Fashion District & The Trampery present: Fashion Circle

Join us at our new event series for fashion businesses. Launched as part of a day of events to celebrate Poplar Works’ 1st Birthday, we will be kicking off the series with ‘REMODEL AND REPAIR’ to explore the growing interest in creating a ‘KEEP IT CULTURE’.

Two fashion tech start-ups driving forward the ‘Keep It Culture’ will fuel our discussion. We will be joined by Nina Van Volkinburg, CEO and Co-Founder of RETURE, a digital platform that connects users with a network of sustainably driven fashion designers to upcycle underused garments. Nina will be accompanied by Poplar Works based designer, Joao Maraschin, who has also completed The Trampery’s Sustainable Fashion Accelerator. They will discuss the benefits of upcycling as a means to extending the life of clothes whilst supporting independent creatives, and the importance of valuing the garments we already own.

Josephine Philips, the Founder of Sojo App, which aims to take away the hassle of repairing your clothes by providing an easy and effortless alteration service, will share insights into how research has sculpted their business journey, and their strategies for growth in a changing fashion landscape.

The Agenda:

About the Panel:

NINA VAN VOLKINBURG is the CEO and Co-Founder of RETURE, the world’s first upcycling marketplace dedicated to premium fashion. The platform connects customers to a global network of world class and emerging fashion designers to upcycle their underused garments into unique fashion pieces; giving old clothes a new lease on life. RETURE’s mission is to make upcycling the most desirable choice for modern-day fashion consumption. The platform aims to preserve craft in the digital age; extend the life of garments; and rediscover our local communities.

JOAO MARASCHIN is a London-based Brazilian designer who launched his eponymous brand, following graduation from the MA Fashion Womenswear at London College of Fashion. Through many collaborations with artisans in underserved conditions, the brand gives renewed value to their practices and helps them protect their communities. By working only with recycled or organic materials, the brand is as aware of its environmental impact as possible. Maraschin was recently shortlisted for the Drapers Sustainability Awards 2021 and awarded a residency at Thread Senegal by the Anni and Josef Albers Foundation.

JOSEPHINE PHILIPS is the Founder of Sojo, a fashion-tech business that is working to make the fashion industry more circular by making clothing alterations and repairs an easy and hassle-free process. It does this by connecting customers to local seamster businesses through an app and bicycle delivery service so that people can get their clothes fixed, with a few simple clicks.

Celebrate with Poplar Works

POPLAR WORKS, a home for anyone working or training in fashion and making, is celebrating its first birthday with a series of online events to mark its impact since launching at the start of the covid-19 pandemic. Discover the full birthday programme running from 27 February to 16 March.

Click here to book your ticket

Apply to MATCHES FASHION’s New Internship Programme!

Are you looking for a chance to give your career a new direction in 2021?

This year, MATCHESFASHION have begun their 4th cohort of their Internship programme – but with a twist. It is now open to everyone, not just students looking for a sandwich year placement. Regardless of your educational background or previous work experience, they are looking for the most committed and passionate individuals to join their team from July 2021.

As an Intern at MATCHESFASHION, you will be an integral member of your department, gaining rich hands- on experience with your own remit and daily responsibilities.

MATCHES are offering 12-month paid internships in 9 different departments, to help young people from varing backgrounds to break into the fashion industry. Those departments are:

So, whoever you are, and whatever your stage in life, education and career – if you can demonstrate passion, curiosity and a great deal of motivation, MATCHES look forward to hearing from you. Submit your application, including your complete open brief and CV, by Friday 12th February.

Check out for more info!


Fashion District, in collaboration with the Fashion Innovation Agency, is pleased to announce the launch of the Manufacturing Futures 2021: Fashion District Innovation Challenge Prize, sponsored by the Institution of Engineering and Technology, on January 28th 2021.

Join us at the digital launch to be the first to find out about the challenge, hear insights & tips from industry speakers and our judging panel, and network with London’s fashion, tech & innovation community!

About the Challenge

Fashion District challenges are designed to find innovative solutions to current industry issues across retail, manufacture & design. Manufacturing Futures will give start-ups & SMEs the chance to win cash prizes, support, and the opportunity to pitch to some of the industry’s leading brands & innovators. We welcome applications from tech start-ups who believe that their business has the potential to revolutionise any part of the fashion supply chain. Areas could include:

•             Materials Innovation
•             Manufacturing Processes
•             Waste Management
•             Supply-Chain & Logistics
•             Transparency & Traceability
•             End-of-Use & Circular Economy

Our Judges & Prizes

Manufacturing Futures 2021 brings together high-profile industry leaders and experts committed to supporting the next wave of innovation. Our esteemed judging panel comprises of: 

Prof Danielle George MBE FIET, President of the Institution of Engineering and Technology
Craig Smith, Head of Research & Development, Pangaia
Julian Burnett, VP Global Markets – Distribution, IBM
Elise Falhen, Investment Manager, H&M CO:LAB
Matthew Drinkwater, Head of Fashion Innovation Agency, London College of Fashion, UAL
A MAKE UK Representative

Critical friends will also include Fashion For Good, Supply Compass, University of Cambridge, London Waste and Recycling Board, Digital Catapult, WRAP, UKFT and Lewis Silken, with more to be announced!

This year, start-ups will be competing to win a £15,000 cash prize to invest in their idea, sponsored by the Institution of Engineering and Technology alongside other prizes from IBM, The Mills Fabrica and Common Objective to be announced during the launch.