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Graduate combines psychology with a passion for ‘slow fashion’

21 August 2023

Josie Tricker has always been interested in sustainability, and her studies at the University of Canterbury have allowed her to develop her love for second hand shopping into a potential career.


Josie graduates from Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury (UC) this month with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Psychology. However, when she first embarked on her study journey, she had no idea where it might take her.

“My undergraduate study was quite messy due to COVID-19 and I was unsure about my future,” says Josie. “But in the last semester of my degree I took an environmental psychology paper, and it was a real turning point. I’ve always been a sustainable person and only shop second-hand, so it really drew me to that field. I contacted the course lecturer Professor Don Hine to see if he would be my Honours supervisor and he agreed, giving me an opportunity to research what I am really interested in.”

<img src="" alt="" style="    " class="img-responsive additional-image"> Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 - Quality Education

Josie says she is particularly proud of her Honours project, which explored behaviour around slow fashion – the practice of consuming less.

“My research was the first in that field in New Zealand, as there is very little research into what drives people to choose slow fashion and what types of people will respond to different messages. Fashion is the second highest water consumer industry, and is detrimental to the planet, so I think it is an important piece of research. I really enjoyed postgraduate study as it was a lot more specialised and gave me a glimpse of what I could do in the future.”

Josie has always been interested in upcycling clothing, establishing doozydudz five years ago, an initiative that allows her to both sell and promote buying second-hand clothes. She also hosts clothing swaps and is setting up a permanent clothing exchange at the new Climate Action Campus, with an ethos of giving something to get something back.

She also works part-time as an engagement coordinator at Christchurch Envirohub, a charitable organisation that connects and supports environmental and sustainability organisations – a job she secured following a UC PACE (Professional and Community Engagement) internship last summer.

In October, Josie will embark on a new adventure, heading to Europe in the hopes of securing employment in the environmental fashion industry. With dual citizenship, she is also exploring the idea of completing her Masters in slow fashion in the United Kingdom.

“I would love any opportunity to carry on my research. The field I am in is only just starting to blossom, but I would love to be part of changing as many people’s behaviours towards fast fashion as possible. I want to be able to do something on a larger, more impactful scale.”

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