Skip to main content
Design Futures is now open for applications!

Register

Green Kids Studio: A Sustainable Children’s Fashion Pop-Up

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
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
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.

Petit Pli
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 London
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
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.

New Exhibition: ReGo: Our Story in the Making

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

Meet Design Futures 2022 Prize Giver: Anglo American Sewing Machines

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:

Design Futures 2022 Launch at The Lab E20

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

Come along to the launch of our next Innovation Challenge: Design Futures 2022

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.

About the Challenge

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.

Meet the Judges

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: Investment Event Series

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: 

Pitching Workshops with Amy Tez
12:00 – 14:00 | 14:30 – 16:30

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.


1:1 Investment Clinics
15-minute sessions | 15:30 – 17:30

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:

Jonathan Chippindale
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.

Shanaya Curtis
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 Mohamed
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 Nyarko
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 Shapiro
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. 

Hannah Williamson
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.


Pitcha Kucha Investment Evening
18:00 – 20:00

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!


Pitcha Kucha Investment Evening: Expressions of Interest

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.

Congratulations to Biophilica, our Manufacturing Futures 2021 Innovation Challenge Winners!

On Tuesday 7 September, we brought together members of our Fashion District community to celebrate the winners of the Manufacturing Futures 2021 Innovation Award.

The Innovation Challenge was set up by Fashion District in 2019 to stimulate ideas for use of technology in fashion, and to generate future solutions for industry uses.

Supporting the development of these innovative solutions is a crucial part of Fashion District’s remit, an important piece of our dynamic network that aims to help the fashion industry thrive. To that end, each year we focus the prize on a relevant challenge to encourage products and solutions that could disrupt the mainstream – with this year’s challenge focused on solutions that can revolutionise any part of the fashion supply chain and drive future growth in the industry.

“Manufacturing Futures 2021 has brought forward truly cutting edge start-ups with some ground-breaking technologies. 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.

The shortlist itself 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.

We are thrilled to share that during the ceremony, BIOPHILICA was announced as the winner of the Manufacturing Futures Prize for Treekind™ – an entirely plant-based, compostable, leather alternative for the fashion industry. Highly Commended was awarded to MODERN SYNTHESIS, a biomaterials start-up making cellulose materials by growing microbes, and NANOLOOM, creating biodegradable fibre based on graphene that does not shed.

Our Winners! Treekind by BIOPHILICA. Left to Right: Dr Beinn Murr (R&D Chemistry BIOPHILICA), Jordan Berkowitz (Strategy & Marketing BIOPHILICA) Toni Allen, (Director of International Strategic Marketing and Engagement, IET) Credit: Charlie Williams Photography

“We brought engineers and the fashion industry together to solve some of its biggest challenges, and these innovations certainly show the potential to change the future of fashion manufacturing and completely transform the industry.”

Danielle George, MBE, President, IET.

Sponsored by the IET in celebration of its 150th anniversary in May this year, BIOPHILICA will receive a cash prize of £15,000 as well as a one-year lab membership for rapid prototyping and experimentation, provided by the Mills Fabrica.

In addition, IBM will provide bespoke business support that utilises design thinking to produce an action plan, and Common Objective will offer a 12-month business membership with global connections, premium intelligence and training courses in sustainable fashion and manufacturing.

Award Sculptures Created by Dust London, Exclusively for Fashion District. Credit: Charlie Williams Photography

Browse more information about our prize winners below, and make sure you also check out the 2021 Shortlisted Ventures to discover some truly inspiring solutions and products.

Our Winners

Treekind™ by Biophilica – Innovation Challenge Award Winners

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.

Modern Synthesis – Highly Commended

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.

Nanoloom – Highly Commended

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.

First Wave of Fashion District Festival Events Announced

Here at Fashion District we are incredibly excited to share the news that the schedule for the Fashion District Festival, taking place 22-26th September 2021, is now available to browse and book online.

