As a designer with a passion for innovation, sustainability and working with people, I love making things, and making things happen!

Through my practice I aim to bring colourful textile joy and meaningful enquiry together: I’ve created locally woven product ranges and interior décor informed by traditional craft industries; explored advanced sportswear and performance textiles; experimented with innovative hand and digital craft techniques; researched practices, cultures and meanings of traditional textiles; and worked with communities to share the positive power of making, using technology, craft, humour and sport as participatory tools to engage audiences.

My main area of research interest is in textile design for health, wellbeing and sustainability. I have led industrial and academic textile research projects in medical and sportswear applications, applying a creative, proactive approach to getting things done and an inquiring sensitivity to developing commercial, user focussed solutions. My recent role as Research Fellow in Clothing Longevity at Nottingham Trent University is part of a wider DEFRA / WRAP funded initiative exploring how to embed sustainable design strategies into the fashion and textiles industry, and I have worked on a wide range of community projects / workshop activities.


2014 - current     

Lecturer in Textile Design, Nottingham Trent University

2016 - 2018

Sustainable Clothing Research Coordinator, Nottingham Trent University

2014 - 2016        

Research Fellow in Clothing Longevity, Nottingham Trent University

2015 - 2016       

Weave Parkhead! A Northlight Heritage community engagement project with Shielagh Tacey


'Darning Clothes, Weaving Conversations' workshop, supported by Zero Waste Scotland as part of the Love Your Clothes campaign. At Creative Carbon Scotland / GALA 2015 all day event 'Glasgow's Green: Imagining a sustainable city' at Glasgow Tramway.                  

ArcInTex Symposium workshop: Making Senses, Crafting Meanings, with Alastair Somerville, Sensory UX


 Weaving Shetland Tweed workshop with Shielagh Tacey, Shetland Wool Week

Scotland Can Make It Commonwealth Games Weavathon!

Hand-weaving at Weaving Truth with Trust, Govan Church

Love Your Clothes workshops coordinator and facilitator, John Lewis, for Zero Waste Scotland

Drop In & Darn! Participatory workshops at Highland Wool Festival, for Zero Waste Scotland

Upcycling workshop, Sustainable Clothing Action Plan event, Zero Waste Scotland/ WRAP

Selected Artist-in-Residence, Creative Carbon Scotland Mull Weekend Residency:  Art & Sustainability


Community Engagement Facilitator: Yarn Bomb Bute!

Design in Action ‘Chiasma’ workshop facilitator, Glasgow School of Art

DesignSpeck workshop assistant, GSA/ DJCAD

2012 – 2014      

Visiting Lecturer in Fashion and Textiles, Glasgow School of Art


Maker-in-residence (WEAVATHON), Barony Centre, West Kilbride

2010 – 2012       

Lecturer in Textiles, Design & Craft, Professional Practice & Employability, DJCAD, Dundee Uni

2009 – 2014     

Peer-mentor, NESTA Starter for 6 business innovation programme


Weaver-in-residence, Centre for the Creative Industries, Shetland


Weave designer, JJ Spectrum silk weavers, India


Weave designer, Angelo Vasino, Italy


Design studio assistant, Linton Tweeds, Carlisle



2009                    Blueprint & 100% Design Award for the Most Promising New Designer

2009                    The Incorporation of Weavers of Glasgow Scholarship: Backstrap weaving, Mayan textiles and Culture

2008                    Awarded NESTA business innovation grant funding

2006                    The Althea McNish Prize for the use of colour in textile design, RCA

2006                    Distinction for MA Thesis exploring The Role of Humour and Textiles in Art

2006                    Finalist, RCA Helen Hamlyn Design for Our Future Selves Award, in collaboration with vehicle designer Joel Bridge

2003                     Texprint Weave Prize

2003                     Incorporation of Weavers of Glasgow Award for Innovation, GSA



MCLAREN, A., HARDY, D.A. and HUGHES-RILEY, T., 2017. Electronic textiles and product lifetimes: exploring design strategies for product longevity. In: BAKKER, C. and MUGGE, R., eds., Product Lifetimes And The Environment (PLATE) Conference proceedings [Delft University of Technology], Delft, Netherlands, 8-10 November 2017. Delft University of Technology & IOS Press: online. Pp. 473 - 476. ISBN 978-1-61499-820-4. DOI: 10.3233/978-1-61499-820-4-473

MCLAREN, A., STEVENSON, F. and VALENTINE, L., 2017. Collaborative user-centred textile design research for healthcare: improving wellbeing and increasing performance. In: Intersections: Collaborations In Textile Design Research Conference, Loughborough University London, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, 13 September 2017. Proceedings. London: Loughborough University.

