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Fashion Circle: Sustainably Made

Join us at Fashion Circle, an event series presented by the Fashion District and The Trampery for fashion businesses to learn and develop their network. We are delighted to host the second in the series, during ReLondon’s Circular Economy Week, to shine a spotlight on some critical issues for sustainable manufacturing.

Flora Davidson, Founder of SupplyCompass, will join us to provide insights into sustainable production practices, and ways in which technology can play a key role in enabling better, more collaborative and more sustainable relationships between brands and their supply chain partners. Diana Kakkar, of MAES London, will then share her expertise as the founder of a luxury manufacturing studio that focuses on ethical manufacturing and creates closer links between designers and manufacturers.

Image courtesy of Gung Ho

Finally, from the designer’s perspective, Esther Knight, Founder of Fanfare, and Sophie Dunster, Founder of Gung Ho, will discuss their experiences of setting up a sustainable fashion label – including the importance of having responsible supply chain activities from day one. They will address the challenges of navigating a competitive environment where sustainability messaging can be confusing, and will consider the fundamental values that should drive any sustainable fashion brand.

Image courtesy of Fanfare Label

The Agenda:

  • Welcome – Helen Lax, Fashion District & Patrick Scally, The Trampery (5 mins)
  • Sustainable Production Practices – Flora Davidson, Supply Compass (15 mins with Q&A)
  • Ethical Manufacturing – Diana Kakkar, Maes London (15 mins with Q&A)
  • Starting Up Sustainably – Fanfare and Gung Ho in Conversation (15 mins with Q&A)
  • Full Panel Discussion and Q&A – All Speakers (15 mins)
  • Speed Networking – Enjoy some digital match-making as you get connected with other event attendees at five minute intervals. (25 mins)

About the Panel:

FLORA DAVIDSON is the Founder of SupplyCompass, a production platform for fashion brands and manufacturers. Through their two-sided product development and production management platform – SupplyCompass enables brands and their manufacturers to produce better, together. In 2016, Flora moved from London to Mumbai to start SupplyCompass. She lived in India for 2 years to build the business on the ground, spending much of her time on the road researching and visiting 300+ manufacturers and suppliers. SupplyCompass’ mission is to reimagine, rebalance and rebuild global supply chains; they want to change how things work and enable a new way of designing and managing production that works for people and the planet – not just profit!

DIANA KAKKAR is the Founder and Chief Executive of MAES London, a luxury garment manufacturing studio that specialises in designer womenswear. With over a decade’s industry experience she launched the business to make premium manufacturing more accessible to fashion designers. Diana is a fashion designer herself and has over 10 years’ experience in garment making; she understands the time, effort and expenses incurred by designers and has put together a highly skilled team that deliver beautifully made garments in a cost-effective and ethical way. She’s passionate about creating closer links between designers and manufacturers, whilst finding a growing demand for sampling and small-scale production here in the UK. MAES stands for “SEAM” spelled backwards.

ESTHER KNIGHT is the Founder of Fanfare Label, a sustainable women’s clothing brand transforming the way people buy, wear and discard clothing.  Esther has previously worked for many high street & designer brands, including Vivienne Westwood. Working her way up to buyer level, Esther saw first-hand the pressure that fast-fashion companies place on their suppliers and contractors and began working on a solution, combining her industry expertise with her desire to promote sustainable fashion with eco-conscious practises. Fanfare Label reduces waste by turning clothing and textile waste into premium product. With circularity, longevity and recycling at its core, Fanfare Label offers customers timeless, seasonless pieces that are made to be cherished.

SOPHIE DUNSTER is the Founder of Gung Ho, a London-based ethical and sustainable fashion brand. Coming from a “zero carbon” family background, sustainability has been part of Sophie’s life from an early age. Starting out, she wanted to become a political artist but after discovering a world of silk screen printing when studying in Brighton, she realised her drawings could become a walking ‘talking point’. This way, it wasn’t a piece of artwork hanging on a wall for a limited amount of people to see, it became someone’s first impression of you – and Sophie believes that fashion shouldn’t just make you look good, but showcase your values too. Gung Ho’s collections exemplify this ethos – each collection highlights a different ecological or social issue and 10% of the profits are donated to a charity that works with the cause. The collections are also ‘seasonless’ and are made fairly and locally from sustainable fabrics.


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.

The Trampery’s Sustainable Fashion Accelerator Launches!

