Join us on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th June at The Lab E20 to pick up conscious products for your little ones from leading sustainable kidswear brands.
We’re delighted to announce that we will be curating a sustainable children’s pop-up at The Lab E20 from the 25th – 26th June.
Our very own Green Kids Studio will demonstrate ways that parents and families can engage with sustainable fashion. Come along and check out functional, fun and environmentally friendly products from leading kidswear brands and meet the lovely, passionate people behind the designs.
Looking for playful activities for your little eco warrior? Storytelling sessions and art play workshops will also be offered throughout the weekend and Community Couture will be hosting drop-in craft sessions.
Spread across an entire weekend, the Green Kids Studio will feature a carefully curated selection of sustainable children’s brands, including:
Bundlee is the UK’s first rental service for baby clothes. A great way to get amazing quality clothes at a fraction of the price – you can rent from some of our favourite brands including MORI, Mini Rodini, Patagonia and more. With sustainability at the core, Bundlee want to provide a better alternative for parents. Clothes that are returned are professionally cleaned and sanitised before being shared with the next renting family.
VANDALKIDS is a new brand of kidswear offering high quality practical and comfortable gear for children aged 3 to 10 without compromising on style. Created by ex-brand director and mother Kat Vandal, VANDALKIDS has been designed to encourage kids’ creativity and self-expression whilst incorporating parent-friendly features to help the clothes last and reduce their impact on the planet.
Made up of a team of engineers, scientists and designers, Petit Pli makes products that help people – and the planet. Their clothing philosophy: They invent clothes that grow. These items fit for years, not months. Petit Pli garments are beautiful and innovative, using the highest-quality materials, construction and best- in-class ethical supply chains.
Pip & Henry
Pip and Henry make beautifully designed, vibrant shoes for children, with the environment in mind – using recycled materials and plant-based fibres.
Verte is a London founded, clothes swapping company, who exist to help people update their wardrobe without having a negative impact on the planet. Now they want to try and combat both of these things and extend the lifespan of children’s clothing, by hosting a clothes swap for children.
Boy Wonder is a boy’s fashion brand that is playful and positive. With organic cotton and chemical-free prints parents can feel happy knowing they are safe and earth-friendly. Boy Wonder garments are made ethically with love in Britain giving them a super low fashion footprint.
By Kala x
By Kala X was created to bring a love of African print material to a wider audience. From eye-catching designs to bold and beautiful colours, guaranteed to make your little one stand out, all items are handmade by mum-of-two Kala.
Activities for children will also run throughout the weekend, including Pip & Henry’s Bug hunt – a unique storytelling activity featuring a very Naughty Bug that’s making everyone sick! Alongside this, Art Play London will be offering workshops for little ones, and Community Couture will be running drop-in craft-sessions on both days, offering children the chance to get creative and take something home.
Keep your eyes peeled on our social channels for more upcoming brand and activity announcements in the coming weeks! We can’t wait to see you there.
Brand new east London exhibition, ReGo, to explore fashion activism’s impact on positive social change through a fashion collection made from repurposed knives taken off the streets.
After a super successful launch last week, the long-awaited ReGo exhibition is now open to visitors! Supported by Foundation for Future London and London College of Fashion, ReGo: Our Story in the Making examines how fashion activism can lead to positive social change.
On display in the exhibition are jewellery, bags, dresses and garments created from repurposed metal from knives received from KnifeSafe – an organisation that aims to reduce knife crime by getting knives off the streets. The showcased items have been co-created by young people from East London (Newham, Waltham Forest, Hackney and Tower Hamlets) in collaboration with local fashion brands including Michelle-Lowe Holder, FibreLab, The Reclaimery and CQ Studio.
Exploring how fashion activism can be used to shift the prevailing narrative around youth violence, the three-week long exhibition opening 19 May, will showcase the extraordinary pieces created through the ReGo project as well as a short-film and podcasts allowing visitors to fully understand the collaborations, workshops, people, and stories that have formed this unique and important display.
After the exhibition, the new collection will be available to rent exclusively via LOANHOOD, the innovative rental platform offering a sustainable and accessible way to refresh wardrobes and wear unique high-end items that people might not otherwise have had access to. All proceeds raised will go towards supporting on-going educational and employment opportunities for young people in fashion.
