Dr Sue Thomas

Roles and Responsibilities

Teaching and responsibilities includes Director of Studies for MSc Ethics in Fashion, and I teach into the Fashion, Fashion Technology and Fashion Communications undergraduate degrees. Fashion design for sustainability and ethics are of a particular interest. Additionally I supervise a PhD candidate.

I am Ethics Officer for the School and a member of University Research Ethics Committee, and a recently elected member of the University Senate. Over the last two years, I have coordinated the International Changemaker series of lectures for the School.


Prior to appointment at the School, I was Course Leader of the Bachelor in Fashion (Apparel Engineering and Design) at Holmesglen Institute/University of Canberra, in Melbourne.

Other teaching roles have included postgraduate coordinator at RMIT University, and MA Textiles/Fashion Course Director at Birmingham City University, membership of the Research Committee at Massey University, Wellington, Aotearoa/New Zealand. Currently, I am External Examiner for the University of Arts Bournemouth BA (Hons) Fashion.

A public speaker, commentator and broadcaster; I advocate for ethics and sustainability within fashion the supply chain. I have presented research in the USA, UK, Hong Kong and Australia, and wrote a section of Sustainable Fashion: a handbook for educators in 2009, and a chapter in the Routledge Handbook of Sustainability and Fashion in 2014. In 2016, I gave a TEDx Talk on Ethics and sustainability in the Fashion and textiles industry. My book, Fashion Ethics (Routledge) came out in 2017. Twice in 2018, I’ve taken part in the ‘design thinking’ think-tank: Thinkathon at FashionSustian Berlin, part of the Ethical Fashion Fair in Berlin. In addition, I have contributed to Fashion Revolution events in Scotland.

I maintain my interest in media as contributor to ABC Radio Overnights in Australia.

Qualifications, affiliations and achievements: doctoral thesis Situated Empathy 2011 explored the synergies between the discourses of fashion design, Buddhist ethics and sustainability proposing an ethical position for contemporary fashion design practice, RMIT University, Melbourne. MA Film Studies (minor thesis) John Sayles: American Independent, 1992, University of Derby.



Thomas, S. (2018), ‘Peace of mind: the quintessential luxury’, Journal of Design, Business and Society, 4(2).

Thomas, S. (2017), Fashion Ethics, London: Routledge.

Thomas, S. (2014). Spirituality and Ethics: theopraxy in the future of sustainability within the supply chain, in Fletcher, K. and Tham, M. (eds.) Routledge Handbook of Sustainability and Fashion. London: Routledge, pp. 111-120.

I am very keen to hear from potential postgraduate/PhD candidates interested in design for sustainability, fashion and ethics, and faith in design and the supply chain, or garment lifecycle.


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