An Aberdeen academic has been shortlisted for a prestigious Research Project of the Year accolade in this year's Times Higher Education (THE) Awards.
The annual THE Awards are widely recognised as the Oscars of the higher education sector, attracting hundreds of entries that exemplify the talent, commitment and innovation of individuals and teams across all aspects of university life.
Professor Muhammad Azizul Islam of the University’s Business School has been shortlisted in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences category for his work on exposing the hidden costs of fast fashion in the ready-made garment (RMG) industry.
Bangladeshi workers employed in the sector are suffering unfair practices and challenging conditions within the supply chain, a situation that got worse during the Covid-19 pandemic. Actions taken by retailers, such as cancelling orders, refusal to pay for work in progress and demands for discounted prices, disproportionately impacted the vulnerability of women workers by contributing to an increase in gender violence, abuse and economic hardship.
Research led by Professor Islam outlined a need to review and revise the legal framework and accountability for protecting the rights of RMG workers. It found that the majority are women who are young, poorly educated and from rural areas, with little employment options. Because of this, the research recommended a UK fashion watchdog be created to tackle abusive purchasing practices by brands selling into the UK market.
Welcoming the announcement, Professor Islam said: “The University of Aberdeen is renowned for its world-leading research across a range of areas and I am honoured that my work has been put forward as an example of the global impact of our research.”
This year’s winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in Liverpool on 7 December.