Last week we launched Evo Fashion, our free five-month business support programme that will be running throughout 2024.
Taking place at The Trampery Fish Island Village, the event offered attendees the chance to hear from industry experts, learn more about the Evo Fashion programme and network with London’s sustainable fashion community over drinks and delicious canapés from Palm Greens.
Speaking to the crowd, Helen Lax, Director of Fashion District, said ‘We are looking forward to the next evolution of fashion and the power of fashion designers and fashion technology businesses who are thinking about embedding sustainability into all of their business practices.’
The programme, which is part of the Grow London Early Stage programme by London & Partners, and funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, is designed to help early stage fashion businesses drive growth and integrate sustainability into every aspect of their businesses.
Image credit: Christian Sinibaldi
Evo Fashion in Action
Kicking off the event, Safia Minney, Founder of Fashion Declares, took to the stage with Debbie Luffman, Director of Think Circular, and Ngoni Chikwenengere, Founder of We Are KIN, for the ‘Evo Fashion in Action’ conversation.
Giving context to the need for sustainable innovations, Safia spoke about fashion’s impact on climate ecosystems. ‘We all know that overconsumption is driving a desperate situation. Currently, five percent of greenhouse gas emissions are said to be produced by the fashion and textile industry. That’s set to increase to twenty-five percent by 2050. We can’t let that happen. Fashion needs to move now.’
Talking about the ethical and sustainable practices she uses in her clothing brand, We Are KIN, Ngoni Chikwenengere told the audience, ‘One of the first things I wrote down when writing my business plan was my mission statement: ‘people and planet over profit.’ That’s my ethos and it’s what the entire brand is built on.’ Since launching five years ago, Ngoni is still staying true to her brand’s message with all of her clothes being manufactured in East London. ‘I want to know exactly what’s going on so I often drop by the factory because I want to see the conditions people are working in. The people who work there are paid a living wage, they look happy and the environment is clean. In terms of the fabrics, the cotton, linen, and wool are all sourced in the UK. We also use deadstock fabrics.’
When asked for her tips on securing deadstock fabric, Ngoni said, ‘If you don’t ask, you don’t get. It’s important to talk to people and ask lots of questions.’
Debbie Luffman, Director of Think Circular, echoed the same sentiment. ‘To become fully sustainable as a brand you have to ask questions and refuse to settle for anything less.’
‘Change in our industry needs to be louder, because the larger organisations are listening – they really are well aware of the issues – but it can be harder for them to change. That’s why I say don’t rush to be a professional outfit too soon. This is your moment to get things right from the beginning stages of your brand and think about embedding sustainability into every aspect of your business, which many big brands are struggling with now.’
Afterwards the floor opened to questions, with one audience member asking whether consumers were ready for change. ‘Consumers are definitely ready,’ Ngoni said. ‘Shoppers love being at the forefront of innovation. If someone is offering you something new, shiny and sustainable or the same old thing, we all know we would choose the first option. Last November, I sold 800 units in one month, all made to order. The demand is there.’
Debbie said, ‘I think you have to think about the way you make your customer feel. I’m not sure if they care about fabric if I’m really honest with you, but how does it make them feel? Your job is storytelling. Tell the story. Where did it come from? What’s the provenance? What’s it going to do for them? That’s the narrative.’
Another audience member asked whether the panel thought there was competition between small sustainable fashion brands which creates contradiction when setting out to build a better planet. ‘If you share the same value models then you shouldn’t be in competition,’ Debbie answered. ‘In my opinion, IP doesn’t make sense anymore. We should have open source material that’s shared and serves each other. Different brand identities is the creative difference. I think we need to unpack the word ‘sustainable’ and have that open source collaborative mentality to break down those boundaries. You need to build opportunities where you both win.’
Introduction to Evo Fashion
Next up, Helen Lax took to the stage to present a comprehensive overview of the Evo Fashion programme. ‘There will be two programmes running throughout the year,’ explained Helen, ‘the first for fashion designers and the second for fashion technology businesses. Both are tailored to support innovation across the different subsectors of fashion.’
Designed to fit in with work commitments and delivered by experts, the programme will consist of a two-day intensive launchpad and four full-day masterclasses which will focus on different aspects of learning, including environmental and social governance, exploring new business models, production and innovation, sustainable growth and investment, finance and business planning, and founder wellbeing, leadership and impactful teams. Peppered in amongst the sessions and masterclasses, there will also be panels and talks, a 1-2-1 business diagnostic, three peer-to-peer learning workshops, a creative photoshoot, and the chance to present your brand at Fashion District’s Manufacturing Futures 2024 Industry Showcase to a room full of investors, brands, startups and innovators.
