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Meet the Manufacturing Futures 2021 Shortlist

The Fashion District, in collaboration with the Fashion Innovation Agency, is delighted to announce the shortlist for Manufacturing Futures: Fashion District Innovation Challenge Prize 2021!

The shortlist was selected from a host of impressive and creative applications by our esteemed panel of industry experts. This year’s cohort is comprised of ten start-ups who showed true innovation and the potential to change the future of manufacturing.

“Manufacturing Futures 2021 has unearthed some truly cutting edge start-ups that are applying technology and science to tackle the urgent environmental needs of the fashion industry. We have a real opportunity to collaborate, both within the industry and with other sectors, to bring on the brightest and most impactful innovations to reshape the industry.”

Helen Lax, Director, Fashion District.

Petit Pli

“We’re proud to be supporting technological innovations that are solving the manufacturing challenges facing the fashion industry today. Engineering is behind everything we touch, including the clothes we wear, so it’s important that we create interdisciplinary connections between technologists and engineers, and fashion creatives and manufacturers.”

Danielle George, MBE, President, IET.

Our shortlisted start-ups are offering a range of solutions that include innovative new materials, effective new software which help brands and customers to make ethical and sustainable choices, as well as fashion tech businesses using nanomaterials to reduce the impact of harmful manufacturing processes.  

Modern Synthesis

“It is a privilege to judge Manufacturing Futures 2021 and be part of an initiative that puts science and engineering at its heart. At PANGAIA, we are on a mission to inspire and accelerate an Earth Positive future, and it is amazing to be part of a competition where all of the innovators are striving towards the same shared goal. There are some really ground-breaking technologies within this group and I personally cannot wait to see what the future holds for all of them.”

Craig Smith, Head of Research & Development, PANGAIA.

Treekind™ by Biophilica

Treekind™ by Biophilica is a plant-based leather alternative for the fashion industry. It is estimated to be carbon negative, recyclable as green waste, home compostable, non-toxic and completely free of plastic and petrochemicals. With Treekind™ we want to support the transition to local, sustainable manufacturing and consumption.

Clean Ocean Fiber Tech by Airjet Global

Clean Ocean Fiber Technology by Airjet Global is a textile business that creates new yarn by binding any recycled raw material with natural and bio artificial spun yarn. It reduces the polluting effect of textiles and protects the environment by preventing fibre shedding in clothing, whilst providing greater durability and better circularity.


ClearChain is a software platform for easy, low-cost, high-value supply chain mapping, compliance auditing and reporting. It enables companies to get answers to the big questions facing them about sustainability, Net Zero and ethical compliance. Its modern, simple user interface eliminates clutter and allows users to map supply chains and conduct compliance audits on one or more of these vendors.

2DTronics by G Square

2DTronics by G Square is a textile technology start-up dedicated to producing smart sustainable clothing for the home, for work and for exercise. 2DTronics fabrics are made from composites of nanomaterials with recycled or natural fibres giving enhanced strength, durability and comfort. Garments are also to be embedded with smart sensing functions using graphene conductive inks.

Modern Synthesis

Modern Synthesis is a London based biomaterial start-up connecting the dots between biology, material science and design to craft progressive biomaterials for the fashion industry. The company’s ‘microbial weaving’ process employs microbes to grow a strong, lightweight cellulose-based composite material that is naturally biodegradable and offers unique potential for customization.

Nanofique Limited

Nanofique Limited is working with bio-composites of nanostructured material to degrade the dyes in wastewater, removing the colour and associated harmful effects. They also separate, remove and upgrade the heavy metal ions and salt without producing sludge and recycle the water. Their product is catalytic and biodegradable. The bio element can be grown without the use of irrigation, fertilizer or pesticides.


Nanoloom creates biodegradable fibre from a novel, unique nanomaterial called BioHastalex, which is based on graphene. BioHastalex is extremely strong, light, flexible and durable. It can be made to attract or repel water without additives, doesn’t shed and is scalable. This makes it suitable for numerous applications, and Nanoloom currently focuses on performance apparel.

