The programme will focus on product creation informed by utilising existing resources

The programme will focus on product creation informed by utilising existing resources

Design academy Pensole has partnered with sustainable footwear brand Allbirds on a new masterclass which aims to educate aspiring designers on sustainability, with a focus on reusing and repurposing.

The course, which will take place from 23 March-10 April at Pensole in Portland, Orgeon, will comprise design programmes in footwear, colour and materials, and apparel and accessories.

Twelve students will be selected to partake in the three-week programme, which will operate as per Pensole's learn-by-doing curriculum, which teaches students the entire footwear and apparel design process, from product inspiration and concept development, to manufacturing and branding.

Footwear and apparel designers are invited to submit designs inspired by household items such as an egg carton, cupholder, mesh produce bag, coffee filter or teabag. Colour and materials designers, meanwhile, are asked to submit a one-page colour/materials mood board inspired by biodegradable items.

"Teaming up with Allbirds for this programme, we want to reshape the way aspiring designers view sustainability by having them incorporate it into their designs from the very beginning. Rather than focus on future innovation, we're challenging our students to utilise existing resources in a way they've never been used before," explains Pensole Academy founder and former Jordan design director, D'Wayne Edwards.

"The central purpose is to help redefine what is considered sustainable by showcasing the creative process of people reusing and repurposing items."

Tuition and shared housing is free, and the winning designers could be selected for internships at San Francisco-based, direct-to-consumer sustainable footwear brand Allbirds.

Founded in 2014 by former All Whites footballer Tim Brown, San Francisco-based Allbirds uses premium natural materials to manufacture shoes for men, women, and children.

Since the first Pensole class in 2010, nearly 500 academy graduates have been placed professionally, full-time or as interns, for companies worldwide, including Columbia Sportswear, The North Face, Timberland, Converse, New Balance, Under Armour, Adidas, Jordan, and Nike.

The academy received a US$2m strategic investment in January of last year from Foot Locker Inc.

Registration for the design masterclass is open now until 9 March.