The second cohort of companies and individuals to be accepted into The Trampery’s Sustainable Fashion Accelerator (SFA), were announced last night at the official launch of the innovative initiative.

Charles Armstrong, Founder and CEO of The Trampery said “After running such a successful inaugural cohort of the Sustainable Fashion Accelerator we are beyond excited to officially announce it. The designers on the second cohort each show incredible potential for high growth – from NEWGEN awardees to the Winner of H&M’s Global Change Award – these brands represent the next big thing in London today.”

The SFA is a bespoke business programme, designed to address the underlying issues facing nascent fashion companies in London, with a focus on integrating sustainability into their business models. Funded by the London Legacy Development Corporation, four editions of the six-month-long programme will run over the next three years, helping over thirty businesses.

The Trampery Fish Island Village, supported in part by the Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund, a scheme designed to help local people take an active role in the regeneration of their communities, will be London’s largest campus of fashion studios.

Deputy Mayor for Culture and the Creative Industries, Justine Simons OBE, said: “As a global fashion capital, London has a huge opportunity to lead the way in sustainability. We must act now and with conviction to reduce our impact on the environment. The Sustainable Fashion Accelerator is a great example of how we can support the next generation of designers to drive genuine change, and I’m proud that we are supporting this important work.”

Here is the second cohort of designers who have been accepted onto the Sustainable Fashion Accelerator:

DANIEL w. FLETCHER is a London-based contemporary menswear brand, established in 2015 after Daniel Fletcher graduated from Central Saint Martins. Daniel’s eponymous label made its mark immediately when Opening Ceremony bought his graduate collection, and produced a capsule collection of eight of his designs for Spring/Summer ’16. Daniel creates deeply personal designs that explore his thoughts on current affairs and social issues. With a focus on casual luxury each collection combines timeless shapes and new fabrics and motifs. SS19 marked the brands first runway show and in 2018 Daniel was named as one of Drapers 30 Under 30.

MWOVEN is the brainchild of fashion designer Martina Spetlova, whose highly identifiable use of hand-woven leathers in unexpected juxtapositions have become a trademark of her sustainable brand. Martina’s background in biology and chemistry influences her experimental approach that challenges materials, elements and expectations. Martina has a more holistic vision for her brand and its approach to sustainability, thinking about the entire life cycle of her products – from raw materials, making to repairs and recycling. Each design they create comes with a scannable chip detailing its materials, sourcing and processes to provide a fascinating digital life story for each piece.

Patrick McDowell by Liverpool born designer Patrick McDowell has graced the cover of the September Issue of Elle UK and being featured in publications, such as Vogue Italia, Dazed and L’Official USA, to becoming a favourite of singers Rita Ora and M.I.A on and off stage, Patrick is making rapidly making a name for himself. Sustainability is at the core of Patrick’s practice, as he strives to reinvent luxury through a sustainable mindset. Crafted from reclaimed fabrics, organic yarns, and ethically produced materials, his pieces are designed and made in England. He is a strong advocate for reducing fashion’s global impact through designing with moral practice.

Paynter Jackets Co, founded by Becky Okell and Huw Thomas, take iconic styles, such as the chore, trucker or field jacket, and remake them using the best materials they can find from around the world. Their jackets are made to order to and remake them using the best materials they can find. East jack is part of a limited edition run, hand-numbered in the order of sale. With only three editions a year, these made-to-last items are not easy to get hold of, and the batch sold out in under three minutes. Their jackets are made to order to minimise waste and each item has an illustrate label that tells the story of its batch.

Petit Pli is a wearable technology company, which aims to clothe the future of humanity The London-based brand was founded in 2017, by trained aeronautical engineer Ryan Mario Yasin, who was strick by how quickly his nephew grew out of things. This experience served as a signal: childrenswear today fails to recognise the dynamic & rapidly changing bodies of Earth’s LittleHumans. Inspired by aerospace engineering, Petit Pli’s continuous size adjustment is a new way of approaching garment design, using technical materials that are ultra-lightweight, reinforced, rainproof and breathable – because children are extreme athletes. Today, Petit Pli’s team consists of an agile force of interdisciplinary design engineers, fashion designers, neuroscientists and sociologists.