Join us this September to discover London’s fashion innovators, and take your pick from a variety of exciting events, including interactive upcycling workshops, styling sessions, business support seminars and our Fashion District Festival Showcase, with an exclusive After Party at multi-level restaurant and bar, Haugen.

Based in Stratford, the festival will be split into four pillars, Grow, Make, Watch and Shop, and will take place in and around five close-knit locations; Westfield Stratford, The E20 Lab, The Stratford Hotel, The British Council, and The Pavillion in the Olympic Village.

Shop The Festival

Billi London Founders. Right: Marie Bouhier Left: Sophie Billi-Hardwick

There will be an array of activities over the five days of the festival. One of our highlights under the SHOP pillar includes our Westfield Stratford Pop-Up Shop, which will offer fashion lovers the chance to shop a range of independent, sustainable brands and their ethically produced clothes. Recently confirmed labels include Billi LondonFanfareKA WA KEYWolinskaTimna WeberThe ArrayOMNISSKhaunumsDaniel CrabtreeBlonde Gone RogueEmile Vidal Carr and Klements. We are also collaborating with Lone Design Club, who will supply clothes and accessories from a number of emerging, trend-setting brands featured on their platform.

Alongside clothes to buy, visitors to the pop-up will also have the opportunity to rent unique, designer pieces from rental clothing app By Rotation. Browse rental outfits to wear at any number of upcoming special occasions, like birthdays, weddings or parties.

Our Pop-Up will also offer an exclusive selection of children’s clothing items, provided by child clothing resale app Dotte, and their fast-growing trusted community of sellers.

Grow with the Fashion District

Our Grow pillar offers emerging designers, fashion and fashion-technology start-ups free business support sessions. Firstly, The Trampery, supported by the British Council, will be running two days of business seminars to help fashion ventures integrate sustainability more effectively into their business model and growth plans. The sessions will cover everything manufacturing, business model, materials and futures – showcasing radical fashion brands that are disrupting the sector with their sustainability activities.

Festival partners will also be running one-off, interactive sessions. Fashion Minority Report will be hosting a special event for budding fashion and creative professionals from diverse backgrounds interested in pursuing a career in fashion. Plus the Fashion Innovation Agency will be joining the festival for a rare all-team appearance to delve into their projects and the future of fashion & technology.

SABINNA London, Panel Speaker at The Trampery’s Sustainable Business Models Event.

WATCH SHOWCASES & STYLING EVENTS

Be sure not to miss the Festival Showcase. Celebrate East London’s extraordinary fashion talent at the Fashion District Festival with our designer showcase in the heart of the Olympic Village, featuring a one-off performance directed by On|Off Creative Director, Lee Lapthorne. Using the façade of the newly-built Pavilion as a backdrop, Lapthorne has hand-picked the very best of his On|Off London Fashion Week community of designers to highlight their latest show pieces, and teamed up with choreographer Kwame Asafo-Adjei to create an explosion of hip hop, beatbox, fashion and wearable art.

Plus, Love Not Landfill will be running various styling events using donated clothing alongside top Depop sellers. Learn how to style a variety of items and make the most out of your wardrobe or unique charity shop finds.

Make Sustainable Garments

Wool Materials for Joao Marashin Clothing

Looking to become more sustainable? Join RETURE and a number of designers for interactive, upcycling workshops designed to encourage guests to learn how to repair or remake their own clothes.

Whether you’re looking to refresh your wardrobe without buying new items or you’d like to improve your sewing skills, these workshops offer a chance to learn new skills directly from some of the most exciting emerging designers in London. The RETURE designers have also been busy working on a whole range of upcycled pieces that will be for sale, so you can choose to give them a new life. 

We are also working with Get Living and FutureCity to create a unique makers space at the festival, located at The E20 Lab. We’ll be offering a number of MAKE events here, including an opportunity for children to customise old garments into capes with Making for Change (ages 4-9) as well as a dynamic denim revamp workshop with The Fashion School to encourage children to learn more about clothing customisation (ages 9-11).