‘In terms of eligibility, you must be a registered business based in London. You must employ 2-5 people and you must have been trading for 18 months,’ said Helen. ‘We have to be able to tell from the application that you want to grow. By this I mean, growing to the scale that you want to grow to in the way that you want to grow. We want to see that you’ve got the ambition to make your business work and succeed sustainably and financially.’
With an incredible selection panel for the first cohort, including Vanessa Podmore, Founder of Podmore Consulting; Yvie Hutton, Director of Design Relations and Membership at the British Fashion Council; Charles Armstrong, CEO of The Trampery, and Helen Lax, Director of Fashion District, applications opened last Wednesday and will close at midnight on 8th January 2024.
Closing the event, Deborah Latouche, founder of luxury modest wear brand SABIRAH, joined Helen on stage to discuss her experience of our previous sustainable accelerator programme. ‘Despite being held during the pandemic, the programme was really great,’ said Deborah. ‘It solidified for me a lot of the things I was already thinking about. I had always questioned the wholesale model, and so after doing the course I knew it was right for my brand to continue being demi-couture – made to order, made to measure. The fabrics are also all predominately end of life too.’
Speaking about her experience with Vanessa Podmore, who will be one of the Evo Fashion mentors next year, Deborah said, ‘My 1-2-1 masterclass with Vanessa was mind-blowing. She has a world of knowledge and I definitely think the course is well worth applying for.’
Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Applications for Evo Fashion are now open!
Follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to keep up with future events and announcements!
All images by Christian Sinibaldi
The Fashion District Festival is making a highly anticipated return for its second iteration at Spitalfields from 11-16 July 2023.
Taking over the vibrant east London destination, the six-day festival will be a celebration of fashion, sustainability, innovation, and community. Featuring over 40 events, including pop-ups, swap shops, styling masterclasses, upcycling workshops, and interactive experiences, visitors will have the chance to explore, learn, create, and network with leading conscious brands and digital fashion businesses.
This year’s festival covers four themes — WATCH, SHOP, MAKE, and GROW.
The Fashion District Festival will kick off on Tuesday 11 July. As part of the WATCH programme, the launch show, curated by Lee Lapthorne from On|Off and AGRO Studio, will introduce some of London’s most promising emerging designers, combining physical and digital installations, to create a truly unforgettable experience. The week will see further digital showcases and styling events from charity partner Give Your Best.
The SHOP series will feature a collaborative retail pop-up located in a brand-new building at Number 1 Lamb St in Spitalfields – the first event to take place in the contemporary building designed by Foster + Partners. Featuring emerging and planet-positive designers and start-ups, the brands on show specialise in preloved, swapped, rented, and upcycled fashion, such as The Alterist, Loanhood, The Cirkel, Verte London, Circular Threads and The Seam.
The MAKE space offers a diverse program of interactive events and workshops for all ages, encouraging participants to explore sustainability and innovation in fashion via the three Rs: Repair, Reuse, and Recycle.
MAKE talks and workshops:
The GROW programme is dedicated to supporting fashion start-ups and SMEs through a series of roundtables, talks, and workshops that delve into the ideas and innovations driving change within the industry, including themes such as the circular economy, regenerative materials, digital fashion, design for the metaverse, early-stage investment and more.
GROW talks and workshops:
Jason Dervin, General Estate Manager at The Spitalfields Estate, says, “We are proud to host the ever-inspiring Fashion District Festival and donate four spaces for the events in our newly created units and basement studio space. Celebrating and supporting multiple sustainable start-ups, emerging talent and brands in this dynamic way sits perfectly alongside our existing retail and F&B operators, and we hope to see everyone at the Festival in Spitalfields this July.”Bookings are now open! Don’t miss your chance to secure a spot at each of the incredible events – click here to see the lineup so far. Stay tuned for more event announcements and exciting speakers coming soon!
Bookings are now open! Don’t miss your chance to secure a spot at each of the incredible events – click the button below to see the lineup so far.
Follow our socials to stay tuned for more event announcements and exciting speakers coming soon!
Last night we announced the winner of Design Futures 2022, supported by PANGAIA, at an Awards Supper at The Conduit in Covent Garden. Graysha Audren was announced as the winner for Weffan x Liquid Editions, a collaborative project that culminated in a 3D woven, low-waste outfit that combines two manufacturing steps into one, merging the weaving of the fabric with the creation of the garment.
