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Expository Writing


9th, 10th


English Language Arts


90 minutes

Regional Focus



Google Docs, Google Slides


This lesson plan is licensed under Creative Commons.

Creative Commons License

Fashion Footprint

Created By Teacher:
Last Updated:
Oct 3, 2023
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In this lesson, students learn about the harmful effects of fast fashion on the environment and discover ways they can increase their own personal responsibility concerning fashion sustainability.

Step 1 - Inquire: Students discover the origin of the clothing they personally wear and speculate about possible connections to climate change.

Step 2 - Investigate: Students analyze an editorial and a video detailing the connection between fashion production, carbon emissions, and human rights.

Step 3 - Inspire: Students calculate their fashion footprint and write a paragraph identifying choices they or others can make that promote fashion sustainability.

Accompanying Teaching Materials
Teaching Tips


  • This lesson aligns with Hawai'i's Nā Hopena A'o HĀ-BREATH Framework.
  • This lesson can be integrated into a climate change or sustainability unit.
  • Students take ownership of their learning by reflecting on their personal fashion choices and identifying how the topic relates to their lives.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should have some basic understanding of climate change.

  • Teachers should be sensitive to the fact that some students may be clothing insecure. In the Inquire section, teachers can bring in examples of clothing, including different brands, rather than having students use their own clothing for the activity.


  • This lesson is easily adaptable to upper-level classes. For example,  students with the skills to work independently can do research or write a draft of their paragraph for homework.

  • Teachers can differentiate to different reading levels by reading out loud, with checks for understanding along the way; asking students to read in groups; or allowing individual students to work at their own pace.

  • As an optional take-home activity, students wishing to explore their personal impact more can count how many articles of clothing in their closets qualify as fast fashion and create a chart or graph representing the data.

  • Social studies or economics classes can use this lesson to introduce the concepts of the Global North and the Global South. Students can research the economic practices and socio-cultural effects of the fashion industry.

Scientist Notes

Students can learn about fast fashion in the lesson, including where it comes from, how it affects the environment and the climate, and how they can reduce their carbon footprint by leading a sustainable fashion lifestyle. This lesson has passed our science review process after the sources used to generate it were fact-checked.


Primary Standards

  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
    • Writing (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.9-10.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

Supporting Standard

  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • HS-ETS1-1 Analyze a major global challenge to specify qualitative and quantitative criteria and constraints for solutions that account for societal needs and wants.
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