Students Tackle The Ethical Issues Behind Fast Fashion

January 24, 2022

Have you heard of Fast Fashion? It's the concept of inexpensive, cheaply made, trendy clothing that copies celebrity styles, made at breakneck speed to meet consumer demand. Stylish and inexpensive sounds like a great combination, right? Unfortunately, according to Forbes, Fast Fashion also enables poor working conditions, contributes to pollution and generates more waste because the garments don’t usually last more than a season.

A team of Bradley University advertising and public relations students from the Slane College of Communications and Fine Arts, Ashley Rosenbrock, Anna Wasko and Morgan Dunham, decided to tackle the ethical issues of Fast Fashion for their senior capstone project. Bradley advertising and public relations assistant professor Rachelle Pavelko oversaw the project.

"I was not even aware of the fast-fashion crisis until my team member, Ashley, suggested it for our campaign," said Wasko. "After doing some research and looking more into the topic, I was astonished by the impacts of fast fashion and that I was unknowingly supporting fast-fashion trends."

Through their campaign, they educated the campus about issues and solutions for Fast Fashion. For instance, their fashion show featured trendy, reused clothing from Fashionably Late, a local consignment shop, to prove you can save money and still look good while buying more eco-friendly clothing. Additionally, the team set up a Southside Mission donation bin in the student center to entice students to donate their clothes rather than just throw them out.

For their efforts, the team earned the Fall 2021 Ebeling PR-ize™. Created by Bradley alumnus Chuck Ebeling and faculty member Ron Koperski in 2004, the Ebeling PR-ize™ is a competitive program among Bradley’s senior public relations students in their capstone course. Students form agency teams and are responsible for planning and implementing a real, coordinated public relations campaign on behalf of a local business and a compatible community service organization. Campaign submissions and judging criteria are based on the nationally recognized Silver Anvil Award competition administered by the Public Relations Society of America.

"This project was one of the first things I have done/learned that directly applies to my future and provided me with adequate skills to use in my career down the road," said Wasko. "It gave me a little sneak peek that leaves me now even more excited for graduation."


Ashley Rosenbrock, Anna Wasko, Rachelle Pavelko, Morgan Dunham