Wright LeChapelain draws on the different backgrounds of British-French duo Imogen Wright and Vincent Le Chapelain to explore the notion of the familiar within the European wardrobe. They aim to design unique and timeless pieces, which are contemporary yet rooted in the everyday. Sustainability and ethics are at the core of the brand and collections are developed and manufactured within a tenmile radius, reducing their carbon footprint and developing a personal relationship with the skilled tailors and seamstresses creating their garments. The integrity of their product is key: they source their suitings from British Heritage Mills and their shirtings from Italy, a transparent production chain from start to finish.

Sabry Marouf, founded by Daki Marouf and Ahmed Sabry is a creative partnership based between London and Ciaro, whose leather goods and jewellery pay tribute to the designers’ heritage: ancient Egypt meets modern expression for a new kind of storytelling. Their designs include Marna, a collection of artobject bags that are both beautiful and functional, and fine jewellery available as collections and bespoke commissions. Supporters include actor, model and philanthropist Elisa Sednaoui, Italian Vogue’s Sara Maino, and the British Fashion Council’s Anna Orsini.

ROKER is a London-based contemporary footwear brand, founded in 2016 by Alim Latif. Each pair of ROKER boots and shoes is handmade in East London on traditional machines, by craftspeople with two decades of know-how. Every piece is rooted in the sculpture and the science of structure: heels are shapely, toes statuesque, leathers supple. Named after an area of Latif’s native Sunderland seaside hometown, the label is known for its uncompromising fluidity and graphic line, epitomised in ongoing collaborations with some of British fashion’s most fearless new guard, including Charles Jeffery, Richard Malone, Ashley Williams and Louise Gray.

Centre For Sustainable Fashion Better Lives Lecture Series

30 October 2019, 6 – 9pm

The second event in the 2019 Better Lives Series, Centre for Sustainable Fashion will ask: How can micro and small fashion businesses contribute to better lives and more sustainable futures?

Micro and small businesses stand at the forefront of innovation towards sustainability. Join us to meet some pioneering businesses doing things differently across the fashion sector. The panel discussion is led by Professor Sandy Black from Centre for Sustainable Fashion.

Professor Dilys Williams, Director of Centre for Sustainable Fashion will also introduce the Centre’s AHRC funded project Fostering Sustainable Practices which aims to support designer-entrepreneurs in their transition to more sustainable practices.

You will also meet our project partners from Middlesex University and The Open University and have an opportunity to network with other micro and small fashion businesses. Drinks and networking from 8pm.

Address Town Hall Hotel & Apartments
8 Patriot Square
E2 9NF

Hosted by Professor Sandy Black and Professor Dilys Williams of Centre for Sustainable Fashion, UAL

Panel presentations, discussion and Q&A Professor Sandy Black in discussion with Raeburn director Graeme Raeburn, Patternity co-founder Anna Murray, Cute Circuit co-founder Francesca Rosella, Sabinna creative director Sabinna Rachimova, Riz Boardshorts founder Riz Smith, and creative innovator Martine Jarlgaard

RETAIL FUTURES: Fashion District Innovation Challenge Prize 2019 – Applications now open!

Apply Here

In collaboration with the Fashion Innovation Agency from London College of Fashion, UAL, The Fashion District is pleased to announce the launch of ‘Retail Futures’. This Innovation Challenge Prize, sponsored by Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, is focussed on SMEs who believe that their business could change the way we shop in future or even revolutionise the retail supply chain.

The Challenge Prize is designed to find solutions to industry issues and provoke the next big innovation. This may utilise robotics and automation, artificial intelligence, internet-of-things, augmented/virtual reality, technologies that enhance customer experience or converge digital and physical shopping.

The call out to all fashion and retail tech SMEs was held at Workable, a new workspace on the 19th floor of the new International Quarter London in Stratford, with a keynote kicking off the event by Sandra Steving Villegas, Head of Innovation at Founders Founders Intelligence.

Applications will close on 30th September 2019 for the £15,000 cash prize, sponsored by Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield. The winner will also receive a 12-month membership with Stylus, our trends partner, providing access to essential cross-industry consumer insight. Shortlisted applicants will spend time with industry professionals who critique their proposition before they pitch to a panel of fashion and retail experts in November.

The judging panel includes; Myf Ryan, Chief Marketing Officer, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, Carol Hilsum, Director of Innovation at Farfetch, and Richard Bonner Head of Store Development, John Lewis & Partners, Carien Beyer, Innovation Programme Manager from True and Matthew Drinkwater, Head of Fashion Innovation Agency, London College of Fashion, UAL.

