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Dr Alana James

Senior Lecturer

Department: Northumbria School of Design

My Research

My research explores responsible social and environmental practices in the fashion supply chain from a design perspective. Working closely with key stakeholders, in particular fashion consumers and brands, my work investigates how a collaborative approach can aid in moving the industry forward to a more sustainable future. 

Since the publication of my PhD in 2015, entitled Influencing Ethical Fashion Purchasing Behaviour, lines of inquiry have continued to explore the diverse approaches possible in the implementation of sustainable practices in the fashion industry. Examples include: utilising zero-waste pattern cutting methods to lead the creative design process, engaging fashion consumers in a transparent business model, the inclusion of people in the product lifecycle in the consideration of ethics, the role of consumers and retailers in the application of sustainable values in fashion, how higher education contextualises sustainability as a key design tool and the challenges facing the adoption of circular principles in fashion. 


My Interests

I am passionate that garments should be designed and made without causing negative environmental and social impact. Fashion should not be beautiful at the expense of people and the planet and it is innovative design approaches that can provide alternative solutions going forward. 

Through my personal research, I engage in challenge-led investigations that reflect contemporary societal issues. From an educational perspective this is about getting students to think differently, creating innovative solutions towards a more sustainable future for the fashion industry. 


My Areas of Expertise

My area of expertise lies within sustainable and ethical fashion, utilising design tools and methods to provide solutions for a more responsible fashion industry. Approaching complex issues from a multi-stakeholder approach, my strengths include engaging with fashion consumers and applying design strategies to encourage small shifts in behaviour towards large-scale sustainable change. 


My Publications

  • JAMES, A.M. (2020) How consumer action can help build a sustainable future for fashion. The Journal of Litter and Environmental Quality, 4 (1), pp. 46-50. 
  • JAMES, A.M., REITSMA, L. and AFTAB, M. (2019) Bridging the double-gap in circularity. Addressing the intention-behaviour disparity in fashion. The Design Journal22 (sup1), pp.901-914.
  • GWILT, A. and JAMES, A.M. (2019) ‘Influencing Ethical Fashion Purchasing Behaviour: A study of UK high street retailers’ in Global Perspectives on Sustainable Fashion. Bloomsbury. 
  • JAMES, A.M. and MONTGOMERY, B. (2017) Engaging the fashion consumer in a transparent business model. International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education,10 (3), pp. 287-299.
  • JAMES A.M. and AFTAB, M. (2017). People as an Essential Tool for Considering Ethics in the Product Lifecycle. In E. Bohemia, C. de Bont, & L. S. Holm (Eds.), Conference Proceedings of the Design Management Academy(Vol. 3, pp. 889–907). London: Design Management Academy. ISBN 978-1-912294-13-8
  • JAMES, A.M. and MONTGOMERY, B. (2017) “Making the Change: The Consumer Adoption of Sustainable Fashion” in The Detox Fashion- Cleaning Up Fashion Sector. Springer 
  • JAMES, A.M., ROBERTS, B.M. and KUZNIA, A. (2016) Transforming the sequential process of fashion production: where zero-waste pattern cutting takes the lead in creative design. International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education, 9, (2), pp.142-152.
  • JAMES, A.M. and MONTGOMERY, B. (2016) “The Role of the Retailer in Socially Responsible Fashion Purchasing” in Textiles and clothing sustainability: Sustainable Fashion and Consumption. Springer, 1-38.
  • JAMES, A.M. and MONTGOMERY, B. (2016) “Connectivity, Understanding and Empathy: How a lack of Consumer Knowledge of the Fashion Supply Chain is Influencing Socially Responsible Fashion Purchasing” in Textiles and clothing sustainability: Sustainable Fashion and Consumption. Springer, 61-94.
  • JAMES, A.M. (2015) Influencing Ethical Fashion Consumer Behaviour: A study of UK high street retailers, PhD theses, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne.
Alana James

Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • How Consumer Action can Help Build a Sustainable Future for Fashion, James, A. Jan 2020
  • The Responsible Fashion Consumer, James, A. Dec 2020
  • Bridging the double-gap in circularity: addressing the intention-behaviour disparity in fashion, James, A., Reitsma, L., Aftab, M. 2019, In: The Design Journal
  • Sustainability and garment longevity in the UK high street, Gwilt, A., James, A. 21 Feb 2019, Global Perspectives on Sustainable Fashion, London, Bloomsbury
  • Why you should stop buying new clothes, James, A. 24 Sep 2019
  • Engaging the fashion consumer in a transparent business model, James, A., Montgomery, B. Sep 2017, In: International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education

PGR Supervision

  • Abigail Irving-Munro Start: 18/01/2021
  • Julia Wilmott Start: 01/04/2020
  • Jennifer Moore Start: 02/04/2019

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