The runners-up were Osmose Studio, creators of a new restorative and symbiotic clothing production model, where renewable fibres are combined with organic dyes, assisting the remediation of UK polluted land sites; and Nicci James, who uses the capabilities of wool combined with knitted structures to engineer strength into her garments without added interfacings, stabilisers, or linings, presenting a completely mono-material tailoring that is easier to reprocess.
Donated by PANGAIA, Weffan x Liquid Editions will receive a cash prize of £15,000, alongside ten consultancy hours with the brand, a new sewing machine from Anglo American Sewing Machines, one-year desk membership from The Trampery Fish Island Village, and a 12-month business membership from Common Objective, with global connections, premium intelligence, and courses in sustainable fashion and manufacturing.
The runners-up receive a cash prize of £5,000 each, donated by PANGAIA, and all three award winners will receive complementary professional membership of Business of Fashion.
Fashion District and London College of Fashion, UAL partnered with PANGAIA to call upon sustainably-driven designers and businesses to present new circular design solutions. Design Futures 2022 challenged designers to develop ways to help longevity, zero waste, designing with waste, material cyclability, and regeneration.
Craig Smith, Research and Development Director of PANGAIA, said:
“PANGAIA is delighted to support the Design Futures 2022 winning designers. In trying to find solutions to our industry’s challenges it’s important for us collaborate and connect with creatives at various stages of the commercialisation journey. The design futures prize is a great showcase of early stage approaches to circular design and each of the winners has the potential to make a real difference in the fashion industry with their innovations.”
Nine designers were shortlisted for their creativity, originality and circular design thinking, as well as the potential for their innovation to be marketed and scaled.
The winners were selected by our high-profile panel of leading sustainability and fashion experts: Craig Smith, PANGAIA; Shailja Dubé, Institute of Positive Fashion, British Fashion Council; Lee Lapthorne, On|Off; Catriona Woolner-Winders, Selfridges; Phoebe English, Designer; and Laetitia Forst, Centre for Circular Design.
Helen Lax, Director of Fashion District, said:
“Design Futures 2022 has demonstrated the extraordinary breadth of talent we have here in the UK. We have a real opportunity to use this momentum to advance the field of circular design, both within the industry and across other sectors, to help make a positive impact on the planet and change the fashion industry for good.”
Those shortlisted included:
Integrating traditional tailoring techniques with sonic welding and taping technologies Andrew created a lightweight garment that is mono-material, allowing it to be easily reprocessed at the end-of-life stage.
Reimagining British tailoring, Daniel Crabtree offers menswear staples built to endure and crafted from repurposed fabrics and materials to eliminate waste from development and production processes.
FibreLab assists fashion businesses to implement circular practices by shredding their unwanted textiles and developing innovative ways to use them. Their look explores sustainability through hyper-local sourcing, modularity, and design for disassembly.
Using knitted structures to engineer strength into the garment Nicci’s innovation uses the capabilities of wool without added interfacings, stabilisers, or linings, presenting a completely mono-material tailoring that is easier to reprocess.
Enabling made-to-order systems that tackle overproduction and overconsumption Savvas’ innovation reduces garment processes and speeds up manufacture by sealing garment edges, and eliminating excess finishes and fastenings.
Skins of Earth
Skins of Earth is a plant-based luxury handbag brand with sculptural designs from paleobiology. Made from natural rubber biomaterials that are grown as a live form using a low-energy incubation system designs can be biodegradable after their life cycle.
Y.A.N.G. (You Are the Next Generation)
Y.A.N.G. minimises waste through a method of garment reconstruction that allows retailers to efficiently reconstruct or redesign their excess stock. This will help them cut out waste, extend the life of their products, and introduce garment remaking techniques.
Shailja Dube, Institute of Positive Fashion Lead, British Fashion Council said:
“By disrupting the status quo and future-thinking the circular design needs of the industry, the designers have produced innovations that challenge mainstream fashion systems”.
PANGAIA is a direct-to-consumer materials science brand on a mission to save the environment. We are a global collective of one heart and many hands — scientists, technologists, designers — creating essential products from innovative and bio-engineered materials. We are starting a movement — Designing a better future.
To learn more, head to https://pangaia.com/
About The Trampery:
The Trampery is a purpose-led enterprise that provides workspaces and training for businesses; plus advisory services for governments and landowners.
Since 2015 The Trampery has been delivering dedicated support for the fashion sector. Initially through its renowned London Fields workspace, and more recently The Trampery Fish Island Village and Poplar Works, which offer a total of 70,000 square feet of dedicated space for start-up and scale-up fashion businesses with a state-of-the-art campus and mix of affordable workspaces, co-working, manufacturing and showcasing facilities.
