PhD Opportunity

The Vintage ‘Haulternative’: The Production, Marketing and Consumption of Clothing From Previous Eras As Sustainable Fashion Practices

Portsmouth University, UK 

  • Application end date: 11th  February 2018
  • Funding Availability: Funded PhD project (European/UK students only)
  • Department: School of Art and Design
  • PhD Supervisors: Prof Deborah Sugg Ryan, Dr Sophia Wood, Dr Elaine Igoe



This project will critically evaluate the production, marketing, and consumption of clothing that is conceived and perceived as ‘vintage’ as strategies for sustainable fashion practice. The last decade has seen the proliferation of ‘fast fashion’. This has resulted in cheaper prices for clothes, encouraging consumers to purchase more garments that are often rapidly discarded and end up in landfill rather than being reused or recycled. The campaigning organisation Fashion Revolution, which was set up to commemorate the 2013 Rana Plaza factory disaster, in which 1,1138 fast fashion garment workers died and 2.500 were injured, has called for an ‘#haulternative’ to the fast fashion ‘haul’.

Against this background of the call for the ‘#haulternative’, this PhD project will investigate the potential for ‘vintage’ as strategy for the reuse of garments and as a driver to slow down the fast cycle of fashion trends. In the last decade the term ‘vintage’ has emerged as the preferred term to describe clothing from previous eras. This term now broadly covers clothing originally produced from the 1920s to the 2000s. It is also applied to new ‘repro’ clothing produced in styles from those past decades by specialist brands. It encapsulates everything from bespoke designer unique garments from the 1920s, mass-produced ‘everyday’ clothing from the 1950s to 1990s branded sportswear worn by football ‘casuals’. New vintage consumer groups have emerged, some of which have a distinctive subcultural identity. The project will identify case studies from vintage fashion brands, communities and events that comprise the ‘vintagescape’. These will be located in their historical, cultural and social contexts. Data will be collected through analysis of social media, face-to-face interviews and participant observation to ascertain the scale and scope of sustainable vintage fashion practices.


Prof Deborah Sugg Ryan

Dr Sophia Wood

Dr Elaine Igoe 


You’ll need a good first degree from an internationally recognised university (depending upon chosen course, minimum second class or equivalent) or a Master’s degree in an appropriate subject. Exceptionally, equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications will be considered. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.


Informal enquiries are encouraged and can be made to Prof Deborah Sugg Ryan at (02392 845373) or Dr Sophia Wood at 845040).

For administrative and admissions enquiries please contact


You can apply online at You are required to create an account which gives you the flexibility to save the form, log out and return to it at any time convenient to you.

This project requires you to submit your CV, a four page research proposal, two references and copies of any relevant qualifications.

A link to the online application form and comprehensive guidance notes can be found at

When applying, please quote project code: ADES4410218

Interview date: TBC.

Start date: October 2018


The fully-funded, full-time three-year studentship provides a stipend that is in line with that offered by Research Councils UK of £14,553 per annum.

The above applies for Home/EU students only.


Discover more about our research areas on our webpages.


Visit us at a Postgraduate Information Day to discover more about the research programmes we offer. Book your place at

PhD Opportunity – The Vintage ‘Haulternative’: The Production, Marketing and Consumption of Clothing From Previous Eras As Sustainable Fashion Practices, Portsmouth University, UK

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