Social Sciences Policymaking

Maria Skivko

Maria Skivko is an Associate Professor at the Department of Social Systems and Law at the Samara University (Samara, Russia). She obtained her Masters Degree in Cultural Studies in Vilnius (Lithuania) and her PhD at the Bauhaus-University Weimar (Germany). Her research interests embrace the topics of fashion, cities, and sustainability. She gives classes at universities in Russia and Germany on the theory and practices of sustainability and sustainable fashion.

Languages: English, Russian, German
See also: ResearchGate / LinkedIn

An interview with Maria Skivko

Date: 17/02/2022

You’re currently an Associate Professor studying sustainability in the fashion industry, could you tell us more about this project? How’s your day-to-day, at work?
Sustainability today is more than just a topic for international organisations to discuss and create solutions; instead, it is implemented in our everyday practices, in how we interact and consume. So, fashion is not only about current trends for the upcoming season; it defines trends in consumption, communication, tourism, digital media, lifestyle etc. I am particularly interested in how fashion deals with sustainable issues and the strategies that the fashion industry develops to answer sustainable questions.

How did you decide to become a researcher in this field? Did you get inspired by anyone or anything in particular?
I am a sociologist who is interested in the area of consumer behaviour and fashion standards. From standards of consumption in fashion magazines to cultural and event consumption, I arrived at the topic of fashion and city representation in the fashion media for my PhD-thesis. And at some point, I could not avoid talking about sustainability because it is a significant global trend. So today, I combine these topics to investigate the most intriguing cases and approaches in sustainable  development.

What’s your favourite part of your everyday work?
Planning – new conference papers, new articles, new seminars. It inspires and motivates how I organise my daily routine.

What’s the biggest challenge you feel that you (and/or people in similar positions to yours) face today?
Being overwhelmed and getting professional burnout: there are so many exciting things to do and participate in, but we all need a balance, between work and free time, between professional activities and time with family, between being occupied with thousands of duties and relaxing weekends with a digital detox.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learnt so far?
Networking is important in your professional and private life; it helps, unites, and gives you direction.

Why are you interested in communicating science to students?
I am excited to share what I know with different audiences, observe the reaction, see the differences in perception. Students are an audience who can easily and quickly absorb new knowledge, find its application in many aspects of life, and form our future, so why not talk to them?

Outside your career, what do you enjoy doing?
I love dancing salsa and Argentinian tango – it is a perfect way to switch off from a computer and meet new people. Moreover, I like travelling and learning foreign languages, exploring new cultures and dealing with different cultural stereotypes.