“Project ReGo has enabled a multidisciplinary team to come together and work collaboratively to prevent and tackle the systemic issue of youth violence, including young people in local activities and community life in order to redesign their own future. […] Overall, ReGo and this project showcase intend to demonstrate how fashion activism can be used to shape better lives and address social justice, nurturing sustainability and prosperity for all.”Dr Francesco Mazzarella, Centre for Sustainable Fashion, London College of Fashion + ReGo Co-Project Lead
ReGo: Our Story in the Making is open Thursdays – Sundays, 12pm – 6pm, from 19 May – 5 June 2022 at The LabE20 (E20 1JB) and is free to visit. For more information, visit:
Follow Project ReGo on Instagram for updates on this exciting project: @project.rego
Anglo American Sewing Machines is a company with a difference – for one thing, they have a long, colourful history.
“My grandfather started with just a couple of second hand machines after WW2,” Marc Shaffer, owner of Anglo American Sewing Machines, says. “Word spread, and then my father and uncle opened the first Anglo American Sewing Machines shop in East London in 1970.”
The company is now over 60 years old, with three shops in London and a slew of major clients all across the globe. “We look after all the big designers and fashion boutiques, as well as schools, colleges and universities and big airline companies. We really pride ourselves on our longstanding clients.”
Renowned for selling industrial sewing machines and ironing equipment, Anglo American Sewing Machines also offer a bespoke maintenance service and machine rental service – and now, they’ll be adding another string to their bow as sponsors of our Design Futures 2022 prize. “We’re thrilled to be offering a brand new sewing machine to the winner of Fashion District’s upcoming innovation challenge. We want to play our part in helping the future of design and we can’t wait to support the designer or brand that wins.”
Why did you decide to partake in Design Futures 2022?
“Our entire company has been founded on helping people and offering a great service. Design Futures 2022 is exciting because we can really help somebody get started and take the next steps in their design career. We’ll try to be with them every step of the way and offer support in any way we can. We’ve had people work with us for 40 years and we hope this will be the case with the winner of the prize.”
Have you noticed your clients in the fashion industry adopting more sustainable methods?
“Yes. After the pandemic, a number of studios brought production back to Britain to ensure quality control and also for sustainable reasons. A lot of people are also opting for our rental service and using our direct drive sewing machines which use 70 percent less than a standard industrial sewing machine. They only run when your foot is on the pedal so they are a more sustainable option.”
Over the decades, your company has seen a lot of changes in the London fashion industry. Do you feel hopeful about the future of the industry?
“The rag trade had its peak in the 1970s, London was booming then! But when I joined my family’s company in the 1990s, a lot of brands and companies went overseas, mainly to China, which really impacted businesses. We certainly had to change what we were doing and think about new ways we could benefit customers. Since the pandemic however, a lot of companies are keeping things in Britain which does make me feel hopeful. Although, I really hope the government starts putting more money into training people on industrial machines as there aren’t enough workers at the moment. But yes, overall I am hopeful. I think designers and companies are making different choices now. They care a lot more about quality and sustainability, which is wonderful to see.”
To be in with the chance of winning a brand new sewing machine from Anglo American Sewing Machines, apply to take part in Design Futures 2022 now!
Follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter for regular updates on this year’s design innovation challenge and more exciting opportunities and events:
Last week we celebrated the launch of Design Futures 2022 in collaboration with PANGAIA.
Taking place at The Lab E20, the event offered attendees the chance to hear from our panel of judges including Craig Smith (PANGAIA), Shajila Dube (Institute of Positive Fashion), Laetitia Forst (Centre for Circular Design), Phoebe English and Sarah Mower, about this year’s design innovation challenge.
Speaking to the crowd, Helen Lax, Director of Fashion District, said she was ‘excited by the energy of the challenge,’ as well as the conversation that arose throughout the night.
Kicking off the event was our keynote speaker Marilyn Martinez from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, who stressed the importance of designing for reuse, as well as factoring in emotional durability and customer experience. ‘Collaboration is key,’ Marilyn said. ‘We need to think about how we include people in the conversation, both consumers and big businesses. This will bring about true change.’ Marilyn also highlighted the importance of designing circular business models and supply chains. ‘It’s okay to start small. You have to start somewhere,’ Marilyn added. ‘Circular design is a journey but there is a huge purpose – you’re making a difference.’
