BA (Hons) Fashion Management (now BSc (Hons) Fashion Management) graduate Phoebe Ruscombe-King was recently awarded 1st place in the annual ASBCI Dissertation Prize. The prize is awarded to the best dissertations relating to the fashion and textiles industry. This is the second time a Fashion Business School graduate has been awarded the prize.
Phoebe’s studies, which focused on sustainability and the environmental impact of fashion production are a great example of the challenging and impactful work being created by Fashion Business School students at LCF.
We spoke to Phoebe to find out about her award-winning dissertation, her time at LCF and her future plans.
Give us one interesting fact about yourself…
I recently won the ASBCI dissertation award!
Talk us through your dissertation?
The name of my dissertation was ‘Closing the loop on the fashion supply chain’. My research focused on the closed-loop process, a model used to integrated reuse and recycling in to the supply chain, already used in other industries. Many fashion brands have begun collecting clothing in store, in order to set up closed-loop systems to reduce clothing waste. My research focused on whether closed-loop production is feasible in the fashion supply chain, and whether this acts as a method of sustainable production. I wanted to find out whether this approach actually reduces environmental impact or whether it is just a way to appear proactive to the consumer. My findings showed that fibre recycling technologies need further development before making this a commercial solution.
Tell us about winning the ASBCI award
I was told by my tutor that I was nominated for the award before graduating. Then in October I found out I had won one of the prizes, so I was invited to the ASBCI student conference at the University of Huddersfield. It wasn’t until that day that I found out I had won first prize and a monetary reward. This prize was presented by Paschal Little from Marks & Spencer.
What’s the best thing about LCF?
LCF as a platform can provide a wealth of opportunities. For example, I had the opportunity to study in at Mod’ Art International in Paris for 4 months during my placement year which was an incredible experience. LCF and UAL also have great resources, so make the most of them!
What’s the best thing about your course?
I chose to study Fashion Management due to the breadth of the syllabus. I enjoyed learning about all aspects of the industry. Particularly the variation of projects from starting our own businesses, to industry based projects. In final year you are able to specialise more and focus on what you enjoy most.
Have you undertaken any work experience or done a placement whilst at LCF?
I completed a Diploma in Professional Studies (DiPS) year where I worked as an allocator at Ralph Lauren. On top of that, I’ve done work experience at every given opportunity, from PR at New Look to buying at Harvey Nichols. I’ve also worked at Paris and London Fashion Week on shows from Peter Pilotto to Dior Couture.
Have you met or been inspired by any speakers from the industry whilst at LCF?
The speaker programme at LCF is impressive. Some of the highlights include Victoria Beckham, Anya Hindmarch and Robbie Spencer. In my final year I taught by Centre of Sustainable Fashion experts and I found this very inspiring.
Describe your work in five words…
Mass consumption vs environmental impact.
What does Fashion Business mean to you?
Fashion business is all about knowing the consumer. But I also think fashion businesses need to be more transparent and educated on the social and environmental impacts of their production.
What are your future plans?
I have just started a graduate placement as a Wholesale Merchandising Assistant at Levi Strauss and Co. Within this role I have already had the chance to travel to Belgium, Sweden and Italy.
How do you think your course and LCF will help you achieve your plans?
Studying in London allows you to undertake placements and internships alongside your studies. This really helps to develop your skills, making you more employable when you graduate.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to study your course?
Be open-minded and get as much exposure as possible.
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