Faculty and Staff

Dr. Elena Karpova

Putman & Hayes Distinguished Professor

Department of Consumer, Apparel, and Retail Studies

Stone 212 karpova@uncg.edu 336-256-0251 Download Curriculum Vitae


Dr. Elena Karpova is the Putman and Hayes Distinguished Professor in the Department of Consumer, Apparel, and Retail Studies (CARS) at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro (UNCG). Dr. Karpova earned her Ph.D. from UNCG in 2005 and worked as a professor at Iowa State University for fifteen years. As a native of Russia, she has graduate degrees in apparel engineering from Omsk State Technological University in Siberia and in textile science from St. Petersburg State University of Technology and Design.

Dr. Karpova’s major research interests include sustainability in the context of the global textile and apparel industries and markets; creative thinking and problem solving; and preparing global citizens for careers in the apparel industry. She is a co-author of two editions of Going Global: The Textile and Apparel Industry and a new book The Dangers of Fashion: Toward Ethical and Sustainable Solutions. She has published 52 research papers in refereed journals, including the Clothing and Textiles Research Journal, Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management,   Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services,   Sustainability,  and  Thinking Skills and Creativity Journal. In addition, she has published 88 proceedings of research papers presented at national and international conferences.

To support her research program, Dr. Karpova worked as PI and Co-PI on two USDA Higher Education Challenge Grants and a multinational project funded by the US Department of State. Her external grant support totals approximately $400,000. She has been awarded nine Paper of Distinction and Best Paper awards for her publications and presentations. In 2016, she received Mid-Career Excellence Award from the International Textile and Apparel Association (ITAA) and was ranked 16th out of the top 30 fashion marketing scholars in the world for the 2004-2014 period based on publication output.

Dr Karpova has taught undergraduate courses in sourcing and global textile and apparel industries, creative thinking, product development, patternmaking as well as graduate courses on sourcing, consumer behavior, and qualitative methodology. She has served as advisor for doctoral dissertations and MS theses. Her teaching was recognized by the Early Achievement in Teaching Award from Iowa State University and Education Innovation Award from University of Pretoria, South Africa.

Dr. Karpova has served as a founding member and President of the Textile and Apparel Programs Accreditation Commission (TAPAC). Currently, she is serving as the Vice President of Scholarship for the ITAA and as an Associate Editor of the Consumer Behavior track for the Clothing and Textiles Research Journal.