Business Law, Disruption and Sustainability in Fashion and Luxury


The demand for professionals with the skills to understand and execute sustainability strategies in the fashion and luxury industries continues to grow, and the current crisis has only served to further expose the need for multidisciplinary action to drive change towards more sustainable practices.

This course covers sustainable fashion and luxury from the less commonly explored perspective of business law and how the rules in place both promote and impede progress.

We use real-life corporate and legal examples to unpack how we have fallen into the current state of affairs, what the private and public sector are – and are not – doing about it, and what we can expect in the short and long term given the disruptions of our era, all studied under both the business and the legal lens.


Lela Mélon is a university lecturer and a consultant specializing in sustainable business law and EU law. She holds bachelor’s degrees in economics and law, an LL.M. from Maastricht University and a PhD in Law from Aberdeen University.
Carina Hopper is a university lecturer and consultant specializing in sustainability in the global luxury industry. She teaches at the bachelor’s and master’s level through courses and seminars at ESSEC Business School, SKEMA Business School and ESMOD Fashion Business School, among others. She holds an MBA from ESSEC Business School and a certificate in Business Sustainability Management from the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Identify regulatory, economic, environmental and social factors pushing fashion and luxury brands to invest in sustainability planning and initiatives, and why it is not enough.
  • Make the case for sustainability in fashion and luxury using both business and legal arguments.
  • Explain the diverse nature of disruptive events that can influence the fashion and luxury industries.
  • Pinpoint the case for policy coherence for sustainability in law at the EU level and globally.
  • Gain a holistic perspective of the state-of-the-art in the fashion and luxury industries.

Course Structure

  1. Course introduction (5 min)
  1. On sustainability in the fashion industry: the state-of-the-art and current challenges (1.5 h)
    • Sustainability hotspots and the applicable SDGs (45 min)
    • The leaders and the slow-movers: the two sides of the story. Business examples (45 min)
  1. Business law and sustainable fashion (1.5 h)
    • The legal rules and policies in place – the EU aspects (45 min)
    • Practical examples of the influence of private law on sustainability in fashion (45 min)
  1. Fashion and luxury under disruption – the new reality (1.5 h)
    • Current landscape: the era of digital (from customer experience to showrooms) and COVID-19 (45 min)
    • The future – the new luxury, the end of department stores, digital fashion for digital lives (45 min)

Content hours

  • 4.5 hours of video content

Language of instruction

  • English and Spanish versions available


  • 30€

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