Afterwards our judging panel took to the stage to share what they’re looking for in this year’s challenge. Craig Smith, Research and Development Director of Pangaia, said he’s looking for ‘a fresh perspective and originality’ while also highlighting that applicants should be transparent in ‘acknowledge where they might need support.’ Finally, he signed off by calling attention to the 4 F’s: Fit, Fabric, Form and Function.
Shailja Dube emphasized she’ll be paying close attention to construction – how the garment can be reprocessed and taken apart – as well as the scalability of the business model.
Dr Laetitia Forst urged applicants to think about every element of design and what it implies. ‘Being aware of the product’s context can be a good way of showing you’re a conscious designer,’ Laetitia told the crowd.
Sarah Mower said she’ll be on the lookout for proof of concept and innovation, before adding that she hopes the garments will look beautiful. ‘There has to be a reason for the design to exist. Don’t design something that’s ugly.’ She also stressed that having the buyer in mind is incredibly important and wants applicants to think about how they are going to communicate their product.
Phoebe English said she’s keen to see ‘something that people will treasure,’ as well as ‘careful, considered thinking.’ ‘I want to see designers understand the purpose of their product,’ Phoebe said. ‘Producing less and thinking carefully is key right now.’
Do you think you’ve got what it takes to design a new sustainable solution? Want to be in with a chance of winning £15,000? Applications for Design Futures 2022 are now open!
Follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter and keep your eyes peeled for more exciting news about this year’s design innovation challenge
Thursday 5 May | 18:00 – 20:00
The Lab E20, 3-4 East Park Walk, East Village, London, E20 1JB
We’re delighted to announce the launch of our next innovation challenge Design Futures 2022, in collaboration with PANGAIA. Join us on May 5 at The Lab E20 to find out more about this year’s challenge, hear from renowned leaders in fashion sustainability, and network with London’s fashion, tech and innovation communities.
Fashion District challenges are designed to find innovative solutions to current industry issues across retail, manufacture and design. This year we’re spotlighting design and honing in on circularity. We welcome applications from sustainably-driven fashion designers who believe that they have the potential to revolutionise the design process. Areas could include:
Applicants will be in with the chance of winning cash prizes, support, and the opportunity to pitch to some of the industry’s leading brands and innovators.
Design Futures 2022 brings together high-profile fashion and sustainability experts committed to supporting the next wave of innovation. Come along to the launch to hear from our esteemed judging panel, including:
We’ll also be joined by Elodie Rousselot, Strategic Design Manager at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, who will deliver a keynote speech at the launch. Elodie’s expertise and recent experience leading on the recent Circular Design for Fashion book will undoubtedly make for a motivational and thought-provoking introduction to Design Futures 2022.
Follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to receive updates about this exciting event!
Fashion District’s first ever investment event series is coming to you on April 7. Taking place at The Lab E20, these events will give you the chance to connect with fashion professionals and investors, partake in workshops, and find out about new businesses and innovations launching in the fashion space.
We’re collaborating with experts in communication, investment and innovation to help upgrade your pitching skills and guide you on the next steps in your business journey. Find out how to make moves towards your career aspirations and secure the funding you deserve!
Sign up to any of our free events below:
Keen to brush up on your pitching skills? Communication strategist Amy Tez has got you covered. Join her workshop to learn how to influence your audience through the power of storytelling, command a room – both online and offline – and unite your peers behind a shared goal.
During this interactive workshop, you’ll be given a safe space to share your unique strengths and gaps, whilst gaining tailored advice on how to raise your game and escalate impact.
Unlike standard business training, Amy’s process is rooted in solid actor and storytelling techniques, as well as in performance psychology to get you communicating with far greater clarity and power.
Fashion startups can book a 15-minute slot with investment and innovation experts to receive personalised advice on the next steps in their business journey. This is the perfect opportunity to gain insider tips and guidance from industry pros, find out how to get the funding you need to succeed.
