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Dr Alana James

Assistant Professor

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

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. 

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Mind and muscle: Deconstructing the uniform of masculinity in the time of AIDS, Younger, D., Sellars, N., James, A. 1 Apr 2023, In: Critical Studies in Men's Fashion
  • Rethinking the fashion value chain: how reshoring can create a localised product lifecycle and support sustainable economic growth, James, A., Mather, S., Sheridan, K. 17 Sep 2023, Novel sustainable alternatives for the textiles and fashion industry, Cham, Switzerland, Springer
  • Utilising 3D fashion design software to enable remanufacturing in sportswear, Wetherell, S., Nicholson, T., James, A. 5 Dec 2022, In: International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education
  • The Future Generation of Fashion: How Higher Education Contextualises Sustainability as a Key Design Tool, James, A. 20 Sep 2021, The Routledge Companion to Fashion Studies, London, Taylor & Francis
  • The Future Generation of Fashion: How higher education contextualizes sustainability as a key design tool, James, A. 20 Sep 2021, The Routledge Companion to Fashion Studies, London, Taylor & Francis

  • Xin Gao Repurposing post-consumer textile waste for modular design opportunities Start Date: 01/10/2023
  • Abigail Irving-Munro An Exploration into fashion waste streams to stop post-consumer and industry surplus going to landfill; How can innovation in the second-hand supply chain prevent clothing from being disposed? Start Date: 18/01/2021
  • Julia Wilmott “Re-fashioning a sustainable classic.” An exploration into blending through pattern and structure as a method to improve the use of broad wool fibres in commercial fashion fabrics. Start Date: 01/04/2020

Design Studies PhD November 17 2014

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