The ASBCI each year sponsor prizes for the best dissertations on a topic related to the fashion and textiles industry, this year’s winner is BSc (Hons) Fashion Management graduate Rebecca Mercedes.

Fashion Management graduate Rebecca Mercedes rounds-up a hat-trick of ASBCI prizes.

Fashion Management graduate Rebecca Mercedes rounds-up a hat-trick of ASBCI prizes.

The recent graduate was awarded the prize for her dissertation, ‘The Shift of Consumption is From Ownership to Access. Will the Sharing Economy Be Fundamental in Shaping a Sustainable Future for the Fashion Industry?’ Rebecca became the third LCF graduate to win the award in four years following Phoebe Ruscombe-King in 2016 and Sophie Nolan back in 2014.

Graduates are nominated by their universities at the end of every academic year for their dissertations, with many of the larger institutes submitting multiple graduates for the award. The reading committee assesses the nominated entries against the criteria of topic relevance and value, depth and breadth of research, clarity of analysis, and quality of presentation. Final debate and judgement are made in conjunction with the competition sponsor, which in recent years has been Marks & Spencer. We find out more about her dissertation, background and moving onto ASOS.

Rebecca was recognised for her dissertation, 'The Shift of Consumption is From Ownership to Access. Will the Sharing Economy Be Fundamental in Shaping a Sustainable Future for the Fashion Industry?’ 

Rebecca was recognised for her dissertation, ‘The Shift of Consumption is From Ownership to Access. Will the Sharing Economy Be Fundamental in Shaping a Sustainable Future for the Fashion Industry?’

Hi Rebecca, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?

Hi, my name is Rebecca. I studied BSc (Hons) Fashion Management at LCF and obtained a 1st class honours degree that was definitely a milestone moment in my life. I now work at ASOS as a Merchandising Admin Assistant.

Give us an interesting fact about yourself?

I am a twin.

At what moment did you know you wanted to study fashion business?

I don’t know if there was one precise moment but a culmination of moments. I remember going to London Fashion Weekend as a teenager and being inspired by all the different products and shows. Also, I always loved textiles in school – so knew I wanted to study and work within this remit. I love fashion – this is what I’m genuinely interested in so to be able to study it at London College of Fashion will sound like a cliché but was a dream come true.

Can you talk us through your ‘The Shift of Consumption is From Ownership to Access. Will the Sharing Economy Be Fundamental in Shaping a Sustainable Future for the Fashion Industry?’ dissertation, please?

Of course, I am still fascinated by the central topic of my dissertation. As we know fashion is an immensely profitable global industry and a source of pleasure and indulgence to individuals, yet evidenced by academics it integrates an array of sustainability conflicts. The purpose of my dissertation was to examine how the online sharing economy could create a sustainable future for the fashion industry, with a specific focus on millennial consumers. Particular reference throughout was made to an own-to-mesh collaborative marketplace that I created titled the ‘Wardrobe Edit’.

he Shift of Consumption is From Ownership to Access. Will the Sharing Economy Be Fundamental in Shaping a Sustainable Future for the Fashion Industry? Mood board of the marketplace by Rebecca Mercedes.

The Shift of Consumption is From Ownership to Access. Will the Sharing Economy Be Fundamental in Shaping a Sustainable Future for the Fashion Industry? Mood board of the marketplace by Rebecca Mercedes.

What made you want to find explore this area for your dissertation?

We live in an experience economy world with Airbnb and Uber, I really was fascinated to see if this could work for fashion at a time when every individual is seeking more variety in their wardrobe.

Did you find anything out during your research that changed your perspective?

Yes – how big the issue of sustainability is within the industry and I believe we need to start by thinking seriously about every way we can make fashion as sustainable as possible so we are still able to immerse ourselves in this industry but at a way which does not damage the planet in the process. For me, after all this researching, I really believe the sharing economy is the gateway to this not only for luxury fashion but for fast-fashion as well.

BSc (Hons) Fashion Management graduate Rebecca Mercedes at the awards.

BSc (Hons) Fashion Management graduate Rebecca Mercedes at the awards.

How does it feel awarded the ASBCI Dissertation Prize?

It is a real honour, I couldn’t believe that I was even entered. It really makes all the hard work I put in worth it and I am ecstatic.

What happens next for you, what would you like to be doing in five years’ time?

I love fashion and have a real drive to have a long and successful career, who knows what the future holds. I think I will probably touch on a range of different projects, and realms in the fashion industry industries, and just continue to work hard and create things. Maybe even one day launch my own fashion sharing economy business bringing the collaborative consumption platform I created in my dissertation to life but make it bigger reaching as many individuals as possible.

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