In a society that increasingly is emphasizing a lot on materialism and over consumption, there is a diminishing differentiation between needs vs. wants. This may require a paradigm shift in thinking, which is possible through awareness and education regarding the effects of consumption. Dr. Diddi’s overall research focus is Sustainable Fashion Consumption and Production (SFCP). She specifically examines the need to address whole provisioning systems including clothing consumption practices and production conditions, as well as life-cycle impacts and the economic, political, social and cultural imperatives that compel consumerist lifestyles.
Her research has components related to corporate social responsibility of apparel companies, social-psychological aspects that influence consumption, post-consumer textile waste in landfills and its effects on human health and public policy implications. To address the alarming rate of fashion consumption, she strongly believes in conducting transdisciplinary research that takes into account different stakeholder perspectives and engage in systems thinking to develop transformative solutions that encourage sustainable consumption.
Another stream of her research explores education to promote SFCP. Early intervention through education and awareness may influence future generations to engage in sustainable consumption and disposal practices. Discussion regarding individual clothing consumption choices on the environment is scarce in the K-12 curricula in the U.S. Her current research addresses this topic to develop a framework of SFCP that includes education and awareness as an important element.
Dr. Diddi works with scholars globally to address the complex challenges associated with SFCP. She works closely with Future Earth - an international research platform and a 10-year initiative to advance global sustainability science. It has identified 8 challenge areas and one of them is Systems of Sustainable Consumption and Production (SSCP). She is one of the founding members of Future Earth Global Knowledge Action Network that aims to strengthen collaboration between communities of researchers and practitioners that are currently focused on either production or consumption, including actors, decision makers and other stakeholders. http://futureearth.org/knowledge-action-network-systems-sustainable-consumption-and-production-founding-members
2016-2017 - Diddi, S. & Yan, R-N. Needs assessment of high school sustainability-related curricula: Exploring avenues to incorporate environmental literacy focusing on clothing consumption and disposal. College of Health and Human Sciences - Mini Grants Program, $10,000. Principal Investigator.
2017-2018 - Diddi, S., Yan, R-N, Opp, S., Carcassan, M., Bloodhart, B., & McShane, K. Clothing and Sustainability: Policy Implications through Structured Public Deliberation. School of Global Environmental Sustainability (SoGES), $20,000. Principal Investigator.