student repurposing project '24


For a second year, we have collaborated with Nottingham Trent University (NTU) and British knitwear supplier Robert Todd on a project with students of BA Fashion Knitwear Design and Knitted Textiles to repurpose old samples.

What Was The Project?

The project looked to explore sustainable solutions for reject garments. The 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.

Robert Todd’s design manager, Angela Wood, said: “We were delighted when NTU wanted to repeat the repurposed garment project again. Building upon the success of last year, the standard of the portfolios submitted were, without exception, very professional. It was a joy to open each folder and follow the journey from the initial concept boards to the final garment. The students had clearly engaged with the Celtic brand and the research was impressive. The final outcomes were creative, commercial, and really epitomised the repurposed brief.”

Course leader of NTU’s fashion knitwear design and knitted textiles course, Helen Hill, continued: “This project challenged our second-year students to problem solve and address sustainability through repurposing or re-working garments. It introduced them to the industry and provided them with an awareness of knitwear design within a commercial context and specific market requirements. We are delighted with this year’s outcomes, with the students applying a broad range of knitting skills through hand machine and craft intervention. They also considered sustainability through back winding and sourcing yarns allowing them to produce visually exciting, finished garments in-keeping with the brand identity.”

The Winning Project - Celina Kingston-Nielson

The presentations were judged by product teams at both Robert Todd and Celtic & Co., who chose a top three and an overall winner. 

The winning project came from Celina Kingston-Nielson, who created a landscape inspired piece, titled ‘Moonscape Sweater Vest’. The vest is 100% wool and was made using some of Celtic & Co.’s signature knitted pieces.


Celina commented: “I’d like to thank Celtic & Co., Robert Todd, and NTU for the opportunity to take part in this project and am thrilled to be the winner. This working in industry module was an amazing new experience for me to develop and further my skills as a knitwear designer for my future career. My selected brief was ‘Moonlit Shores’ and the future thinking of sustainability was a basis for the design development. Through choosing to unravel a few reject garments, I gathered enough yarn to hand knit and give something, that was once deemed worthless, a new lease of life. 

My aim was to show that the repurposing of a garment is more important than the use of recycled materials - by doing so we can work to reduce not only textile waste, but excess fuel and water waste that the recycling process produces. I thoroughly enjoyed the process of designing and turning an industry brief into a meaningful core memory from my time at university.”

Congratulations to our runners up, Molly Round and Mollie Blake, who also produced some inspiring work!


"We were blown away by the high quality designs from all the students, and loved the final piece from Celina. We are now in talks to potentially reproduce it in some way for a future collection, which is really exciting."

- Katy Burnett, Head of Product

About Robert Todd -

Established in 1888, Robert Todd is a knitwear manufacturer based in Leicestershire and are a supplier of knitwear to Celtic & Co.

About Nottingham Trent University -

With origins dating back to 1843, Nottingham Trent University (NTU) is one of the largest and most influential higher education institutions in the UK. It has a global community of over 40,000 students and staff, with a comprehensive academic portfolio for study and research across five campuses. NTU has been named Modern University of the Year by The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023; it is also one of the most environmentally responsible and was named the world’s second most sustainable university in the UI Green Metric World University Rankings 2022.

BA Fashion Knitwear Design and Knitted Textiles is an established, highly respected degree course with a global reputation for innovation and excellent industry links. Students develop a full range of technical and design skills, including the digital knit processes in high demand in the fashion and textile industry. Work experience and industry-led projects form an important part of the course learning experience.