Pattern Project

Pattern Project is a clothing micro-factory, developing machinery and software to enable independent fashion brands, high street retailers or tailoring companies to produce custom-fit clothing in-store and on-demand. The software generates a made-to-measure pattern from customer measurements and sends it to a desktop cutting machine. A ready-to-sew custom-fit garment is then created in as little as 10 minutes.

Petit Pli

Petit Pli is a wearable technology company engineering clothes that grow. Trained aeronautical engineer, Ryan Mario Yasin founded Petit Pli in 2017, shortly after gifting clothes to his newborn nephew in Denmark. By the time the clothes arrived they were already too small! Determined to pioneer a new approach to slow fashion he drew inspiration from his background in deployable nano-satellite structures.

Terra Neutra

Terra Neutra provides innovative services that measure the carbon footprint of a product and allow customers to offset the impact in the shopping cart. Their mission is to create a carbon positive world, empowering people to live more sustainably, raising awareness of climate impact, enabling reduction and offsetting any residual emissions.


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.

Meet the Retail Futures 2020 Shortlist

The Fashion District, in collaboration with the Fashion Innovation Agency at London College of Fashion, UAL, is delighted to announce its shortlist for the second edition of Retail Future!

The shortlist was selected from 88 applications from around the world by our high-profile panel of industry experts, and 14 start-ups have been selected for this years cohort.

Remo Gettini – CTO, Depop said: “The next generation of fashion creators and technology innovators have the power to unlock the future of fashion – that’s what Depop has championed from the start. As consumer needs evolve faster than ever, fashion’s innovation will be unleashed by agile and adaptive start-ups which can combine deep understanding and insight with forward, purpose-led thinking. We’re excited to support Fashion District’s Retail Futures 2020 and celebrate the future of fashion innovation.”

Our cohort of 14 start-ups are offering up a range of solutions that include new AR & 3D digital customer experiences, marketplaces for sustainable fashion, black-owned businesses and rental menswear, as well as AI to optimise retail & supply chain efficiency.  Due to the number of high quality entries this year, the judges also created a new “Highly Commended” category for the competition in order to profile those start-ups that are of exceptional quality.

Harita Shah – Director of Brand, Creative, Media, Comms & Events, Unibail Rodamco-Westfield, said:  “There have been some truly innovative ideas and solutions put forward by the SMEs. 2020 has been a year of huge acceleration of trends which has fostered creativity and ingenuity – just what we need to explore and reshape the industry going forward. URW is proud to be working with Fashion District again this year on Retail Futures 2020 and investing in the future of retail.”

Congratulations to all! Read about our shortlisted and highly commended start-ups here:

Alpha AR

Alpha AR is a unique AI-based deep tech solution that boosts your sales and the imagination of your customers by converting 2D images into 3D models within minutes! Combining utility, interactivity and imagination, it is an effortless solution for getting your products ready to be showcased in augmented reality. Alpha AR is here to help you create the 3D content that you want to share with the world. Transform your competitive edge and shape the future of shopping by letting your products be experienced in AR.


AnamXR is the world’s first SaaS platform scaling virtual retail and event builds for the fashion industry to immerse communities into real-time, interactive brand and shopping experiences and live within the Planetary Boundaries.


Blaqbase is a shopping app with beautiful, high quality products by black women. The platform helps users to discover, shop from black owned brands and show support for black owned brands by joining the growing community. 

Cerebra Technologies

Cerebra forecasts what is going to be trending next and surfaces the reasons why certain products are going to be appealing to particular consumer segments. This helps retail teams plan which products to carry, which to phase out, and what are the best channels to reach each consumer segment. These insights have been used by leading fashion houses to increase conversions across marketing and sales strategies, both retail and wholesale. Cerebra’s AI technology can extract signals from any data source, from social media to product reviews, past sales, e-commerce user journeys, and competitor pricing. With automated workflows for a range of applications from forecast-based replenishment to dynamic discounting, Cerebra makes data-driven decision making easy for CMOs, CFOs and merchandisers – no coding is required.

