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Dr Alana James

Senior Lecturer

Department: Northumbria School of Design

Dr James is an experienced fashion designer, educator and researcher focused on creating sustainable change in the future of the fashion industry. She believes that garments should not be beautiful at the expense of people and the planet and through innovative design approaches aims to embed responsible values throughout the fashion product lifecycle. 

From a research perspective Dr James engages in challenge-led investigations that reflect contemporary societal issues. From an educational perspective she encourages students to think differently, creating ambitious sustainable solutions. 

Approaching complex issues from a multi-stakeholder approach, her strengths include engaging with fashion consumers and applying design strategies to encourage small shifts in behaviour towards large-scale sustainable change. 

Alana James

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

Dr James' 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, her work investigates how a collaborative approach can aid in moving the industry forward to a more sustainable future. 

Since the publication of her 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. 

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: How Small Changes in Everyday Behaviour can Create Big Sustainable Change, 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 An Exploration into the Second-hand clothing Supply Chain to Prevent Post-Consumer Clothing Waste. Start Date: 18/01/2021
  • Julia Wilmott 'Re-fashioning a modern sustainable classic' A Practice based exploration of the potential for specific wool blends and stitches to encourage further use of wool fibres in everyday commercial garments. Start Date: 01/04/2020
  • Jennifer Moore ‘How does garment cut influence the perception of attractiveness in the male somatotype? A comparative study of the focus of attraction on specific areas of the male body and its adaptation to inform garment cut in the UK.’ Start Date: 02/04/2019


Design Studies PhD November 17 2014

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