Don’t miss out! Book your free 1:1 slot now with one of the following experts:
Chairman of the London Fashion Fund and CEO of Holition, the renowned creative innovation studio, Jonathan is helping to shape the future of the industry. As well as acting as a Digital Advisor to the British Fashion Council and Innovation Advisor to Tate, Jonathan is a founding member of the London College of Fashion Digital Think Tank and advisor to the University of Cambridge Digital Compass Group.
Currently the Senior Equity Fundraising Manager at Crowdcube – one of Britain’s most popular crowdfunding platforms – Shanaya is primarily focused on sourcing and building relationships with Europe’s leading private companies. Her role entails advising start-ups and scale-ups on sources of investment and their ability to crowdfund.
Abi is the Libra Programme Lead at Tech Nation, the leading growth platform for UK tech scaleups. With years of experience facilitating and helping UK tech companies scale, both at home and abroad, Abi leads on The Libra Programme – the newest growth programme for early-stage underrepresented founders scaling in the UK. Having previously worked as software engineer, Abi is also the co-founder of Community Growth Venture, an angel investor group based in the UK.
Mandy is the co-founder of Startup Discovery School, an innovation consultancy that develops programmes for public and private organisations in the U.K that are focused on building sustainability startups. Aside from being an Angel Investor and Venture Partner at Ada Ventures, a 50M VC fund focusing on investing in overlooked founders, Mandy also serves as an advisor on the SME action board to the UK Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
Alexander works as an Investment Manager at The Conduit Connect, an investing company that scales innovative technologies and businesses that are solving challenging issues. Having obtained an MSc in Development Economics from the London School of Economics, Alexander has years of experience advising clients in the public sector on strategies to nurture impact focused businesses.
As an Investment Manager at Edge VC, Hannah focuses on deal flow generation and execution, particularly focusing on retail tech and content businesses. Previously, Hannah worked at the online retailer ASOS within the operational side of the business. Hannah holds a first-class honours degree in Fashion and Textile Management from Nottingham Trent University.
For our Pitcha Kucha investment evening, we are spotlighting 8 fashion startups and offering them the chance to pitch their hearts out to a panel of investors and industry experts. Join us for a fun, laidback evening where you can watch the most exciting emerging fashion businesses practice their pitching and receive quick-fire, friendly feedback.
The chosen fashion startups are each tackling key challenges in the fashion value chain with a variety of solutions spanning retail tech, manufacturing tech, materials innovation and experiential / digital technologies. This is the perfect chance to learn about emerging businesses and innovations that are entering the fashion space, whilst connecting with innovators, investors, designers, makers and entrepreneurs.
We’ll have a DJ on hand to bring The Lab E20 alive so, come along, grab a drink, and get to know like-minded individuals at the forefront of the industry – you do not want to miss this!
UPDATE: Please note that expressions of interest are now closed for this event.
If you want to be in with the chance of pitching to our panel of investment and innovation experts at the Pitcha Kucha Investment Evening, we are currently still accepting expressions of interest to take part.
Check out our previous article to find out more, or simply fill in the EOI form by midnight on Monday 21st March to be in with a chance of pitching at the Pitcha Kucha Investment Evening.
Waltham Forest Fashion has worked in close collaboration with Fashion District and local design studio, Egg, to create a new brand identity that reflects their unique network of strong sustainable fashion businesses.
From long established businesses that have grown up and worked in the area, to a new wave of local fashion pioneers, there’s a new generation of changemakers on the rise. All share a common entrepreneurial spirit, community driven ethos and a vision to transform the way we produce and consume clothing, and manage its impact – both on society and the environment. With the help of Egg, we’ve created a vibrant and exciting platform to portray that message.
Egg’s research into the borough’s art and design heritage and conversations with local fashion businesses unearthed a rich and creative story. They listened to a diversity of voices and explored the functional aspect of fashion, it’s creativity, as well as current marketing trends. The result takes inspiration from Waltham Forest’s cultural heritage, the Arts & Crafts Movement, and brings it into a more contemporary space, creating a fusion between history and evolution.
With an increasing focus on sustainability, Egg also wanted to look at how clothes are made, worn, washed, and looked after long-term and were inspired by the graphic symbols found in our simple everyday washing labels. As they transformed them into a series of repeat patterns they became reminiscent of the floral print designs associated with William Morris and the arts and crafts movement. A combination of the current and the past.
