Sara Han

Research Associate / Associate Lecturer (RESYNTEX / MA Responsible Fashion)

Sara Han

Research Associate / Associate Lecturer (RESYNTEX / MA Responsible Fashion)


Research Associate on the EU Resyntex Project - a new Circular Economy concept for textiles. 

Associate Lecturer MA Responsible Fashion, MA Fashion Innovation & the undergraduate Business Project unit.

I also teach Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable Supply Chains in the Fashion Industry, and Sustainable and Circular Economy Fashion.

Academic and professional qualifications

January 2013 – February 2018 Manchester Metropolitan University

PhD Candidate ‘Circular Economy Fashion Strategies’

July 2011 – July 2012 Manchester Metropolitan University

MSc by Research ‘Fashion Upcycling in the UK Women’s Wear Industry’

Previous Employment

September 2007 – July 2011

Upcycling Designer/Maker & Freelance Stylist, ( /

September 2009 – July 2011

Sustainable Fashion Workshop Facilitator, Spearfish, Manchester and CUTS, Liverpool

November 2009 – February 2010

Regional Promoter, The Affordable Vintage Fashion Fairs, Liverpool

March 2006 – June 2007

Account Executive and Fashion Stylist, Think Publicity, Liverpool

Academic service (administration and management)

March 2014 – June 2015

MMU Futures Sustainability Co-ordinator, Manchester Metropolitan University

Trashed Couture upcycled collection



Research Interests

Originally trained as a fashion designer with a professional background in public relations and commercial freelance styling, I chose to leave the world of consumption focused lifestyle promotion to set up a bespoke upcycled fashion line and a community based sustainable fashion co-operative, with a collective of likeminded art and design professionals. Completing a Masters by Research investigating ‘Fashion Upcycling in the UK Womenswear Industry’, I utilised my own design practice as research, documented in the book chapter: Cassidy, T. D., & Han, S. L.-C. (2013). Upcycling Fashion for Mass Production. In A. L. Torres & M. A. Gardetti (Eds.), Sustainable Fashion & Textiles (pp. 148–163). Sheffield: Greenleaf Publishing.

My Masters research also investigated the practice of other contemporary UK and EU based sustainable and upcycled designers, retailers and experts, and examined the global challenge to develop and employ commercially viable, yet ethical and sustainable strategies within the fashion industry. Findings from this research are published in the journal article: Han, S. L.-C., Chan, P. Y. L., Venkatraman, P., Tyler, D. J., Apeagyei, P. R., & Cassidy, T. (2016). Standard vs. Upcycled Fashion Design and Production. Fashion Practice (Vol. 9370). London and the PLATE 2015 conference paper: Han, S. L.-C., Tyler, D., & Apeagyei, P. R. (2015). Upcycling as a design strategy for product lifetime optimisation and societal change. In Product Lifetimes And The Environment.

I have recently completed a PhD analysing ‘Circular Economy Fashion Strategies’. In this research I explored issues at critical stages for sustainable intervention in the fashion and textiles cycle using an exploratory sequential mixed methods approach. The practices of those collecting, sorting and grading post-consumer textiles, and those working within circular economy fashion to maximise the reuse and revaluation of such materials through their design practice were analysed through semi-structured interviews, structured observation and process mapping. Results from this section of the research, which explored whether technology can be used to increase the fraction of discarded clothing and household textiles that are reprocessed in a financially viable way were incorporated into a report for WRAP by Oakdene Hollins: Humpston, G., Willis, P., Tyler, D., & Han, S. L.-C. (2014). Technologies for Sorting End of Life Textiles.

My PhD research also evaluated how current consumer attitudes and behaviours would impact upon a circular economy fashion system, assessing how demographic categories define the way individuals view their own practice as consumers, users and eventual disposers of clothing and textiles. These findings were recently published in the  book chapter: Han, S. L.-C., Henninger, C. E., Apeagyei, P., & Tyler, D. (2017). Determining Effective Sustainable Fashion Communication Strategies. In C. Henninger, P. Alevizou, H. Goworek, & D. Ryding (Eds.), Sustainability in Fashion: A Cradle to Upcycle Approach. International: Springer International Publishing AG, in April 2017.

Currently working as a Research Associate on the EU Horizon 2020 Resyntex Project, I am investigating the development of a set of positive textile collection attributes for industry, evaluating specific feedstock solutions for textile recycling applications and identifying opportunities for green supply chain management practices in the apparel trade as part of the Resyntex business model.

This work also includes contributing to citizen and stakeholder mapping that will enable a thorough understanding the textile waste value streams in selected case study locations. These outcomes were recently published as a conference paper: Boiten, V. J., Han, S. L., & Tyler, D. (2017). Circular Economy Stakeholder Perspectives: Textile Collection Strategies to Support Material Circularity. In the 6th International Fibre Recycling Symposium Proceedings 2017. 

Book Chapters

Cassidy, TD., Han, SLC., 2017. 'Sustainability in Fashion and Textiles'. In Gardetti, MA., Torres, AL. (eds.) Sustainability in Fashion and Textiles: Values, Design, Production and Consumption, pp. 148-163, Routledge.

Han, SL-C., Henninger, CE., Apeagyei, P., Tyler, D., 2017. 'Determining Effective Sustainable Fashion Communication Strategies'. In Henninger, CE., Alevizou, PJ., Goworek, H., Ryding, D. (eds.) Sustainability in Fashion, pp. 127-149, Springer International Publishing.

Journal Articles

Han, SLC., Chan, PYL., Venkatraman, P., Apeagyei, P., Cassidy, T., Tyler, DJ., 2017. 'Standard vs. Upcycled Fashion Design and Production', Fashion Practice, 9 (1), pp. 69-94.

Office Location

Room C.2.17
Cavendish Building