Learn new techniques, discover the latest trends and expand your knowledge. Book your place at one of our workshops now.

We can’t wait to see you!

Looking for a place to stay during the festival? We have partnered with the Holiday Inn, Staybridge suites and The Stratford to offer deals for Festival attendees. Head over to our partner page to learn more.

A Tour of the Fashion District Film

Our new film, from Deadline Communications, showcases London’s bright and bold designer talent, in the places and spaces of the Fashion District – Hackney, Haringey, Newham, Waltham Forest and Tower Hamlets. The film is currently playing on the big screen at London Stadium in the Queen Elizabeth Park so make sure to look out for it! Here we take you across the Fashion District and spotlight the sensational designers who bring our film to life.

Let’s start with designer brand CIMONE, whose incredible pieces are seen against the backdrop of The Royal Docks in Newham, near to The Silver Building, at a growing home for business and culture in east London. Find out more about The Silver Building here.

CIMONE is an inclusive ready-to-wear brand from Creative Director Carli Pearson who says she wants it to feel like a heritage brand reawakened for a modern society. For Carli, the aim is to create pieces that are loved and cherished for years to come and can be passed on from generation to generation, her intention is to achieve sustainability through thoughtful, considered buying and investment.

Photography: Graham Cann. Designer: CIMONE

CIMONE is based at one of Arbeit Studios’ east London premises in Lea Bridge Road. Arbeit Studios also run a dedicated fashion hub in Leyton Green in collaboration with the Fashion District. Leyton Green Studios specifically provide affordable creative workspaces, and an onsite gallery/selling space, for fashion start-ups and creatives. So if you’re a fashion or textile designer in need of a space to work, take a look at their website linked above.

Next up, Nigerian born designer IYA₦U, whose vibrant collection pops against the urban landscapes near Poplar Works.

Another space in the Fashion District dedicated to fashion makers, Poplar Works comprises over 40 workspaces for fashion businesses at a range of sizes and prices, and the manufacturing unit, Making for Change, with classes, workshops and training programmes for the community.

Within the Fashion District film, IYA₦U’s vivid colour pallet and unique prints illustrate the designer’s transcultural identity. She merges her Nigerian roots with her British upbringing – rebelling against the traditional rules of fashion. She describes her brand as “the first of its kind and the beginning of a new generational vanguard of African creatives.”

Photography: Graham Cann. Designer: Rahemur Rahman

Another of London’s talented young designers showcased in the film is Rahemur Rahman. Rahemur’s texturally rich designs are showcased in the studio at Fashion Enter.

Fashion for Good connects brands, producers, retailers, suppliers, non-profit organisations, innovators and funders to work together in their shared ambition to make the fashion industry a force for good. By providing inspiration and iFashion Enter is another of the Fashion District spaces where makers can improve their skills and pick up new techniques. This social enterprise, based in Haringey, offers a wide range of teaching services within The Tailoring Academy and The Fashion Technology Academy. You can also find sampling, grading and production services within The Factory and Fashion Studio; both are ethical and sustainable alternatives for the manufacturing of fashion and textiles.

Rahemur Rahman focuses on the sustainable production of artisanal textiles. He pulls cultural references from South Asia and the UK and says that his aim is to decolonise craftsmanship through fashion design, whilst creating spaces for underrepresented voices in luxury fashion. Rahemur was also one of the first designers to reside at Poplar Works.

Photography: Graham Cann. Designer: Patrick McDowell

Finally, we see a designer who is currently making waves across the industry – Patrick McDowell. Patrick’s label is a sustainable luxury brand and, in our film, his striking pieces are seen against the backdrop of the canal, alongside The Trampery Fish Island Village.

