Dissertation proposal part 2


Student Name

Scarlett Erskine


Jewellery and Metal design

Supervisor name

Christina Hirst

Email address (Supervisor)


Date (update as you go)


Using the template

Enter your personal details in the box above. The email address will be used by your tutor and others to contact you. You must check this regularly for news on tutorial dates.

Read each heading carefully and type into the text box below.

Email your proposal to your supervisor and load it up on Safe Assignment of the VLE

Total final word count for Part 3: between 2000-2500 words (excluding bibliography).

Title (max 50 words)

This should give an outline of your research topic. If appropriate use a title and a subtitle. You need to get specific and refine the title to capture your research as best as possible.

Looking into how fashion jewellery has changed and grown over the past 10 years researching into consumer habits and environmental / financial factors causing this change.

Summary (Stage 2 = max 1000 words, Stage 3 = 1500)

Here you should indicate what you already know about the topic. You should already have done some reading around it. Summarise this reading with regards to the research topic and describe the research area. This will provide the basis for a literature review.

The jewellery industry has slowly become integrated into the fashion world. Fashion houses are now designing clothes and jewellery. In 2010, for the first time, Paris Couture Week included an Haute Joaillerie show, a show just for jewellery. Over the past decade the fashion industry has seen a significant expansion in fashion accessories. Fashion accessories include bags, belts, hairpieces and the number one biggest seller fashion jewellery. Fashion jewellery includes anything from a necklace, ring, bracelet to anklets etc.

‘Jewellery is said to account for over 30% of the overall fashion accessory market,’

(White, J,P, 2011)

The demand for fashion jewellery has grown massively over the past ten years. Many factors have influenced this change. The large increase in the price of precious metals has had a direct impact on the industry; this has influenced designers, makers, retailers and the buyers. Precious metals have risen 365% in price over the past 10 years.

‘Silver was the best performing of the precious metals, rising 80% in price, owing to pressures on supply and high demand from industry, according to the Lloyds TSB Assetwatch report.’

(Martin, C, 2011)

The price of gold has almost tripled over the past decade. Mining for precious metals is not only destructive to the environments landscape but also pollutes the air and water with toxic chemicals and sediments which may disrupt the ecosystem for years to come.

‘Gold is typically contained in sulfur rich rock, which when brought to the service may contribute to acid rain.’

(Fitzsimmons, C, n.d)
Designers are now trying to think of alternative cheaper and eco-friendly materials. Many fashion jewellers are using gold plating and semi precious stones or paste, glass that has been cut into gem like forms, to recreate the look of expensive jewellery. We are seeing an increase in the use of different materials such as wood, plastic, ceramics, fabric and recycled items.

Over recent years people have become more aware of environmental issues and are increasingly trying to come up with alternative methods of looking after the environment and creating a sustainable future. Jewellers are looking to replace traditional methods using chemicals such as acids, which are harmful to the environment, with new safer eco-friendly processes. Some jewellers have been recycling old jewellery to create new pieces or using throwaway materials to create new inspirational items.

Countries all over the world are affected by the fashion jewellery industry. Some countries producing the raw materials, others mass producing goods and ultimately countries where these goods are retailed.

This is having a positive affect on China and India as their markets are beginning to grow moving them out of poverty. Fashion jewellers are using cheaper and easier to source materials. Is this making the value of the piece lower? This is one of the reasons companies are now able to sell fashionable jewellery so cheap.

Large businesses are cleverly expanding their products and producing fashion jewellery at low cost prices. Primark is one example of a major business changing the market. Primark have been able to make cheap fashionable items at practically throwaway prices. The BBC exposed Primark, in 2008, for children working in Indian sweatshops making the hand made beaded products.

‘The documentary shows children like 11-year-old Mantheesh being paid just 60p a day by factory bosses to work in a refugee camp.’

(Anon, 2008)

This highlighted the reason the products could be sold so cheaply. Ethical trading in many businesses has been investigated to make sure people and in particular children are not being exploited.

Consumer buying habits have changed over the past 10 years. As a result of the recession retailers are conscious they need to move with the times. Businesses are trying to meet the exact needs of the consumer. Producing large ranges of different styles of jewellery. Our culture has made it acceptable to now buy cheaper jewellery to accessorize an outfit for a night out, possibly never wearing it again, creating the name disposable fashion. Large fashion houses are still creating new products with the big price tags.

