Perkins, Laurie (2021) Transparency considerations for the ethical fashion designer. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

The purpose of this research was to explore transparency in garment manufacturing and ethical sourcing, drawing on the researcher’s personal experience working within the fashion industry, specifically as part of the garment supply chain. The motivation for this research stems from the researcher’s personal experience that they have encountered during their career in the fashion industry. These personal experiences have been drawn upon and directed and added value to this research.

Literature was reviewed on the practices in the fashion industry and other topical issues that relate. Primary research was conducted, and the researcher experimented with creative pattern cutting techniques as a design tool, whilst taking sustainability into account whilst designing. Three mini case studies were conducted on other self-proclaimed transparent and ethical fashion businesses and outlined the difficulties faced when running such a business. The research also included a consumer survey to study the purchasing behaviour of the consumer and investigating their opinion on the ethical considerations of products in the fashion and clothing industry, to validate the study.

This research found that pattern cutting techniques, specifically with minimal wastage in mind, can create a space in which to design ethically and with transparency when wanting to create a fashion garment. The research also found that ethical fashion companies faced similar problems, in terms of ensuring their supply chain is transparent, as well as managing difficulties regarding cost price and therefore ensuring the retail price is attractive to the consumer. This was also a key theme that emerged from the consumer survey, in that consumers were willing to spend some more money on an ethical and sustainable product, but within limits. Overall, the consumer research survey found that consumers were interested in finding out more about the origins of the products they buy, and that sustainability can be an influence on their purchasing habits.

FINAL THESIS - Perkins.pdf - Accepted Version
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