With special thanks also to Carolina Neri, from Brunswick Group, who is supporting Fashion District communications on a pro-bono basis.


Download the presentation from the event here:

To apply for the Fashion District Innovation Challenge Prize 2019:

To apply for the DeFINE mentoring programme:

To submit an expression of interest to London Fashion Fund:

To enquire about the Trampery Fish Island Village Studios & Sustainable Fashion Accelerator:

To enquire about Workable:

To apply for the Fashion District Innovation Challenge Prize 2019:

To apply for the DeFINE mentoring programme:

To submit an expression of interest to London Fashion Fund:

To enquire about the Trampery Fish Island Village Studios & Sustainable Fashion Accelerator:

To enquire about Workable:

To apply for the DeFINE mentoring programme:

To submit an expression of interest to London Fashion Fund:

To enquire about the Trampery Fish Island Village Studios & Sustainable Fashion Accelerator:

To enquire about Workable:


Launch Event: 30 July 2019, 6 – 8.30pm at Workplace, Stratford.

Calling all businesses trying to transform retail as we know it!

The Fashion District, in collaboration with the Fashion Innovation Agency, is pleased to announce that “Retail Futures” will be theme of this year’s Fashion District Innovation Challenge Prize, sponsored by Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield.

The annual Fashion District Innovation Challenge Prize is designed to find solutions to current industry issues, giving fashion and retail-tech start-ups & SMEs the chance to win cash prizes, business advice, and pitch their idea to a panel of leading industry experts as the industry’s next big innovation.

Sponsored by Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, this year’s challenge welcomes applications from fashion tech start-ups and SME’s who believe that their business has the potential to revolutionise any part of the retail supply chain and change the way we shop in the future. These could include robotics and automation, artificial intelligence solutions, internet-of-things, augmented/virtual reality, technologies that converge digital and physical shopping or enhance customer experience.

Applications open 30th July, closing on 30th September 2019. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend a one-day event on Tuesday, 22nd October 2019 where industry professionals will act as ‘critical friends’ to support and challenge their proposition, and provide constructive feedback. The challenge culminates in a pitch event to a panel of industry experts on the evening of Tuesday, 5th November.

We will be hosting a launch event on 30th July, 2019, 6.00 – 8.30pm at Workable, the new shared workspace located at International Quarter London (IQL) in Stratford, boasting exceptional views across the Olympic Park and the London skyline.

Be the first to find about the challenge and how you can win a £15,000 cash prize, business advice and pitch to retailers Farfetch, John Lewis & Partners, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield and investment firm True.

During the evening, you will also hear about other exciting opportunities happening across the Fashion District, including how to get investment from the London Fashion Fund, and mentoring from the DeFINE project.

Hear about the London Fashion Fund, supported by the Mayor of London, which will be offering investments of £30,000 – £90,000 to scale the businesses of London’s emerging fashion talent. Learn how to apply for a new eight month bespoke mentoring programme through DeFINE (Defining a Fashion-Innovation Network for Europe). Starting in September 2019 the mentoring programme, will help your business develop a new prototype, proof of concept and explore the route to market.

Find out about London’s new Sustainable Fashion Accelerator from the Trampery. The programme comes ahead of the official launch for The Trampery Fish Island Village, London’s new campus for fashion, innovation and sustainability launching this Autumn, as part of the Fashion District.

RSVP on Eventbrite and contact for more information.


The Fashion District is now delighted to announce that in collaboration with the London Legacy Development Corporation and A New Direction, we will be launching the Eastworks Fashion Internship Programme.

The aim of this new programme will be to build fashion employers a sustainable pipeline of talent for head-office and digital roles. To create pathways for those unrepresented in fashion, and develop a programme that will prepare the next generation with the skills needed to grow the industry.

We would like to warmly invite fashion employers to join us at our event on Tuesday July 16th, 16:00 – 18:30,  at the new luxury east London design hotel, The Stratford. At the event, you will be able to find out about the initiative, feed into the programme, and be in the first cohort of London employers.

You will also get the opportunity enjoy a drink whilst networking with other employers across London. This event is ideally suited to department Directors and HR from fashion brands, retailers, agencies and fashion-tech companies.

Multiple representatives from companies are more than welcome, so please feel free to promote this amongst your networks and invite colleagues!

Please RSVP through Eventbrite.