The internet has effected this industry as it did the music and movie industry. Fashion businesses are now using online advertising to launch new lines and catwalk shows on the internet, making new items accessible immediately. Online companies like ASOS spend hundreds of thousands a year developing their web pages making them easier to use and easier to purchase items. This subconsciously makes consumers buy more.

All of these different factors have helped with the growth of fashion jewellery over the past decade. Each different factor has individually changed the way fashion jewellery has been designed and made in recent years. The demand for fashion jewellery will keep increasing over the next years as new exciting processes and materials will be introduced to the industry. Fashion will always be in our lives it will be interesting to see how fashion may change in the future.

(Continued over)

Aims: Why are you doing this? (max 100 words)

These are a general statement on the intent or direction for the research – why are you doing this? Refer to theoretical aims and practical ones where relevant. For example: How might this improve your design practice? How does it contribute to the discourses within your discipline? Who else might benefit from your research? Is it aimed at an academic or a wider audience? What do you hope your research will achieve? State your aims concisely, perhaps using bullet points.

· To investigate how the consumers buying habits and change in the environment and financial status have created the demand for fashion jewellery.

· Making people aware of the lack of materials we have in our environment.

· The piece is aimed at anyone from designers to makers to the retailers and consumers. Showing them how these aspects have let fashion jewellery grow.

· Showing consumers how they are easily lead by the retailers and their advertising skills.

· To promote fashion jewellery showing it isn’t just cheap tat and is eco-friendly.

Objectives: What will you produce? (max 100 words)

Objectives are the things you will produce in doing the dissertation, e.g. a review of the relevant literature, a collection and discussion of people’s experiences/opinions, an assessment of a debate or collection of work etc.

Like your aims, these will help your tutor (and you) assess your success. They may change over time but aims and objectives are useful to keep you focused. Again be concise here – you may want to use bullet points.

I will produce:

· A collection of information looking into the change and growth of fashion jewellery.

· Interviews with mass producing companies or retailing companies.

· Also with jewellery designers both fashion and non-fashion designers.

· Research into the raw materials industry, the reasoning for the rise in prices.

· Questionnaires with consumers and retailers looking into consumer habits.

Keywords (min 5 and max 10)

This should be a list of key terms that help us see if you are aware of where your research ‘sits’. For example, if you are writing on depictions of women in advertising your list might include ‘gender, feminism, representation, advertising, semiotics’. Keywords will help you when doing electronic searched for research materials.

Fashion, jewellery, consumerism, sustainability, raw materials, consumer habits, precious metals, eco friendly, ethical

Expanded Bibliography (min of 24 books, articles, websites)

Place here alphabetically a list of materials which you intent to use for you dissertation. Format these according to the Harvard Method.

Please make sure you have critically assessed these as being appropriate for your topic and write a short paragraph for each one summarising the content and its relevance to your research area.

Adams, M., 2010, Fashion jewellery: catwalk and couture. Laurence King, London.

A book showing new fashion jewellery designers, some using traditional techniques, modern ideas and new different materials. Looking at collaborations with fashion designers and jewellers. This will help me by showing the changes in fashion jewellery, the designs and materials.

Anon, 2008, Exposed: Primark’s fashion sweatshops that pay children just 60p a day, Daily Mail online, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1028449/Exposed-Primarks-sweatshops-pay-children-just-60p-day.html

(Accessed on 20/02/2011)

The report gives me insight into the shocking conditions children were working in, in India. Giving me figures of the information gained by the BBC.

Bryant, B., 2009, Mass-produced jewellery or Handmade jewellery? Ezine articles,


(Accessed on (25/11/2010)

This article investigates into why handmade jewellery is better than mass-produced jewellery showing the pros of handmade and the cons of mass-produced. This article will highlight the problems with mass produced jewellery.

Cera, F, D., 2009, Coppola E Toppo Fashion Jewels, Antique Collectors Club LTD, Suffolk.

This book follows the life of two Italian designers who became famous for their designs of intricate beading. Following them breaking into the fashion world teaming up with fashion houses such as Valentino. This book will help me understand how jewellery joined the fashion industry.

Cumming, V., 1998, The visual history of costume accessories, BT Batsford Ltd, London.

The book will show me the changes of costume jewellery and accessories over the years, I can then look at recent pieces and compare them and see the changes in recent times.

Ehrenfeld, J, R., 2008, Sustainability by design: a subversive strategy for transforming our consumer culture, Yale University Press, New Haven.