Compare Ethics

Compare Ethics is the platform that builds trust and transparency through data-driven sustainable product verification. For fashion retail, we turn sustainability data into business value. For consumers, we empower them to know the impact they are making by choosing responsible brands.


DOV is a leading visualisation studio using real time technology to bring digital events to life like never before. We want to drive the creativeness of humanity beyond reality and accelerate the planet towards a greener, sustainable future.


FavourUp helps fashion, retail, and travel brands create localised user-generated content at scale, and provide consumer insights down to a postcode level.

Little Black Door

A next-gen fashion technology platform pioneering ways to digitalise and share our wardrobes, by using AI and links with brands, stores and resale partner platforms,  powered by a female-focussed community who love to share fashion and what to do better with their wardrobes. LBD is the future of fashion interaction, removing existing fragmentation and traditional barriers of digitalising and sharing wardrobes, whilst empowering the primary and secondary fashion economies. LBD champions conscious consumption, encouraging use of wardrobe items and investment in quality slow fashion.

Lone Design Club

Lone Design Club is cutting through the noise of a saturated fast‐fashion market and shaking up the conventional shopping experience by challenging traditional retail offerings both in the UK and internationally. Presenting a new immersive shopping experience LDC is blurring the lines between consumers online and in‐store purchasing experiences. Lone Design Club seamlessly blends their physical stores with online experiences through live streams, an online marketplace, mobile self‐checkout and product information and QR codes connecting the physical to the digital. The beauty of LDC is that every concept store is unique; whether it is displaying a new emerging premium brand, discovering one-of-a-kind products, or gaining a glimpse into the fashion world with their in‐store experiences and events led by influential individuals within the fashion industry.


Garmentry is one of the world’s first luxury menswear rental platforms, using excess stock of high-end brands and retailers. It gives consumers access to an unlimited wardrobe of clothing at a fraction of the retail price, while helping fashion businesses hit their sustainability targets.  


Gfaive is the first Fashion Collection planning and sales forecast AI platform, that allows fashion brands to avoid overstock and out-of stock situations. With Gfaive customized platform Fashion brands can have a clear view of: fashion collection planning (which product attributes will be demanded the most), buying support (long-term demand forecast), sales KPI monitoring (know which item where and when will be sold). We provide AI-powered predictive analytics for preproduction planning phase. And brands can track key business performance in real time through our easy to use BI dashboards.


Presize is focused on solving the online returns problem which is predominantly driven by the wrong fit: 50% of garments purchased online are returned, resulting in avoidable environmental damage, customer frustration and great value loss in a $500B online global market. We approach the issue by leveraging Computer Vision and Deep Learning algorithms to recommend the customer their perfect size – all we need is a 7-second video of the end user doing a 360 degree turn in front of their smartphone camera.


The RoundRack tool enables brands to measure the recyclability of garments during their design process. It uses a unique algorithm to consider the sum and combination of materials. Accordingly, it offers alternatives for better results, helping brands to reach their sustainability goals.


Skinz App is a product of LOOT, a digital design studio with a specific focus on the fashion industry. The app aims to pave a brand new way of customers to interact with products they love. By designing a seamless and fun mobile experience, its goal is to put a dent in the digital fashion revolution happening right now.

Highly Commended


AskLily is a B2B company that develops an AI solution empowering brands and retailers with data on the style and preferences of online shoppers.  We do this by implementing our intelligent system, using Computer Vision technology we are able to analyze each and every item and to better match shoppers with what they are looking for.

By Rotation

By Rotation is the UK’s leading fashion rental app aiming to democratise fashion and make it available to all. After travelling to her motherland Rajasthan, India, for her honeymoon and witnessing the first-hand effects of textile waste, Eshita felt compelled to change, and bring about change. Inspired by a love for fashion that doesn’t weigh on her conscience Eshita Kabra-Davies founded By Rotation as a side hustle in October 2019 whilst working in finance, and not long after, left her high-flying career to launch the platform which now has over 27,000 members. Eshita is especially focused on creating a conscious community of like-minded individuals combining to create a more inclusive industry.


