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Lecturer in Sustainablity, Fashion and Retail, University of Leeds

Mark Sumner joined the School of Design as a lecturer focussing on sustainability within the textile, clothing and fashion industry, having spent over 15 years working in retail for a major international retailer. His research interests are broad covering a diverse range of subject such as textile technology, innovation, sustainability and consumer behaviour.

Mark has a broad and diverse range of research interests. Core to the bulk of the research is the exploration of sustainability within the textile and clothing industry with a particular focus on how retailers and their supply networks interact in their pursuit of pleasing the consumer. The importance of understanding the consumer within the sustainability dialogue is growing and this is key aspect of research Mark is undertaking.

Mark is exploring how technology and design can be combined to deliver ideas for a more sustainable industry, and he is actively engaged in developing a multidisciplinary network to support his research.

During his postgraduate studies for an Engineering Doctorate in Textile Engineering, Mark explored opportunities for ultra-low liquor ratios for dyeing yarn. During his career his interest in dyeing and finishing has grown and he continues to explore opportunities for research into the latest technologies for the industry.

The dissemination of the knowledge is an important aspect of Mark’s research and he has been involved in a number of innovative projects to help the industry and society in general gain a better understanding of the sustainability issues the fashion industry is facing. For example, Mark was the Technical Advisor for the World Shirt project which was recently performed at the Young Vic, London.


  • –present
    Lecturer in Sustainablity, Fashion and Retail, University of Leeds