The colour palette is inspired by the diverse people and places of the borough with names linked to well-known locations in Waltham Forest:
For the main logo, Egg used a combination of fonts fused together mixing decorative with instructive. Acumin, the sans serif font has a balanced, clear and rational quality, and Kaftan Serif, a highly elaborate font full of lovely idiosyncrasies pays tribute to the design heritage of Waltham Forest.
Egg’s design story for Waltham Forest Fashion embodies both the functional and self-expressive side to our fashion community. There are endless combinations of background colours and graphics to showcase businesses in their very best light. A timeless, flexible identity that can shift, bend and grow side by side with the Waltham Forest Fashion community. We hope you love it as much as we do.
Investment Pitcha Kucha
The Lab E20, East Village
Thursday 7 April
18:00 – 20:00
UPDATE: Please note that expressions of interest are now closed for this event.
Are you an emergent fashion business looking to raise capital? Want to receive expert feedback on your business innovation? Express your interest to participate in Fashion District’s upcoming investment events.
Fashion District is hosting an Investment Pitcha Kucha at The Lab E20, East Village, on Thursday 7th April from 18:00 – 20:00, where selected businesses will present to a panel of investors and industry innovators, who will provide friendly, quick-fire feedback. The Pecha Kucha style format means that each business will have 3-4 minutes to pitch to an audience and the panel, with the equivalent time for feedback.
Expressions of interest are open to start-ups who are looking to raise capital of up to £25k, and whilst this is not available on the night, we hope the exposure and networks will help you on your way.
The panel are all interested in new sustainable solutions that tackle the critical issues of the fashion industry. Joining us will be:
Your business may be targeted towards any part of the fashion chain; retail tech, manufacturing tech, materials innovation or perhaps experiential / digital technologies. If your solution aims to innovate the fashion industry, to help it become more circular, more sustainable, more ethical, we would love to hear from you.
If you are interested in pitching at the Investment Pitcha Kucha, please complete the Expression of Interest form by midnight on Monday 21st March.
Jonathan Chippindale, Chairman of London Fashion Fund + Chief Executive of Holition
Formed as a venture start-up a decade ago to explore and expand the role of technological innovation, Holition is a synthesis of mathematicians, scientists and technologists, artists and psychologists, retail specialists and cutting-edge leaders in innovative thinking.
Jonathan is External Industry Advisor at Central St Martins, a founding member of the London College of Fashion Digital Think Tank and advisor to the University of Cambridge Digital Compass Group. He is Chairman of the London Fashion Fund, which is a sustainable fashion accelerator supported by the Mayor of London, as well as a Digital Advisor to the British Fashion Council and Innovation Advisor to Tate.
Jonathan is a Visiting Professor and holds an Honorary Doctorate from University of Arts London.
Shanaya Curtis, Senior Equity Fundraising Manager at Crowdcube
Shanaya’s role is primarily focused on sourcing and building relationships with Europe’s leading private companies, advising start-ups and scale-ups on sources of investment and their ability to crowdfund.
Abi Mohamed, Libra Programme Lead at Tech Nation
Abi leads on The Libra Programme – the newest growth programme for early-stage underrepresented founders scaling in the UK. In addition, she co-founded Community Growth Venture angel firm based in the UK and was previously a software engineer.
Tech Nation is the leading growth platform for UK tech scaleups, fuelling the growth of game-changing founders, leaders, and scaling companies so they can positively transform societies and economies. Tech Nation provides them with the coaching, content, and community they need for their journey in designing the future. Tech Nation has years of experience facilitating and helping UK tech companies scale, both at home and abroad. Over 30 cohorts and 900 companies have successfully graduated from Tech Nation’s growth programmes, with alumni including Skyscanner, Darktrace, and Monzo, as well as 3 of the UK’s 7 new ‘decacorns’; Revolut, Wise, and Farfetch.
Mandy Nyarko, Angel Investor and Venture Partner at Ada Ventures
Mandy is the Co-Founder of innovation consultancy Startup Discovery School who have designed incubators, accelerators and open innovation programmes for public and private organisations in the U.K that are focused on building sustainability startups.