HURR is the smart way to rent your wardrobe, on-demand. The UK’s leading wardrobe rental platform allows members to share clothes and accessories, securely and in seconds. HURR has been named the “Airbnb of Fashion”, disrupting fashion ownership and paving the way towards a more sustainable future. Discover and rent curated edits of contemporary and luxury brands, accessing trend led pieces and coveted one offs.


IVA is a B2B platform connecting games with fashion & lifestyle brands. IVA enables the integration and sale of IRL designs as clothing assets for game characters and avatars. Existing design specs are taken from brands and provided to games developers in a standardised package of 3D assets that are quick and easy to integrate in different game development pipelines.


Own-Kind is data-driven personal styling online. Sign up to our free App to browse all your favourite brands, as well as your own wardrobe items in one place, and access a range of personal styling tools and services.

Personify XP

Personify XP automates digital experiences for anonymous digital shoppers driving an average increase of 10% in revenue. Personify XP partner with some of the world’s most exciting brands like Pentland Brands, Lovehoney and Vitabiotics. A Gartner Cool Vendor in Personalisation, Personify XP delivers ‘personification’ solving the ‘cold start problem for personalisation.

London Fashion Fund investments champion the future of fashion sustainability

We are delighted to announce that three sustainable fashion start-ups KAPDAA, CLOTHES-DOCTOR and REWRITTEN are the first recipients of investment from London Fashion Fund. Backed by the Mayor of London, the co-investment fund seeks to support early stage sustainable fashion & fashion tech start-ups that could help shape the future of the industry.

London Fashion Fund seeks to enhance pathways for fashion businesses to access much-needed complementary financing, offering £25,000 – £60,000 convertible loans to address a critical early-stage funding gap which is stunting fashion SMEs ability to scale at speed.

Acting as an intervention fund, it hopes to accelerate and add value to industry also supporting start-ups to find follow-on funding, achieve their business success measures and access relevant networks with the support of the Mayor of London, Fashion District, industry partners and co-investors.

The fund is now looking for next wave of start-ups to build a portfolio of diverse, forward-thinking and high-growth businesses that will shape the future of the fashion industry, with sustainability, social good and/or tech at its core. If you are a start-up looking to scale your business and preparing for next steps of seed or series A Investment, submit an expression of interest now!

Deadline to apply: March 3rd 2020 | For all start-up & co-investor queries contact: | For eligibility and info about LFF click here



At KAPDAA – The Offcut Company, every piece matters. Founder Nishant Parehk works with designers & textile weavers to turn offcuts, end of rolls, and other excess materials into beautiful unique, sustainable and branded products – giving waste fabric a new lease of life. Launched in 2016, KAPDAA has saved over 6400 meters of fabric from the landfill and  collaborated with over 250 brands already including Selfridges, Raeburn, Mary Katrantzou, Roland Mouret, Wolf & Badger, DAKs.


Clothes Doctor is helping to bring a new mindset of #CareWearRepair to consumers. It provides a range of award-winning environmentally-kind garment care products and repair & alteration services, to help consumers love their clothes for longer and reduce fashion waste. Launched in 2017, Lulu O’Connor has now built an impressive tech platform to offer their wide variety of services on a larger scale. Clothes Doctor also provides  tutorials and events designed to educate consumers on extending the life of their wardrobes.  The company’s customer drop-off point is in Farringdon London, with a repairs workshop in Cornwall.


Rewritten was founded by Fran Cookson and Katie Arnott on the belief that no item of clothing should be worn only once – bridal or otherwise. A sustainable, inclusive sizing bridal and RTW brand founded in 2016, Rewritten encourage women to show off their unique sense of style #RewriteTheRules at their retail store and studio at The Trampery Fish Island Village, Hackney Wick. Known for their innovative styles, colours & prints, the business uses deadstock and sustainable fabrics and recycling; re-using and re-styling with environmental values permeating all parts of their business strategy.

Sparkbox Wins Retail Futures!

