Fashion Business School graduates Emily Betterton and Heather Portbury were awarded prizes at the 2019 PRME (Principles for Responsible Management Education) Writing Competition. Students from 19 UK and Irish business schools submitted entries with themes central to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The finalists were chosen by a panel of 11 renowned academics from UK and Irish universities.
BA Fashion Buying & Merchandising graduate Emily Betterton won the first ever Alternative Media Prize for her digital presentation exploring innovative textiles and production processes as strategies for improving the sustainability of the fashion industry. MSc Strategic Fashion Management graduate Heather Portbury won the second prize for Postgraduate Category for her study of the perceived consumer effectiveness of environmental care labels.
We caught up with Heather to ask her about her project and being awarded a PRME Prize.
Congratulations on winning this prize! Tell us about your project? What did you write about?
My project was an analysis of the perceived consumer effectiveness of environmental care labels, such as those that state "Think Climate - Wash at 30°C". I was researching and statistically testing some of the variables that may affect consumers’ intention to actually wash their clothes at a lower temperature, including the influence of laundry habits.
What inspired your project?
My project was inspired by the need for research into the environmental impact of washing our clothes. I was attending numerous talks and events and finding there was a lack of knowledge (and solutions) from brands, and also the consumer in this subject area. The emphasis from fashion brands was predominantly on fibre production and provenance, but very little to address the environmental cost of getting our clothes washed!
How did it feel to hear you had won a PRME Prize?
It was a lovely moment to find out I had won the prize. As much of my content for this award was taken from my Master’s dissertation, I owe big thanks to my supervisor who recommended I apply!
Tell us more about your time at LCF: why did you choose to study at LCF? What attracted you to this university?
LCF was always the forerunner for me when applying to university and I couldn’t speak more highly about my time there. The university has provided me with so many amazing opportunities and has given me the freedom to innovate and to dictate my own career.
What advice would you give to potential students who would like to enrol on this course?
I would really encourage students to apply for this course. Make the most of all the opportunities given to you and if a competition or an award sparks your interest, give it a go and apply!
What are your plans for the next few years? Where would you like to see yourself professionally?
I would like to pursue a career in paid research. With momentum gaining within sustainability in fashion, I would like to be in a role which allows me to have a holistic understanding of the problem within our industry. I want my research to educate brands, consumers and individuals and to inspire positivity and actions for change.