Mandy is also an angel investor and venture partner at Ada ventures, a 50M VC fund focusing on investing in overlooked founders. She is also an advisor on the SME action board to the UK Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
Alexander Shapiro, Investment Manager at The Conduit Connect
Prior to Conduit Connect, Alex worked for boutique consultancy firm PlusValue, advising clients in the public sector on strategies to encourage and nurture impact focussed businesses, and those in the private sector on how to create effective impact strategies. Amongst other projects he led a 12 partner EU funded research project into the power of the maker movement to drive innovation in the manufacturing sector in Europe, and worked with the Turkish Government, UN and Gates foundation to design an impact focused accelerator programme in Istanbul.
Prior to PlusValue, Alex spent 4 years at RBS, working in project finance, and convertible bond origination. Alex holds a BSc in Economics from the University of Nottingham, and an MSc in Development Economics from the London School of Economics.
Hannah Williamson, Investment Manager at Edge VC
As an Investment Manager, Hannah focuses on deal flow generation and execution, particularly focusing on retail tech and content businesses.
Prior to Edge, Hannah worked at the online retailer ASOS for 3 years, within the operational side of the business. Hannah holds a first-class honours degree in Fashion and Textile Management from Nottingham Trent University.
Fashion District are collaborating with Seekd on an exciting new pop-up at The Lab E20 – Get Living’s new flagship destination in East Village.
Fashion District has joined forces with Get Living to develop a programme of events focusing on sustainable living at The Lab E20, East Village. Kicking off in March 2022, The Lab E20 will host an experiential pop-up with sustainable jewellery marketplace, Seekd.
From 11th – 13th March, Londoners will be able to browse eco-conscious jewellery designers and wellness products from planet positive brands. With Mother’s Day and Easter fast approaching, this will be the perfect opportunity to buy treasured jewels or a special self-care gift for your loved ones. There will be a line-up of local designer-makers, including Maalo Jewellery, All Its Forms and Pikaya Jewellery, with plenty more to be explored on the day.
Seekd will also be offering the chance to indulge your creative senses and practice wellness through craft workshops. Immerse yourself into the world of jewellery with Maalo Jewellery, and learn how to make your own beaded necklace! This simple activity opens up a world of creativity for all ages as you start to explore design, colour, and stones. Learn more and sign up here: Necklace Workshop with Maalo Jewellery
Looking for a relaxing way to spend your Saturday afternoon? Join Canvas & Cake Club for a fully guided canvas painting workshop, while enjoying a glass of bubbly and a delicious cupcake! This 40 minute creative session, hosted by a professional artist, will tap into your inner Monet while giving you an overwhelming sense of calm. Find out more and book here: Mini Canvas Painting Workshop
Be sure to pencil this pop-up into your diary and come along to discover the latest in sustainable jewellery and wellness!
Friday 11th + Saturday 12th, 10:00 – 17:00
Sunday 13th, 11:00 – 16:00
Located at 3-4 East Park Walk, The Lab E20 has been designed and produced by Christopher Raeburn, founder of RÆBURN, with a focus on positive fashion and sustainable living.
17th + 24th Feb
The Lab E20, 3-4 East Park Walk, East Village, London, E20 1JB
Join The Trampery to explore how London’s fashion industry can adopt more sustainable, inclusive and ethical best practice with a series of workshops and roundtable discussions.
These events are hosted by The Trampery, in partnership with The Mayor of London, the London Legacy Development Corporation and the Fashion District.
17th + 24th Feb, 10:00 – 13:00
Inviting London’s fashion industry to help shape the future of ‘Good Work’ for fashion, The Trampery will be hosting two roundtable discussions where organisations and brands can explore this important topic and consider how best practice can be shared within the capital.
17th Feb, 14:30 – 17:00
A two-part workshop focussed on good social and environmental governance within the fashion industry. This workshop will provide practical advice on how to implement best practice across supply chains and within head offices.
24th Feb, 14:30 – 17:00
A two-part panel discussion focussed on how to create a more equitable and representative fashion industry. The panel will share their experience on a wide range of topics from fair pay and a Living Wage, how to improve diversity and inclusion in the sector, and recruitment and employment best practices.
These events will also introduce how The Mayor’s Good Work Standard can be implemented for London’s fashion businesses, and are aimed at fashion brands, retailers, manufacturers and support organisations.
Together we can ensure London remains one of the most innovative, inclusive and sustainable fashion capitals.