We are delighted to announce the first prize for the Retail Futures Fashion District Innovation Challenge Prize 2019 was awarded to Lindsay Fisher, co-founder of Sparkbox, at the Fashion District Innovation Awards & Investment Supper held at The Stratford Hotel on November 5th, 2019.

Following an intensive pitch and interview process with over 60 entries, nine finalists attended the award ceremony last night along with the full judging panel; Myf Ryan, Chief Marketing Officer, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, Carol Hilsum, Director of Innovation at Farfetch, Richard Bonner Head of Store Development, John Lewis & Partners, Carien Beyer, Innovation Programme Manager from True and finally, Matthew Drinkwater, Head of Fashion Innovation Agency, London College of Fashion, UAL.

Myf Ryan, CMO Europe and Group Director of Brand and Strategic Marketing for Unibail Rodamco-Westfield presented the award to Sparkbox; a service that reduces stock, improves profitability, and helps retailers avoid over-discounting by optimising their pricing at the product level.

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield is committed to innovating the future of retail and sponsored a £15,000 cash prize for the winner, alongside a 12-month membership with Stylus who provide essential consumer insight into the industry. After seeing such a high quality of entries across the board, Myf Ryan decided to award two runners-up prizes awarded to Joanna Chen from Gibbon and Taylor Semelsberger from Miro Solutions who were each given a £5,000 cash prize.

Myf Ryan of URW said: “It’s been inspiring to hear such creative business proposals from the entrants. We’re always looking to innovate the retail experience throughout our centres around the globe, as we continue to re-imagine the future of the retail environment to enhance the customer’s journey and experience. All of the business plans proposed were excellent and promise to innovate the industry at different points of the retail supply chain, and we are proud to be part of and nurture this future talent.”

Huge congratulations to all of the finalists who took part:

Helen Lax, Director, Fashion District said:The Fashion District Innovation Challenge Prize provides a springboard for tech entrepreneurs to trailblaze within the fashion industry. By creating a network of Fashion District innovators, we can test new concepts that have the power to disrupt the way retail does business and place London at the heart of global innovation.”


We are delighted to announce that the judging panel has selected nine start-ups who will pitch in the finals of the Retail Futures: Fashion District Innovation Challenge Prize 2019.

We were thrilled to see such a breadth of creativity within all the applications received, many of them with the potential to make a real impact on industry in the future. It made the judges’ decisions incredibly difficult!

Read about our finalists here:


At Duel, we specialise in Brand Advocacy – the art of fueling growth by amplifying the positive experiences brands create for their fans, customers and collaborators.

Through conducting research, consultancy services and thought leadership pieces – we built the ultimate SaaS platform for running Advocacy Programs. The product is an Advocate Relationship Management platform with a gamified customer/advocate portal where members earn points and rewards for completing tasks like referring friends, sharing data, social posting and creating user-generated content. With it, our Brand Partners (our clients) can build and manage bespoke Advocacy Programs to further engage with their community and harness the power of Advocacy.

The platform supports Advocacy strategies by driving, managing and tracking Brand Advocacy. Advocates can sign up to access a brand-styled, gamified portal that integrates into the brand’s website (either presented as a VIP program, a clubhouse, or an ambassador program). Within that portal advocates are encouraged to complete advocacy tasks for which they are rewarded with points, level-ups and physical prizes.

Based in London and Bristol, the business is backed by Venture Capital and growing rapidly.


GIBBON is a rental platform that connects the excess inventory from brands and retailers to the travellers who need these items. We implement a circular economy within the fashion industry by disrupting the way brands and retailers are destroying their overstock and extending the usage of travel wear from the travellers.


Intelistyle provides A.I. styling services to fashion retailers, helping them increase conversion and basket size, while addressing the needs of 1 in 2 people that are looking for styling advice, online or in store. They do that by creating outfit recommendations that are tailored to different occasions, body type, colours and personal style.

Online, retailers can use Intelistyle to provide recommendations, styling chatbots, personalised homepages, search results or targeted landing pages and CRM emails. Offline, Intelistyle services are available through clienteling solutions and smart mirrors.

