and Business

  • The ways consumers and producers interact and respond to each other in the market (ACHEK017)
  • Gather relevant data and information from a range of digital, online and print sources (ACHES022)
  • Apply economics and business knowledge, skills and concepts in familiar and new situations (ACHES025)
  • Present evidence-based conclusions using economics and business language and concepts in a range of appropriate formats, and reflect on the consequences of alternative actions (ACHES026)

Year 8 Economics and Business

  • Types of businesses and the ways that businesses respond to opportunities in Australia (ACHEK030)
  • Gather relevant data and information from a range of digital, online and print sources (ACHES033)
  • Apply economics and business knowledge, skills and concepts in familiar and new situations (ACHES036)
  • Present evidence-based conclusions using economics and business language and concepts in a range of appropriate formats, and reflect on the consequences of alternative actions (ACHES037)

Year 9 Economics and Business

  • The nature of innovation and how and why businesses seek to create and maintain a competitive advantage in the market, including the global market (ACHEK041)
  • Gather relevant and reliable data and information from a range of digital, online and print sources (ACHES044)
  • Apply economics and business knowledge, skills and concepts in familiar, new and hypothetical situations (ACHES047)
  • Present reasoned arguments and evidence-based conclusions in a range of appropriate formats using economics and business conventions, language and concepts (ACHES048)
  • Reflect on the intended and unintended consequences of economic and business decisions (ACHES049)

Year 10 Economics and Business

  • Factors that influence major consumer and financial decisions and the short- and long-term consequences of these decisions (ACHEK053)
  • The ways businesses respond to changing economic conditions and improve productivity through organisational management and workforce management (ACHEK054)
  • Gather relevant and reliable data and information from a range of digital, online and print sources (ACHES056)
  • Apply economics and business knowledge, skills and concepts in familiar, new and hypothetical situations (ACHES059)
  • Present reasoned arguments and evidence-based conclusions in a range of appropriate formats using economics and business conventions, language and concepts (ACHES060)

Syllabus outcomes: C4.1, C4.2, C4.3, C4.4, C4.7, C4.8, C5.1, C5.2, C5.3, C5.4, C5.5, C5.7, C5.8.

General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking, Literacy.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.8.

Relevant parts of Year 7 Economics and Business achievement standards: Students describe the interdependence of consumers and producers in the market. They gather data and information from different sources to investigate an economic or business issue. They apply economics and business knowledge, skills and concepts to familiar problems. Students develop and present conclusions using appropriate texts, terms and concepts. They identify the effects of their decisions and the possible effects of alternative actions.

Relevant parts of Year 8 Economics and Business achievement standards: Students describe the different ways businesses can respond to opportunities in the market. They gather relevant data and information from different sources to investigate an economic or business issue. They apply economics and business knowledge, skills and concepts to familiar and unfamiliar problems. Students develop and present evidence-based conclusions using appropriate texts, subject-specific language and concepts. They identify the effects of an economic or business decision and the potential consequences of alternative actions.

Relevant parts of Year 9 Economics and Business achievement standards: Students explain why businesses seek to create a competitive advantage, including through innovation, and evaluate the strategies that may be used. They gather and analyse relevant data and information from different sources to answer questions, identify trends and explain relationships. Students develop and present evidence-based conclusions and reasoned arguments using appropriate texts, subject-specific language and concepts. They analyse the effects of economic and business decisions and the potential consequences of alternative actions.

Relevant parts of Year 10 Economics and Business achievement standards: Students analyse factors that influence major consumer and financial decisions and explain the short- and long-term effects of these decisions. They gather and analyse reliable data and information from different sources, and apply economics and business knowledge, skills and concepts to familiar, unfamiliar and complex hypothetical problems. Students develop and present evidence-based conclusions and reasoned arguments incorporating different points of view. They use appropriate texts, subject-specific language, conventions and concepts. They analyse the intended and unintended effects of economic and business decisions and the potential consequences of alternative actions.

Topic: Waste, Consumption, Sustainability.

Unit of work: War On Waste – Years 7-10.

Time required: 120 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Low – lead students in class discussions.

Resources required:

Keywords: War On Waste, fast fashion, sustainability, planned and perceived obsolescence.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

Teacher preparation

Learning intentions: Students will…

  • … understand what fast fashion is and how it has come to be
  • … recognise some of the social and environmental impacts of fast fashion
  • ... recognise planned and perceived obsolescence as business strategies
  • … understand the relationships between sustainability and planned and perceived obsolescence.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • … work collaboratively and independently
  • … conduct research
  • … analyse research using relevant economics and business concepts
  • … apply an understanding of sustainability to economic and business concepts
  • … participate in class and group discussions.

Teacher content information: In Australia, we began addressing the issue of waste in the 1960s and '70s with litter campaigns like Keep Australia Beautiful and Tidy Town Awards. With such a long history of waste reduction campaigns, you would think we had got on top of the waste issue; however, as the recent recycling crisis shows,

...
 
- or - to view worksheets

Student Worksheet

Thought Starter: It takes 2,700 litres of water to produce one item of clothing. This is as much drinking water as you need for three years.

What Is Fashion?

1. Work in pairs or small groups to discuss your answers to the following questions:

  • What does fashion look like? What forms does it take?
  • Why do we do it? Why are people into fashion?
  • How can fashion be about behaviour?
  • Where do we ‘get’ fashion from? Where do people find out what is fashionable?
  • Can you think of any types of fashion or fashion styles?

2. Now read this headline (source) and use the questions below to analyse your responses to this headline:

  • Can Fast Fashion And Sustainability Be Stitched Together?

How might fast fashion impact the environment?

Can you think of any issues relating to people and fast fashion?

What might be the relationship between economics and fast fashion?

What other thoughts do you have about fast fashion and sustainability?

What questions do you have about

...
 
- or - to view worksheets

Leave your Feedback

We appreciate your feedback. Let us know what you like or don't like about this activity:

Sorry. You must be logged in to view this form.