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LCF PhD Researcher Profile: Lauren Junestrand Leal - Evaluating second-hand clothing consumption

Profile Image of Lauren Junestrand Leal
  • Written byE Smith and N Brathwaite
  • Published date 26 October 2021
Profile Image of Lauren Junestrand Leal
Profile Image of Lauren Junestrand Leal

Continuing on with our series of PhD profiles, we spoke to Lauren who led the organisation for the Waste-me-not Symposium alongside Marie Stenton. The symposium will be held on Tuesday 16 November, 5-8pm and invites all to question: Can waste be permanently designed out of the fashion lifecycle? Here Lauren shares with us her design background, inspiration and what led her to her studies at London College of Fashion (LCF).

Lauren Junestrand Leal was born in Sweden but moved to Spain when she was two years old. She grew up there and moved to the UK later on, where she studied BA (Hons) Fashion Buying and Merchandising at LCF. It was at this point that her interest in sustainability in fashion started. She decided to continue her studies in that area and applied for a Master's in Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility at Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia in Madrid. She is now in her third year of PhD studies at LCF researching cross-generational and cross-geographical aspects of second-hand fashion consumption. Professionally, she is involved with education, and sustainability projects with fashion companies.

Profile Image of Lauren Junestrand Leal

What is the title of your thesis?

My thesis is titled "A cross-geographical and cross-generational evaluation of second-hand clothing consumption: encouraging short-term environmental impact reduction in the fashion system through second-hand consumption as a transition strategy."

What would be your dream research project?

Given that I am talking about my "dream" research project with no resource or time limits, I would say it would be travelling around the world conducting cross-cultural research, whilst deeply investigating communities and their discourses surrounding sustainable fashion consumption.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Stay positive. A glass can be "half full" or "half empty", but still have the same amount of water. In general, negativity gives me very bad energy and my goal in life is to stay happy. Optimism always helps.

Can you describe a typical week for you?

This last year has not been a "typical" year, so I would not count working from my living room as a typical weekday, nor being in my living room as a typical weekend.

Usually, my weekdays would be spent in LCF's library, studying by myself or with other students from the PhD cohort. Given that I have friends and family spread all over, on the weekends I would probably travel from London to meet friends and family, and if not, spend time with friends in east London.

What is your favourite quote?

“There is always a way.”

What TV series/book are your currently reading/watching?

I am reading "The Uninhabitable Earth: A story of the Future" by David Wallace-Wells. I was already a conscious person, but this book has really gotten to me. Every chapter has made me reflect even more on my habits and my future.

Any recent research stories that have inspired you?

In general, Centre for Sustainable Fashion's work always inspires me and makes me reflect on where the future of the fashion industry is heading!

This story is part of a series that spotlights some of our PhD staff and students contributing to the LCF Research community.