Natalie Sanders from De Montfort University took home the coveted Annual Student Dissertation Award 2008 sponsored by Marks & Spencer. Hosted by clothing and textile forum ASBCI, Sanders won the first prize of £500 and three years complimentary membership to the ASBCI. The joint runners up, Katie Lee from Nottingham Trent University, and Helen Vause from the University of Leeds, both received cheques for £250 and three years ASBCI membership.
The award ceremony was held at the University of Huddersfield during the ASBCI annual student conference, which was attended by leading industry figures and nearly 300 students from fashion and textile colleges around the UK. Guests included Tamara Sivan, design pool manager with Pentland Brands, Jonathan Petty of eco-brand Patagonia, Patrick O’Connor, visual merchandiser from M&S, Andrew Crawford, managing director of Sizemic UK and Michael Spenley, head of ethical sourcing with the UK’s largest on-line retailer, Shop Direct Group.
Natalie Sanders’ winning dissertation entitled: ‘Fashioning a lower carbon future’ was described by the judges as: “An excellent work based on significant original research. She offered a lucid and accessible presentation of the facts and arguments and presented her thesis in an easy and enjoyable manner.”
In Katie Lee’s thesis entitled: ‘An investigation into the market for eco-fashion’ judges were impressed with the level of research: “It was an excellent piece of work with a huge amount of research that conveyed the current state of the market very well. It highlighted the unpredictability of consumers and the difficulties in catering for different needs and wants.”
Helen Vause’s dissertation: ‘International v domestic sourcing – supply chain strategies and changes to sources of supply in the womenswear sector in order to fullfil customer demand’ was acclaimed for: “..its high level of relevance for the industry and for highlighting some interesting proposals for future research.”
An expert panel of senior lecturers and fashion industry professionals judged every student’s submission. The 2008 panel comprised Malcolm Ball, consulting lecturer and ASBCI chairman and technical director, Diane Waterhouse fabric development manager for BMB Clothing Limited and ASBCI vice-chair and conference director, Dr Alistair Knox, senior lecturer at Nottingham Trent University and ASBCI treasurer/finance director, Christine Browett, senior lecturer at University of Huddersfield, Helen Stynes, head of ladieswear with Shop Direct Group, Paschal Little, head of technology for lingerie and childrenswear at Marks & Spencer and Ray Watson of Ray Watson Consulting.
In its fifth year, the ASBCI annual student dissertation award recognises and showcases the exceptional talent of UK students on clothing industry courses including retail clothing management, textiles, testing, marketing and technology courses.