Skip to content

Knitwear students team up with Celtic & Co. for garment repurposing project

Natural sustainable fashion brand Celtic & Co. and British knitwear supplier Robert Todd have collaborated on a garment repurposing project with students of BA Fashion Knitwear Design and Knitted Textiles.

Illustration of knitwear for repurposing project

The live project explored sustainable solutions for reject garments. Students had to design a women’s knitwear collection using a selection of Celtic & Co. garments provided by Robert Todd as the basis of designing and manufacturing their collections.

Head of Product at Celtic & Co., Katy Burnett, said: “We’re always keen to get involved in new sustainability initiatives, so when we were approached about this collaboration, we thought it was a great way to support emerging talent whilst also having a perfect link to our circular fashion principles.

“It’s been a really exciting and successful project which we are planning on running again next year as part of the university’s knitwear course. Well done to all the students who got involved, there were some very impressive designs and we thoroughly enjoyed looking through the presentations.”

Design Manager at Robert Rodd, Angela Wood, said: “The main aim of this project was to raise awareness of waste within the textile industry and how we could encourage sustainable practices. We found it incredibly inspiring to see how engaged and enthusiastic the students were. We felt they approached it with creativity and great energy. It has been very rewarding for us to impart our knowledge of the industry with this live project and hopefully inspire the next generation of designers.”

The presentations were judged by product teams at both Robert Todd and Celtic & Co. They chose a top three, with Yang Xixi as overall winner, followed by George Light and Emma Gillie. A high commendation also went to Catherine Brodie.

  • Designs by Yang Xixi
    Winning work by Yang Xixi, BA Fashion Knitwear Design and Knitted Textiles
  • Designs by Catherine Brodie
    Runner up work by Catherine Brodie, BA Fashion Knitwear Design and Knitted Textiles
  • Designs by Emma Gilliie
    Work by Emma Gillie, BA Fashion Knitwear Design and Knitted Textiles
  • Designs by George Light
    Work by George Light, BA Fashion Knitwear Design and Knitted Textiles

Yang Xixi’s winning project was titled ‘Into the blue embrace the joy’. Her designs focused on a mix of cable knit, fair isle, hand knitting and crochet techniques, and was based around the repurposing of one of Celtic & Co.’s best-selling products, a navy Cable Boyfriend Cardigan.

Commenting on her experience, Yang said: “Working with a brand is a new experience for me, and as a future fashion knitwear designer, I think it was a great opportunity that was helpful for my career development. I am so grateful to be able to work with a brand which truly cares about sustainability. My project aimed to encourage consumers to appreciate slow fashion through the charm of hand knit and crochet, which allowed me to repurpose and create individual pieces.”

Each student had a design from their collection made up into a garment.

  • Final produced garment of Emma Gillie's design
    Final produced garment of Emma Gillie's design
  • Final produced garment of Yang Xixi's design
    Final produced garment of Yang Xixi's design
  • Final produced garment of George Light's design
    Final produced garment of George Light's design
  • Final produced garment of Catherine Brodie's design
    Final produced garment of Catherine Brodie's design

NTU course Leader of BA Fashion Knitwear Design and Knitted Textiles, Helen Hill, concluded:

“Our second-year students have gained valuable industry experience working on this live project with Celtic & Co. and Robert Todd. It provided them with an awareness of knitwear design in a commercial context as well as an opportunity to explore sustainable solutions. It’s fantastic to see how their confidence has grown when communicating and engaging with industry. We were delighted with the final outcomes and the students have thoroughly enjoyed it.”

  • Notes for editors

    Nottingham Trent University (NTU) received the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2021 for cultural heritage science research. It is the second time that NTU has been bestowed the honour of receiving a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for its research, the first being in 2015 for leading-edge research on the safety and security of global citizens.

    The Research Excellence Framework (2021) classed 83% of NTU’s research activity as either world-leading or internationally excellent. 86% of NTU’s research impact was assessed to be either world-leading or internationally excellent.

    NTU was awarded The Times and The Sunday Times Modern University of the Year 2023 and ranked University of the Year in the Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023. It was awarded Outstanding Support for Students 2020 (Times Higher Education Awards), University of the Year 2019 (Guardian University Awards, UK Social Mobility Awards), Modern University of the Year 2018 (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide) and University of the Year 2017 (Times Higher Education Awards).

    NTU is the 5th largest UK institution by student numbers, with approximately 40,000 students and more than 4,400 staff located across five campuses. It has an international student population of 7,000 and an NTU community representing over 160 countries.

    Since 2000, NTU has invested £570 million in tools, technology, buildings and facilities.

    NTU is in the UK’s top 10 for number of applications and ranked first for accepted offers (2021 UCAS UG acceptance data). It is also among the UK’s top five recruiters of students from disadvantaged backgrounds and was the first UK university to sign the Social Mobility Pledge.

    NTU is ranked 2nd most sustainable university in the world in the 2022 UI Green Metric University World Rankings (out of more than 900 participating universities).

Published on 25 August 2023
  • Category: School of Art & Design