McLaren, A. & Goworek, H. (2017). Investigating the relationship between consumer attitudes and sustainable fashion product development. In Henninger, C., Alevizou, P., Goworek, H. and Ryding, D. (2017) Sustainability in Fashion: A Cradle To Upcycle Approach, Basingstoke: Palgrave

LITHERLAND, G. and MCLAREN, A., 2017. Woven Within the Surface: interconnected      explorations of fine art linen canvas production. In: Intersections: Collaborations In Textile Design Research Conference, Loughborough University London, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, 13 September 2017. Proceedings. London: Loughborough University.

MCLAREN, A., GOWOREK, H., COOPER, T., OXBORROW, L. and HILL, H., 2016. The effect of consumer attitudes on design for product longevity: the case of the fashion industry. In: P. LLOYD and E. BOHEMIA, eds., Proceedings of DRS 2016: Design + Research + Society - Future-Focused Thinking. 50th Anniversary Conference, Brighton, 27-30 June 2016. London: Design Research Society, pp. 3831-3846.

McLaren, A., Oxborrow, L., Cooper, T., Hill, H. and Goworek, H. (2015). Clothing Longevity Perspectives: exploring consumer expectations, consumption and use. Paper presented at PLATE (Product Lifetimes and the Environment) Conference, NTU (link to follow). 

McLaren, A. and Mclauchlan, S. (2015). Crafting Sustainable Repairs: practice based approaches to extending the life of clothes. Paper presented at PLATE (Product Lifetimes and the Environment) Conference, NTU (link to follow). 

OXBORROW, L. and MCLAREN, A., 2015. Extending the life of clothes. Textiles, 42 (3), pp. 6-9. ISSN 1367-1308

Work featured in: Davis and Martin (2012). Shibori Recreated



Summer Lodge residency (2018), Invited Artist (in collaboration with Geoff Diego Litherland). Nottingham Trent University Fine Art Department. Residency working on ‘Within The Surface’, a textile design / fine art collaboration to grow, process, and spin flax, to hand-weave into linen canvas.

MCLAREN, A. (2016). Darn Stylish I & Darn Stylish II [darned garments]. Costume and Fashion in Context Symposium exhibition, University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, 5-6 December 2016.

MCLAREN, A. (2016). Darning Clothes, Weaving Conversations: crafting sustainable fashion futures. Paper presented at Costume and Fashion in Context Symposium, University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, 5-6 December 2016.

MCLAREN, A. (2016). Radical Parkhead. Weave Parkhead Exhibition, Imageo Gallery, Glasgow, 20-25 August 2016.

MCLAREN, A. AND HILL, H. (2016). Exploring Design & Testing for Clothing Longevity. Pecha Kucha presentation at Emperor's New Clothes conference, 8 September 2016, Leeds University, UK.

MCLAREN, A., (2015). Wear your heart on your sleeve - darning sampler exhibited at: PLATE Exhibition (Product Lifetimes And The Environment), Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, 17-19 June 2015.

Tiree Tech Wave residency (2016). Residency considering the social and philosophical challenges of technology by engaging directly with it: development of practical E-textiles sampling, including the creation of fabric speakers and collaborative interactive pieces with local community. Underpinning research into the social/ wellbeing benefits of E-textiles, and the sustainability challenges of working with mixed textile and electronic materials.

Home / Away introduced by Christopher Breward and Mairi MacKenzie (2014), Scotland Can Make It! events programme

Invited speaker at  ‘Owning Creativity: How Intellectual Property relates to your creative business’ (2012), Cultural Enterprise Office

MCLAREN, A., (2011). If it wisnae for the weavers: from ancient craft to modern culture, Pecha Kucha presentation at Tramway Pecha Kucha series, Glasgow

See Me: I'm Being Creative (2011): featured in Scottish Government mental health campaign

Invited speaker, This Is... Central Station launch event (2009), Glasgow

Invited speaker at Scottish Arts Council showcase event (2009), Edinburgh