They were featured in Forbes after outperforming human stylists and their personalised solutions deliver 130% more revenue than behavioural recommendations, 10% sales uplift and 42% increase in basket size. They cover the entire customer funnel, from acquisition to conversion and retention.


We are revolutionising loyalty and payments. Loyalize is a technology platform that allows retailers to offer their customers the ability to add their payment cards to an existing loyalty programme.

Retailers and Loyalty Partners use Loyalize to enhance their customer journey by removing the requirement for a plastic loyalty card or app with a unique code. Customers automatically earn rewards when purchasing using their stored payment card every time they shop, online and in store. With no PoS integration required, it is quick and easy to get started.

Miro Solutions UK

Miro is Smart-Fit Software that aims to take the guesswork out of buying footwear online. We use Augmented Reality to help people get their correct fit, the first time, regardless of brand, style, or country of manufacture.


SKMMP is building a powerful B2B software that is defensible, scalable and aligned with the rapidly evolving buying behaviour and cycle processes within the luxury fashion wholesale industry.


Smartzer is a platform that makes videos interactive and shoppable by adding an overlay with clickable hotspots. Part of the LVMH La Maison Des Startups, Smartzer’s clients include Sephora, Emilio Pucci, COS, Zimmermann, Harvey Nichols, Swarovski, Jimmy Choo, and Missoni.


Sparkbox helps retailers reduce stock and improve profitability by optimising their prices. Our platform automatically learns about how customers respond to changes in price and makes product-level pricing recommendations on demand. With Sparkbox, fashion retailers can leverage AI quickly to make the most of inventory they already own.


builds state-of-the-art AI technology that enables unprecedented personalised experiences. Voted as “”one of the 50 best UK companies bridging creativity and technology”” SUPERPERSONAL builds the future of trying clothes online.

Join the Business of Textiles of Fashion, Textiles & Technology Partnership Network

Join the BFTT Network and have your say shaping the future sustainable development of the fashion industry. The Business of Fashion, Textiles & Technology Partnership, is one of 9 Creative Industries Clusters and 1 Policy and Evidence Centre which the government is investing £80m into new creative R&D partnerships. In partnership with the UK Industrial Strategy, BFTT have launched a nationwide survey and looking for business owners/founders up and down the country working in all aspects of fashion – from workspace providers to womenswear; museums to materials; agriculture to advertising and beyond to take part.

By completing the survey, responders will inform research and join the Business of Fashion, Textiles and Technology (BFTT) network. The network will be the first to hear about important rounds of R&D funding, gain exclusive access to the report findings, and partnership events.

Complete the survey here:

#BFFT #CreativeClusters

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.



Are you running a successful business in the fashion, textiles and/or related technology sector and have an idea that you think could take your company and the industry sector to the next level?

The Business of Fashion, Textiles & Technology R&D SME Support Programme seeks to provide a targeted range of funding, mentoring, support and wide-ranging expertise to help small and medium size businesses turn bright ideas into viable and sustainable commercial propositions.

Approximately £2 million pound’s worth of research and development investment is available through the ambitious programme, which seeks to establish 15 programme partnerships.

Each shortlisted applicant for the partnerships will be provided with bespoke business development support to help them refine their ideas and turn them into viable R&D proposals. Then applicants will be invited to pitch their proposal for an award of funding and the opportunity to be mentored by leading industry and academic partners throughout the duration of the programme.

Each partnership will be considered for an approximate award value between £80,000 and £175,000, for projects lasting up to 30 months – depending on the specific need of the project.

This Funding Call is looking to support SMEs in the development of the next generation of products, services and experiences in the fashion, textiles and technology sectors – with sustainability at their core.

SMEs with innovative concepts, or companies already working at the early stages of testing a prototype product or service in the market place are eligible to apply. Your ideas may be at an early stage, and to be successful may benefit from support across a range of specialist fields, including: new materials design; novel technologies; new applications for existing technologies; innovative business and retail models.

The programme is currently open to expressions of interest, deadline to apply is May 28th 2019. Find more details of the programme and the form to apply below.