We see it as our highest task to educate competent fashion designers who, through basic craft skills, creativity and understanding of contemporary issues, contribute to the development of the fashion industry. And we do this based on three overarching principles that influence our work with sustainability and the way it permeates SAFD – from our use of resources to the way we teach and create partnerships. The principles are Quality & Thoroughness, Craftsmanship & Insight as well as Fashion, Creativity & Relevance.

On this page, we will review how each principle is fundamental to our approach to educate future fashion designers and to our contribution to the much-needed sustainable transformation of the fashion industry. We have then mapped out our most important focus areas and set work targets for what we must focus on and secure in the next years to come. It is our way of taking responsibility and strengthening the work for a more holistic education, fashion industry and society.

Principle 1: Fashion, Creativity and Relevance

Fashion is at the heart of SAFD’s work. But our concept of fashion is not created from an understanding of fast trends and the increased speed in the industry. On the contrary, our focus on fashion clothes means an insistence that clothes should reflect the times we live in and be a mirror of the values, cultures and people we surround ourselves with. It’s not just clothing or textiles – it’s fashion. Therefore, fashion is at the heart of our way of educating designers; they must understand themselves and their work as part of a larger context, which can not only help to rethink our relationship with clothing, consumption, materials, production, recycling and the body, but also overall can help to challenge our way of dressing or our conversations about what is right or wrong. When creativity is coupled with craftsmanship and relevance, it enables designers to create quality products that make sense both for the planet and consumers.

Mode, Kreativitet og Relevans
Håndværk og Indsigt

Principle 2: Craftsmanship and Insight

At SAFD, we take our time. It is a fundamental principle that we do not just follow the latest trends or smart buzzwords if they do not make sense for our school, our teaching or our students. This means that we work hard to contextualize everything so that it hits the mark with our students. We also know that textiles have a huge impact on both the planet and the people who produce them. Therefore, thoroughness and respect for materials is a crucial cornerstone in our teaching; we want to reduce waste, recycle as often as possible, rethink what can be done and go about it investigatively and thoroughly by asking the questions others forget on the fly. This, we believe, provides a strong foundation for teaching our students the techniques and methods that are absolutely fundamental in creating quality clothing. At SAFD, the focus is on the work of the hands, the work with and the creation of the fashion clothing itself. That is why the teachers at SAFD are some of the fashion industry’s biggest profiles – especially when it comes to the slow fashion, the great craftsmanship, the design and the respect for materials, people and the planet.

Principle 3: Quality and Thoroughness

The fashion industry has been a co-creator of a consumption culture that has grown so massively that it gradually only contributes negatively to our development and the planet’s. The increased speed of fashion, the increasing number of collections and the speed with which new products have to hit the shops has meant that the quality – both in terms of durability of materials, production, sewing, sales – has generally fallen significantly. It is therefore absolutely essential that our teaching is based on quality. Because creating quality that lasts – for a long time – is one of the most important factors in lowering the negative impact of the fashion industry. Therefore, our teachers are professionals and designers with a deep knowledge of textiles, their composition and their possibilities and limitations. Therefore, our teaching is organized so that the students understand the scope of what it means to make quality fashion clothes – and so that they can be independent, creative forces themselves. Therefore, it is our perspective that luxury is not about price, but about thoroughness – that thorough, informed choices have been made in the creation of the clothing, the composition of materials and fit, that the clothing is created to be used and that it can last, preferably for a lifetime or more. That’s luxury. That’s quality. That’s our cornerstone.

Kvalitet og Grundighed

Our Responsibility

We have worked in a structured way and mapped out our most important areas of action when it comes to working towards a sustainable future. We have done this because we want our efforts to make sense, but also to give us an overview that is both accessible and manageable in a busy everyday life at a smaller educational institution. Therefore, we have divided our responsibilities into overall main categories, where each category has specified an overall direction as well as some of the goals we want to achieve within the next few years.

The areas are:
Resources, Teaching, Partnerships and Publicity.



SAFD is a smaller educational institution, but it is nevertheless crucial that we do our own thing in our resource consumption. Therefore, we have looked inward and set the following goals for how we can minimize our own footprint and the resources we emit as a result of our physical premises, our purchases, etc.

Work Goals
  • Mapping our electricity, gas and water consumption as well as waste sorting and handling; influence our landlord to switch to greener solutions and source sorting of rubbish, preferably together with other tenants, so that our voice is stronger.
  • Active work for extra care of premises; remember to turn off lights, turn down radiators, etc.
  • Switch to certified cleaning products throughout the school.
  • Always only print when strictly necessary and always reuse paper so that both sides of a document can be printed – setting up a box for this and a clear focus on reducing students’ print use.
  • Only buy organic, fair trade certified or biodynamic milk, coffee/tea, fruit/vegetables, etc. and actively minimize food waste by making a plan for raw materials that are about to exceed their expiry date.


Teaching is at the core of SAFD and is where our principles stand out most clearly. Through constant dialogue between students, teachers and management, we create a flexible space for development and learning. The teaching is organized based on creativity, thoroughness and with a focus on craftsmanship. The teachers each contribute their own approach to sustainability, which collectively spans the entire value chain from material knowledge to design and reusability. This way, a broad knowledge is created as well as the opportunity for critical reflection under expert guidance.

Work Goals
  • Coordinated efforts for all teachers, who together map how their subject contributes to teaching sustainable principles and ensures that students during a full education understand the entire value chain and its footprint, including: materials (fibres, footprint, origin, sourcing, durability, possibilities of use), production (global production conditions, social inequality, working conditions, etc.), design (circular principles, zero waste, social conditions – body, gender, identity, etc.), consumption/communication, life cycle, etc.
  • Coordinated efforts for all teachers to map, whether anyone wants upskilling in individual areas of sustainability, the principles behind it, etc.
  • Ensuring an annual external inspirational presentation on sustainability for all students and teachers.
  • Clear strategy for material use; always buy/get surplus materials or waste where possible, minimize waste in teaching by continuous teaching in zero waste design, ensure teaching in the impact of different materials on the planet and people.


SAFD is deeply connected with the Danish and European fashion industry, with other institutions and brands and companies that employ our newly trained fashion designers. Therefore, partnerships are a crucial part of our continuous development. We actively seek to create partnerships with other educational institutions, knowledge partners and companies. Through partnerships, we develop our own competences, contribute to the development of the industry, strengthen the sustainability agenda and ensure the transition from education to work.

Work Goals
  • Establish network meetings with a focus on knowledge sharing around sustainability.
  • Create a dialogue with industry associations and other players about common direction.
  • Actively seek collaborations with companies across the value chain with a focus on material utilization and building bridges from education to work.


SAFD is rooted in the Danish and international fashion industry. By hiring teachers with extensive experience and their own practice, the students get direct knowledge and concrete tasks and issues that reflect the reality outside the school doors. At the same time, as an educational institution, we must contribute to the conversations about the sustainable development of fashion and we must raise our voice and our efforts to create even more focus on how SAFD works to ensure that transition. Therefore, we must ensure more focus on the work in public, so that we can set agendas that make sense. This can be through industry collaboration, attitude work and PR, social media, fashion shows and events or teaching the public in techniques that reflect a sustainable future and a concern for good quality.

Work Goals
  • Create a public voice that communicates SAFD’s approach to sustainability.
  • Run events such as fashion shows and presentations that convey our principles through design – Develop our presence on social media and website based on our principles.
  • Be proud of our graduates and actively show how they work in a committed and thorough manner in the Danish and international industry with a high professional level.
  • Express the craftsmanship and technical skills in the Danish fashion industry – Contribute to slower consumption by offering courses to the public.