See you there!

Rahemur Rahman wins Outstanding Achievements Award at British Bangladeshi Fashion Council Award 2019

Organised by the British Bangladesh Fashion Council, The British Bangladeshi Fashion & Lifestyle Awards 2019 saw 21 awards being handed out to individuals and companies that have transcended barriers and achieved the pinnacle of their given trade & professions and in the process have brought colour, joy and happiness to all our lives.

The awards was a celebration and promotion of British Bangladeshi fashion, arts, culture and businesses that help contribute to the unique multicultural lifestyle of British Bangladeshis and to the wider British society. It was a celebration that showcased the best of British Bangladeshis and celebrated the fantastic achievements throughout the fashion & lifestyle industry.

Fokrul Hoque, CEO of the British Bangladesh Fashion Council said: 

‘We are delighted to have hosted this awards ceremony. The amount of creative talent that we have within the British Bangladeshi community is not highlighted enough, as often the focus is on the achievements in some of the other sectors which have taken a precedent, such as academic and business achievements. These awards are not just about recognizing those who have succeeded and done well in this sector, but also about highlighting and promoting the creative industries as a career choice, as the fashion industry is a £32 billion a year industry and one that is growing fast, with lots of opportunities.’

London College of Fashion, UAL and Fashion District were delighted to sponsor the Outstanding Achievements within the Fashion Industry Award which went to Rahemur Rahman for his debut earlier in the year at London Fashion Week, being the first designer of Bangladeshi heritage to showcase at London Fashion Week.

On winning the award, Rahemur Rahman said, ‘I would like to dedicate this award to all the hidden powerful souls who have brought me to this stage of my life. My teachers, my mentors, my professors, but most importantly my friends and family. This would not be possible without the help of British Bangladesh Fashion Council and their incredible support that has seen me through both my first London Fashion Week Show, and representing Bangladesh at International Fashion Showcase 2019. Through this amazing network of incredible talented people, which is always growing, I intend to use this award and with help from the awards sponsors to pioneer BAME creatives into the fashion industry. If I can be the first Bangladeshi to show at London Fashion Week, that means there is many more just like me ready to share this stage. Let’s get creative.’

In partnership with Fashion District and London College of Fashion, and LB Waltham Forest, Arbeit Studios is launching a new creative fashion hub on Market Parade, 778 to 782 High Road, Leyton, E10 6AE.

The new space, which was formerly a vacant Morrisons supermarket, features 10 studios will be created as well as a flexible public area where events and courses can be held.

One of the studios will be shared by Waltham Forest Council’s Business Growth Investment and Employment Team, Integrating Communities, Waltham Forest Recycling and the London College of Fashion. Residents will be able to engage with ‘Making Changes’ a London Borough of Culture project aimed at activating sustainable change and socio-economic growth through fashion as well as access local employment support and business advice.

If you’re looking for new affordable studio space and interested, Arbeit Studios is holding an Open Day from 1pm until 4pm this Saturday 4 May 2019, – no need to book, you can just drop by!

For more information visit:

#BakersArms #LeytonGreen

Supported by the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), London College of Fashion, UAL has partnered with the Fashion District for the second annual East Education Schools Challenge, themed around a store of the future, with £5000 worth of cash prizes to support the creative curriculum back in school, sponsored by Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield.

Register for the challenge now:

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    Tapping into the imagination of local children, as part of the EAST-Education initiative, London College of Fashion and Fashion District will be running a schools innovation prize. The competition hopes to inspire and challenge Key Stage 2 & 3 students to consider how new technologies could change the way we shop.

    Between March and June, students will be introduced to new concepts which will challenge them to think creatively, work as a team and build digital and problem solving skills. On June 17th, teams of students will be invited to submit their own concepts for what their own “store of the future” could look like through the use of technology.

    Shortlisted entries will be invited to pitch at a celebratory event, where winners will be selected by a panel of industry experts. Generously sponsored by Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, there will be six cash prizes with 2 x £1500 for the winning entries and 4 x £500 for the two runners up in each category to support the creative curriculum back in school.

    For more information about the challenge and our partners, download the challenge pack guide.


    Your teacher’s challenge pack which will provide tools to help you deliver the challenge in the classroom with ease, inc. information about the challenge and submissions, a film, guided workshops, powerpoints and further resource links. Register to have the links to the challenge pack sent to you, or visit them below: