For centuries, fashion manufacturing was a dominant industry here in East London. Whilst much was lost during the offshoring crisis, East London’s rich fashion and craft heritage was resilient. High-end fashion manufacturing has returned to growth after decades of decline with a focus on fashion technology, which is expected to disrupt and transform the global fashion industry. We want to accelerate this growth.
An independent report carried out by BOP consulting identified key barriers to growth for the fashion industry in East London. To address these barriers, the Fashion District formed to unite industry, business, education, and the public sector to speed up investment in skills, workspace, businesses and innovation R&D.
The Fashion District will add to our existing creative strengths, repositioning London’s fashion sector as a creatively-led digital manufacturing centre. The cluster will be at the heart of the UK’s knowledge economy, focusing on our strengths in generating intellectual property. It will be a destination for investment in UK fashion business. It will incubate new companies, business models and support for innovation in products and services. It will attract global talent, catalyse production corridors across East London and the Upper Lea Valley, and drive growth in regional textiles manufacturing.
The story of fashion is the story of technology. London needs to act now to stay at the centre of fashion-tech, which is re-shaping the fashion industry worldwide.