October 01, 2018

Associate Professor of Management Mark Heuer has earned the annual faculty research award from the Sigmund Weis School of Business for his ongoing research on fast fashion.

Also called “cheap chic,” fast fashion is a business model that produces low-cost and low-quality apparel. That might sound good on the surface, but there is growing evidence that the trend harms both textile workers and the environment.

“The textile industry is the second-most polluting industry in the world,” says Heuer, who recently co-edited a book on the topic. “The idea behind the book’s collection of articles is what can be done to change the game.”

Eco-Friendly and Fair: Fast Fashion and Consumer Behavior was published in May by Routledge, a member of Taylor & Francis Group.

“The chapters look at ways the fashion lifecycle can be extended through garment sharing and alternative uses for garments to keep them out of landfills. Are there ways that we can move the psyche of fashion shoppers toward buying higher quality items that last longer?” he says.

Heuer’s research interests-which also include renewable energy in Japan and the effects of Marcellus Shale and natural gas fracking-often tie back to sustainability.

After spending 20 years in the corporate sector, Heuer joined the business school faculty in 2008.

“Trying to teach in the moment and find a way to reach the students is always challenging and really keeps me going intellectually,” he says.