Northumberland-based clothing brand, Montane, has worked in conjunction with Northumbria University to inspire fashion design students to develop a collection of products that focus on sustainability, up-cycling and regeneration in the fashion and textile industry.

Montane and Northumbria University built upon an ongoing relationship to develop a project brief for final year students with the aim of re-using and recycling offcuts from Montane items that had come to the end of their life. As part of the ‘Think. Future. Design.’ exhibition, students were encouraged to develop items free from commercial constraints and instead recycle garments and design with creative freedom, all while focusing on the importance of sustainability in fashion.

Students from the Northumbria Fashion Design and Marketing course took fabric, trims and insulation previously used for Montane jackets and backpacks, and created a range of items from cushions, through to accessories and clothing. The final projects were shown as part of London Graduate Fashion Week, with many fashion houses and sporting companies attending the event.

Montane’s Senior Apparel Designer, Keith Cheung, commented: “Sustainability, renewal and upcycling has never been so prevalent in the industry. It has been fascinating working with the lecturers and students at Northumbria University and seeing the creative and innovative approach of the final year students. At Montane we focus on making sustainable choices when we design our products, and it is important that we encourage young designers to develop a similar mindset when creating new collections. As a testament to the design process, one final piece was even worn by a runner to complete the Montane Lakeland 100 race.”

Leon Maurice Senior Lecturer at Northumbria University said: “It has been fantastic to work with Montane on this brief and inspire the students to think of design from a different perspective. We have great emerging talent coming through our university and it is always illuminating to see what ideas are sparked from such projects. Implementing responsible design practice is a complex but necessary challenge. As a department, we acknowledge the consequences of our design decisions and actively reduce our negative environmental and social impact through considered practice.”

“The university is committed to working with industry experts to give our students the best opportunities for success and we are delighted that Montane agreed to work with us on this. We hope the exhibition will encourage future engagement and bring responsibility to the forefront of everything we do. We look forward to working with Montane on future sustainability-led projects.”

Through the brand’s Further. Forever initiative, Montane work with suppliers and organisations to utilise the most sustainable, ethically sourced materials and processes available without compromising on product performance.  Alongside this, the brand focus on durability as part of the design process and aim to extend the lifetime of the product in a bit to cut down on landfill.