Projects and publications

Listed below are the three main projects I worked on at the University of Southampton.

Enhancing pastoral care at doctoral level: PGR mental health project. 2016

Based in Student and Academic Administration, I led a 3-month project investigating PhD student experience and pastoral support in relation to wellbeing and mental health. Working with the Doctoral College and Student Services, six focus groups and a large online survey were conducted leading to a report evaluating the effectiveness of support currently offered and listing project recommendations and actions. Student Services then invited me back to coordinate the implementation of these recommendations which included a dedicated PhD student support webpage, the development of a pastoral support handbook for supervisors, improved signposting to services and a 5 ways to wellbeing campaign.

Silver Shoppers: designing a better supermarket service for the older consumer. 2014-2016

I joined the ESRC-funded ‘Silver Shoppers: designing a better supermarket service for the older consumer’ project in June 2014. Led by Dr Yuanyuan Yin the project identified barriers faced by an aging population when they go about their everyday grocery shopping, using this research to develop innovative design solutions. Working alongside a major supermarket in the UK, the project included participant observation, semi-structured interviews and a quantitative postal survey with shoppers over the age of 65. With research partners at Tsinghua University, China, the project is international in scope and involved a comparative UK/China element of study where I travelled to Beijing in 2015 to conduct further fieldwork.

The second-hand consumption practices of middle-class mothers at nearly new sales. 2011-2014

Constituting my doctoral research, this project investigated the role of NCT nearly new sales in the material provisioning practices of parents (specifically mothers). As a ‘diverse economy’ the nearly new sales allow local parents to buy and sell second-hand/used children’s clothes, toys and equipment. Three key themes emerged:

*The role of social networks and the geography of the sales in facilitating attendance.
*The multiple ways in which mothers negotiate and moderate the risks entailed in consuming previously used goods through social practice, adherence to safety conventions and domestic divestment rituals.
*The social role of the sales as a site facilitating bonding, learning and information flows, both formalised (via the parenting charity) and through actor’s with the necessary social and cultural capital.

Please see below for publications arising from this project to date.


PhD Human Geography (2015) University of Southampton
MPhil Design Management: Ethical fashion supply chains (2011) Solent University
Postgraduate Certificate in Research Methods (2010)
MA Higher Education (expected 2020) University of Surrey
BA(Hons) Fashion Cultures and Communication (2009) Solent University


Fellow, Chartered Management Institute (CMI)
Member, British Sociological Association (BSA)
Member, American Association of Geographers (AAG)

Academic Publications:

Peer reviewed journal paper
Waight, E. (2019) ‘Mother, consumer, trader: Gendering the commodification of second-hand economies since the recession’, Journal of Consumer Culture [in press].Waight, E. and Boyer, K.(2018) ‘The role of the non-human in relations of care: baby things’, Cultural geographies, 25(3)
Waight, E. and Giordano, A. (2018) ‘Doctoral student access to non-academic support for mental health’, Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management
Alexis-Martin, R., and Waight, E. (in review) ‘Exploring care within the nuclear test veteran family community’. Social Science and Medicine, special issue ‘Lessons for critical human geography from people’s diverse struggles to find health and wellbeing in adverse contexts’
Waight, E. (2014) ‘Second-hand consumption among middle-class mothers in the UK: thrift, distinction and risk’, Families, Relationships and Societies, 3(1) pp.159-162
Waight, E. (2013) ‘Eco babies: reducing a parent’s ecological footprint with second-hand consumer goods’, International Journal of Green Economics, 7(2), pp.197 – 211

Invited book chapter
Waight, E. (2017) ‘Hand-me-down childrenswear and the middle-class economy of nearly new sales’ in Ince, A. and Hall, S.M. (ed.) Sharing Economies in Times of Crisis: Practices, Politics and Possibilities, Routledge: Abingdon.
Waight, E. (2015) ‘Buying for Baby: How middle-class mothers negotiate risk with second-hand goods’ in Casey, E. and Taylor, Y. (ed.) Intimacies, Critical Consumption and Diverse Economies, Palgrave Macmillan: London, pp.197-215.

Book review
Waight, E. (2016) Book review. Habits of Being II: Exchanging Clothes. (eds.) Giorcelli, C. and Rabinowitz, P. (2012) University of Minnesota Press: Minneapolis. Journal of Consumer Culture.

Other article
Waight, E. (2011) Carbon Footprinting in the Fashion Industry: Continental Clothing’s Approach, TEXT (The Textile Society), 38, pp. 31-32

Conference Presentations and Lectures:

Baby Things: Practices of managing, passing on and memorialising, RGS-IBG, Session: To Have and to Hoard: Unpacking material geographies of excess and abundance, Cardiff University, 31st August 2018

Sustainable consumption and second-hand stuff, Sustainable Development Conference: Small actions, big impact, University of Southampton, 18th February 2017 (invited speaker)

Enhancing pastoral support at the doctoral level, Association of Research Managers and Administrators Annual Conference, Hilton Birmingham Metropole, June 2016 (one-hour presentation and activity session with Aline Giordano)

Silver Shoppers: Age-friendly supermarket environment and service design for consumers aged 65+, International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics European Region Congress, Dublin Convention Centre, April 2015 (led by Yuanyuan Yin)

Second-hand consumption and the material habitus, Making and Mobilising Objects Conference, University of Warwick, 21st Feb. 2015

Silver Shoppers: investigating supermarket service for the older consumer using cultural probes, BSA Ageing, Body and Society Study Group Conference 2014 – Researching Bodies, London, 28th Nov 2014

Purchasing second-hand/thrift children’s clothes and toys: middle-class distinction and risk, AAG Annual Meeting, Session: Retail & Business, Tampa, Florida, 10th April 2014

Resourceful Mothering: The ‘alternative’ economy of the NCT nearly new sale, Diverse Alternatives: living, working and playing differently in the capitalist mainstream, University of Leicester, 13th March 2014

Second-hand Stuff: Making Money and Saving Money at the NCT Nearly New Sale, RGS-IBG 2013, Session: Economic Change and Children, Youth and Families: Current Experiences and Future Frontiers

Ethical Fashion: An Oxymoron? Outcomes of the Ethical Fashion Futures Workshop, Multidisciplinary Week Lecture, University of Southampton, 21st March 2013

Second-Hand Retail: Vintage Fashion as Elitist Second-Hand Clothing? Ethical Fashion Futures Workshop (co-convenor), University of Southampton, 9th March 2013

NCT Nearly New Sales: Motivations and Rationalisations for Engaging in Second-Hand Consumption Practices, BSA Intimacies, Families and Practices of Consumption Conference, London, 1st Feb. 2013

Second-hand Cultures: Trade for Economy and Environment, 7th Annual Green Economics Institute Conference, Oxford, July 2012

Fashion Ecology: Knowledge and Habits of Young Fashion Consumers, Sustainable Consumption: Towards Action and Impact Conference, Hamburg, November 2011

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