Once complete, The Trampery Fish Island Village campus will be Europe’s largest fashion campus – created in collaboration between Peabody Trust, The British Fashion Council & London College of Fashion. The campus will play an important role in helping emerging fashion brands within the district become more sustainable. It will house onsite eco fashion experts and run an ongoing programme of sustainability focused events – so keep an eye out for opportunities to get involved! Alongside the dedicated fashion facilities, Fish Island Village will provide over 30 studio spaces for local creatives, at affordable rents.

Patrick McDowell illustrates the value of sustainable practices in luxury fashion and is a strong advocate for reducing fashion’s global impact. His pieces are crafted from reclaimed fabrics and ethically produced materials from the likes of Burberry and Swarovski.

That rounds up our whistle-stop tour through the Fashion District film! We hope that you get a chance to see it on the big screen. If you are a fashion maker looking for a space to work or learn, check out the places featured in the film at the links below:

And find out more about our showcased designers here:

IET TV with Worn Again and Fashion for Good

The IET, Fashion District’s sponsor of Manufacturing Futures 2021, is celebrating 150 years of innovation this year and has broadcast a series of TV programmes in honour of the anniversary. Covering an array of compelling topics, it explores how engineers are finding sustainable solutions to global issues, including the digital future and sustainability in fashion.

Helen Lax, Fashion District’s Director, is part of The Green Edition in discussion with Rory Hugill, from Fashion For Good and Nick Ryan from Worn Again. Interviewed by Danielle George, MBE, President of the IET and co-host, Bobby Seagull, the panel discuss what the industry can do to reduce the impact our wardrobes have on the climate, including supporting innovative start-ups, and the challenges of re-capturing raw materials from textile waste. 

Spotlight on Worn Again

Worn Again Technologies focuses on end-of-use textiles – and solves the issues presented by non-reusable textiles made from pure polyester and polyester/cotton blends. Their advanced recycling technology recaptures raw materials from these textiles and is able to separate, decontaminate and extract polyester and cellulose from them, therefore putting sustainable resources back into production supply chains. Worn Again’s technology encourages a circular flow of resources; reducing the use of virgin raw materials in the industry.

How does the fashion industry need to change?

 “We need an holistic approach, innovative processes and ingenious engineering to re-tool the textile supply chain to be fit for purpose in the 21st Century. From processing feedstock in huge quantities, reclaiming resources via new technologies for processing and manufacturing, to enabling closer to market production, both geographically and in terms of timelines – all to reduce over-production and CO2 from extensive shipping and keep resources in circulation.”

Nick Ryan, Worn Again.

Nick Ryan

With a background of over 20 years in the apparel business, Nick has gained a wide experience in sourcing, product design, research and development, and international sales. He has also worked with a number of brands and retailers, including Nike, Puma, Timberland, M&S and Intersport amongst others. Nick is passionate about innovation and the need to go beyond mere compliance to bring about sustainable and socially responsible trade.

Fashion for Good

Fashion for Good connects brands, producers, retailers, suppliers, non-profit organisations, innovators and funders to work together in their shared ambition to make the fashion industry a force for good. By providing inspiration and information, Fashion for Good aim to revolutionise the fashion industry so that people, companies and the planet can flourish together. In 2017 Fashion for Good selected Worn Again to participate in their Scaling Programme which provided access to a network of industry experts and business advisors and helped them to accelerate the development of their innovative technology.

“By bringing together brands, supply chain partners and innovators in a pre-competitive space we’re able to create an environment that champions collaboration, encourages shared learnings and ultimately helps to scale disruptive technologies across the value chain”

Rory Hugill, Fashion for Good.

Rory Hugill

Rory Hugill is an Innovation Analyst at Fashion for Good. Rory is responsible for scouting, screening and scaling innovators in the areas of sorting, textile recycling and plastics across the fashion industry. He works with innovators, brands and other key stakeholders to drive disruptive change across the industry.

To find out more about Worn Again visit their website here

To find out more about Fashion for Good visit their website here

To watch IET TV – The 150 Show on Demand click here