Sustainable fashion & entrepreneurship: Antwerp's Summer School initiative

The University of Antwerp organises a summer school "Responsible Fashion Management" from July 1st to July 10th. This course takes place in Antwerp, with a 3-day excursion to major fashion houses in Paris. Young designers as well as experienced entrepreneurs in fashion are welcome. They will gain insight into new business models and cash flow planning, a transparent supply chain, legal aspects, new regulations and marketing & communication. What this summer school will teach? How to become future-proof.

© Responsible Fashion Management - Summer School 2023

Responsible Fashion Management Summer School 2023
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Antwerp's fashion landscape thrives as a bastion of creativity and innovation, upheld by the esteemed Fashion Department at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, the leading MoMu Fashion Museum and the creative quirkiness of Antwerp’s fashion entrepreneurs. Together, they create change and growth, making the city an experimental incubator for fashion.

The Antwerp ecosystem is well aware of the pressing challenges the industry is facing, and sustainability is certainly one of them. As regulations tighten and consumer demand shifts towards eco-conscious practices, adaptation becomes imperative for fashion entrepreneurs. They need to revamp business models to align with the changes ahead.

Fashion and entrepreneurship being part of Antwerp’s DNA, it is no coincidence that tailored courses are offered to strengthen sustainable entrepreneurship. Anchored by the University of Antwerp, these initiatives aim to equip startups and established businesses alike with the tools to navigate evolving trends and regulations in the fashion industry.

Making businesses resilient to challenges and new regulations

Start-ups and entrepreneurs can take refresher courses at the University of Antwerp to prepare for the new trends and regulations in the fashion industry. Besides the Responsible Fashion Management summer school, there is the postgraduate Responsible Fashion & Entrepreneurship.

We spoke with Annick Schramme, a distinguished professor at the University of Antwerp and the Antwerp Management School, who underscored the importance of early preparation for impending ESG reporting requirements. Through summer school, entrepreneurs can proactively address regulatory demands, leveraging their agility to effect meaningful change.

Responsible Fashion Management - summer school

Annick Schramme: "Antwerp University organizes a 10-day summer school together with Institut Français de la mode. It’s a blend of theory and practice, with a focus on entrepreneurship and the transformation towards sustainability and circularity.

This summer school is for young designers who start their labels as well as for experienced entrepreneurs who want to grow sustainably. We always strive for a balanced mix of participants. That leads to interesting discussions and creates a diverse fashion network for every one of them.

Each day, an aspect of the sustainable fashion business will be scrutinized. The participants will gain insight into new business models and cash flow planning, a transparent supply chain, legal aspects, new regulations and marketing & communication. This summer school teaches how to become future-proof.

"The intensive and short-term training helped me determine my future direction. Slow fashion has become a conscious choice for me that I like to integrate into every project I tackle." Pascale Mulder, participant 2022

ESG reporting will start in 2025 for large companies. Why should small companies start preparing now?

Annick Schramme: "Small companies can make a difference, they are often much more flexible than large companies. ESG reporting will become mandatory for all, so you'd better be prepared. The summer school takes you step by step through what is coming. For example, the legal aspects - if you want to internationalize, or make your supply chain more transparent - what already started with the introduction of the digital product passport. In the end, we put all the steps together and show how to integrate them into your business model.

We also teach how to work with digital marketing. We dive into the broader impact of technology on fashion. Because sustainability and technology often go hand in hand."

And then you leave a few days for Paris

Annick Schramme: "Yes. The highlight of the summer school is a three-day excursion to Paris. Our visit to Paris focuses on the dynamics of the big luxury labels, which are different from the independent fashion designers in Antwerp. We dive into the marketing and branding of the big luxury labels and the craftsmanship in their ateliers. This excursion has been compiled with the reputed Institut Français de la Mode, which merged 2 years ago with Chambre Commerce de la Haute Couture.

The summer school offers a clear view of the two extremes in the fashion industry (the independent fashion entrepreneur and the big luxury labels). That helps to better understand and direct your own business."


Annick Schramme: "By jumping into practice. The stay in Paris is a 3-day mix of lectures, visiting companies and haute couture ateliers. We pay a mystery visit to a major luxury label such as Chanel or Louis Vuitton, to find out how luxury labels deal with their customers in flagship stores. Interesting.

In short: you are immersed in the fashion industry - from starting a label to learning from high-end fashion houses. Even though the summer school lasts only 10 days, it is an eye-opener for all participants. They take the temperature of their business ànd get loads of inspiration to take the next step."

"My participation in the summer school was an experience that confronted my creativity, dreams and reality. It brought about additional reflection, self-examination and critical thinking, resulting in a kind of "landing". Pascale Mulder


In short

  • More during info days at the University of Antwerp on 4 May
  • Mail your questions to
  • Student fee (early bird - registration before 1st April 2024): €950
  • Student fee (normal - from 1st of April): €1150
  • Regular fee (professionals): €1950
  • SME portfolio can be used