This book will help me to look into the changes in consumer and sustainable culture.

Fitzsimmons, C., n.d, Effects of gold mining on the environment, eHow collector, http://www.ehow.com/facts_5218981_effects-gold-mining-environment.html (Accessed on 02/03/11)

Helping me to understand the bad side of the gold mining industry and how it effects our environment.

Granger, M., 2007, Fashion: The Industry and Its Careers, Fairchild Publication Inc, New York.

Looking into the different jobs in the fashion industry showing what jobs create the trends and produce the advertising for the consumer. Making them want to buy. Helping me understand all the different aspects of the industry.

Legg, B, 2008, Jewellery from natural materials, A & C Blacks, London.

This book will show me different natural materials that can be used. Helping me look into all the different types of materials old and new.

Loring, J., 2003, Tiffany in Fashion, Harry N Abrams, England.

Useful source displaying the 20th century glamorous American jewellery. Looking at the changes of Tiffany & Co’s style over the years. This book will help me to see how jewellery has progressed over the years.

Manheim, J., 2009, Sustainable Jewellery, A & C Blacks, London.

This book looks into sustainable jewellery, the materials designers are now deciding to use instead of precious metals creating eco-friendly pieces. Helping me to see the new materials being introduced into the jewellery industry.

Mansell, A., 2008, Adorn New Jewellery, Laurence King, London.

This book is showcasing 176 jewellers from all over the world. From fine jewellers to fashion jewellers. Looking into the traditional methods against the modern technology and the worries of the loss of preciousness and makers time.

Martin, C, 2011., Precious metals rise 365% in price in last 10 years, Llyods TSB, http://lbg.intranet.group/lbg_comms/news/news_2011/march/news_1103114.shtm

(Accessed on 11/03/2011)

This article helps me see the rise in prices showing me the figures changing. Showing the change this might have on our economy.

Mazloum, C., 1999, Jewellery Design in the 21st century, 1st edition, Gremese, Rome.

Exploring the changes of jewellery making in 21st century. Like the handcrafted jewellery showing traditional skills. To the modern turn on jewellery based on architecture and artwork.

Radojcin, D., 2007,You should know about Alex Monroe, Handbag, http://www.handbag.com/fashion/features/profile-interview/you-should-know-aboutalex-monroe-67955?click=main_sr,

(Accessed on 20/11/2010)

This article presents independent jeweller Alex Monroe, who ethically produces handmade jewellery. Helping me to see how jewellery is ethically made.

Solomon, M,R., 2008, Consumer Behaviour, 8th Edition, Prentice Hall, New Jersey.

This books goes into detail looking at why people buy and looks into services, products and social networking all contribute to peoples buying habits.

Underhill, P., 1999, Why We Buy: The Science Of Shopping, Orion business London.

This books looks into consumer habits and the retailers and producers tactics persuading the consumer to buy. Giving me an insight into the tactics the retailers use to maker people buy at their stores, and showing me the science behind the buying habits.

White, J, P., 2011, Costume Jewellery and Fashion Accessories: Industry Report 2011, Ezine Articles,


(Accessed 9/3/11)

This article gives me insight to nearly all the different factors effecting the change in fashion jewellery.

Woolton, C., 2010.Fashion for Jewels, Prestel, London.

This books presents 100years of jewellery, exploring all the different styles of jewellery and how the jewellery industry has integrated into the fashion world over the years. Letting me see the changes of jewellery over the years.

www.acj.org.uk, (Accessed 2/11/2010)

The Association for Contemporary Jewellery. Helps to advertise contemporary jewellery for those who may be unsure of it. Showing new designers with contemporary pieces.

www.ijo.com, (Accessed 19/11/2010)

The Independent Jewellers Organization. This is a group of independent jewellers who access their materials ethically. Using their own skills to give their buyer top quality produce.

www.newdesigners.com, (Accessed 14/11/2010)

This website showcases the UK’s newest designers. Showing new styles that are being used in the jewellery industry.

www.news.bbc.co.uk/panorama/hi/default.stm(Accessed (01/02/2011)

This website has programmes on different problems that have effected the fashion jewellery industry, such as Primark being exposed.

www.vogue.com, (Accessed 17/11/2010)

This website looks into all the new ranges of fashion and jewellery, showing what’s ‘In’ and the trends to follow. Introducing the hot new designers and shops that everyone should go to.

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