Find out more at https://thetrampery.com/
About Anglo American Sewing Machines:
Anglo American Sewing Machines are a leading global supplier of industrial sewing machines, also supplying domestic sewing machines, and industrial ironing equipment. They also offer an exclusive service. Which includes maintenance, repairs, and a rental service for short to long term rentals. Based in East London they are a family business who have supplied the textile industry since 1960.
Check out their services at https://www.anglosewing.co.uk/
About Common Objective:
Common Objective (CO) is the global industry platform for sustainable fashion. CO’s 50,000+ members include representatives from luxury brands, global corporates and sustainability pioneers.
CO’s database of over 300 resources and tools supports fashion professionals to make sustainable and ethical choices easily, affordably, and with confidence. CO’s technology matches users with sustainable suppliers, intelligence, tools, and training to support best practice, and increases the profile of the most sustainable businesses, giving them more visibility, customers, and sales.
For more information, visit https://www.commonobjective.co/
Are you an innovative start-up, SME or entrepreneur? We have plenty of events and opportunities to support your business! Sign up to our newsletter or follow our social channels to keep up-to-date:
Last month we hosted The Backroom Pitch at the Hyatt Regency London Stratford to give ten startups the opportunity to pitch their businesses to a panel of investors, including VCs, angels, crowdfunding platforms and more, all interested in new sustainable solutions.
The diverse line-up of investors were looking for businesses focused on any part of the fashion value chain that could help the fashion industry become more circular, sustainable, and ethical. In between pitching, the ten businesses had the chance to network with other founders, innovators and entrepreneurs.
Watch the video below to find out more about the businesses and investors who took part.
Set up to support new startups, The Backroom Pitch gave the diverse array of businesses a unique chance to meet investors, share ideas, network, and learn about the current market. The ten fashion and fashion tech startups selected to pitch were:
Bundlee is the UK’s first rental subscription for baby and toddler clothes.
Unhidden is a socially responsible fashion brand for disabled and non-disabled people.
Humanity Centred Designs
Humanity Centred Designs is a material innovation hub that transforms textile waste from manufacturing factories into recycled materials.
Pattern Project is a South London micro-factory that makes local, Made-to-Order production more cost-effective.
Compare Ethics is an AI platform that enables companies to manage, verify and confidently communicate responsible business claims at scale.
Pip and Henry
Pip and Henry is a sustainable footwear brand producing stylish, high-quality shoes for children.
Astra is a virtual fashion experience where you can compete to win digital fashion NFTs.
SwatchEditor is a 3D visualisation browser-based tool that easily converts 2D images onto digital flowing fabric and 3D Assets.
SAGES makes high-quality natural dyes from food waste as an environmentally-friendly alternative to synthetic dyes used in the industry.
AMPHITEX is a 100% recyclable waterproof breathable textile developed for the sportswear and outdoor-wear industry as an alternative to Gore-Tex.
With thanks to all of the investors on our panel, including:
Dama Sathianathan, Bethnal Green Ventures
Leo Chandler, Nesta
Irene Maffini, Alma Angels / PDS Ventures
Aarthi Thangavel, TRUE
Shruti Iyengar, Sustainable Ventures
Diarra Smith, Investment Consultant
Sriya Sundaresan (Angel Investor)
Alex Shapiro, The Conduit Connect
Gabrielle Swycher, Redrice Ventures
Lilac Watt, Venrex
Agata Bendik, Plug and Play
Tim O’Callaghan, Crowdcube
Oliver Hammond, Fuel Ventures
Namratha Kothapalli, Speedinvest
Want to make moves toward your dream career? Sign up to the Fashion District newsletter to hear about our latest funding opportunities, or follow us on:
We are thrilled to announce that The Textiles Circularity Centre will be taking over The Lab E20 with the launch of The Regenerative Fashion Hub!
The Regenerative Fashion Hub is a 6-week exhibition showcase documenting the journey of biowaste – from source of waste to the consumption of apparel. Featuring research studies, seminars, and ‘open house’ sessions, the event breaks down academic research into sustainable textiles in a creative, accessible way to open up conversations with the public, industry, NGOs, and the government.
The UKRI Interdisciplinary Textiles Circularity Centre (TCC) – funded by the UK Research & Innovation National Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Research programme – is undertaking fundamental research into a circular textiles economy for the UK fashion industry. It is an academic consortium led by the Royal College of Art and includes Cranfield University, University of Cambridge, University of Leeds, University of Manchester, University College London, and University of York.
Research in the TCC will help them propose an alternative model for apparel-fashion that will reduce the consumption of materials resources and associated pollution, and grow wellbeing. The Regenerative Fashion Hub is a chance to engage with the public about their research and findings.
The showcase will be open to visitors to experience the journey of the biowaste resource flow and talk to the research team. There is no need to book, just turn up.
Location: The Lab E20, 3-4 East Park Walk, East Village, London, E20 1JB
If you’re passionate about sustainable textiles, then don’t miss out on this landmark showcase! For more information about the hub, head to the link below.
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Green Business Network: The Circular Economy
2nd November 2022 | 6pm-9pm
Orford House 73 Orford Road, London, E17 9QR
The Fashion District is delighted to announce that we have teamed up with the London Borough of Waltham Forest’s Green Business Network and Waltham Forest Fashion to host a free evening event on November 2nd, exploring conversations around the circular economy.
If you’re a business owner or entrepreneur, join us to learn more about circularity and how it can benefit your business while also helping to tackle global challenges like climate change, biodiversity loss, waste, and pollution.
Arranged in partnership with The Green Business Network – who provide opportunities for businesses to learn how they can improve their environmental performance – the evening will feature a series of presentations from guest speakers, roundtable discussions, and a drinks reception.
Check out our keynote speaker, Connor Hill, chatting through the details:
Guest speaker Connor Hill, founder of Inspire Circular, will present a keynote speech on the night. Connor has spent over ten years developing and delivering circular strategies at Adidas, John Lewis, and M&S. His pioneering projects include FUTURECRAFT.LOOP, the first fully circular trainer, and John Lewis BuyBack which helped inspire thousands of customers to combat clothing waste. Today, he advises brands and individuals on how they can accelerate their journeys toward circularity. Connor is currently the Programme Lead at the University of Cambridge for the Circular and Sustainability Strategies Executive Leadership Course.
Additionally, Carrie Davies, founder of One Essentials, will give a presentation about how she implements circularity in her business. One Essentials has become renowned for producing classic basics using only premium recycled, organic and non-toxic fabric and biodegradable elastic, all manufactured in ethical factories. Every item is designed with the end of life in mind with 1% of each sale donated to the Or Foundation.
The full agenda for the evening is as follows:
6.00pm: Arrival & drinks/nibbles available
6.30pm: Introduction and welcome
6.35pm: Keynote speech by Connor Hill from Inspire Circular
6.50pm: Presentation by Carrie Davies from One Essentials
7.15pm: Introduce provocations and kick-off roundtable discussion
7.20pm: Roundtable Discussion
8.00pm: Summarise and Wrap Up
Drinks and networking
EXCLUSIVE CONTENT: Key takeaways and actions from the evening will be summarised in a one-page digital resource that will be sent to all attendees after the event. Don’t miss out!
Keep up-to-date with news and opportunities to support your business by following us on our social channels, or why not sign up to our much-loved monthly newsletter?
As part of the final stages of the Design Futures 2022 challenge, our shortlisted designers had the privilege of presenting their innovations to industry experts at our ‘Critical Friends Day.’ The day provided the finalists with the rare opportunity to receive critical feedback from specialists in various sectors to ensure their design concept is foolproof ahead of their final presentation to the judges.
Each shortlisted designer had the opportunity to sit down with five different Critical Friends panels including: Business Planning, Marketing, Design Innovation, Production + Sourcing, and Use Phase + End of Life. The designers took the first few minutes to introduce and explain their concept in detail. Afterwards, the Critical Friends critiqued the proposed design innovation and gave feedback from the perspective of their specialist area.
This part of the challenge is designed specifically to support our shortlist in the lead up to the final presentations, where they will showcase their design innovation and pitch to win. To be in with the best chance of winning, the panels were aligned to the key points of the Design Futures criteria so that the designers could develop their propositions using constructive feedback.
The Critical Friends have been selected for their expertise and experience across specialist areas, ensuring that the designers get well-rounded feedback in each session.
Read on below to see the full list of experts that took part.
Alan Hunt – Head of Intellectual Property, Lewis Silkin
Tom Gaunt – Co-Founder of The Collective and Deputy Co-Head of Media and Entertainment Group, Lewis Silkin
Stuart Balmer – Principal of Financial Planning, Balmer Financial Planning
Sally Denton – Editor and Founder, HRE AFTA
Mafalda Oliveira – Business Engagement Lead, ReLondon
Emily Gordon-Smith – Content Director and Sustainability Lead, Stylus
Jen Charon – Co-Founder, LOANHOOD
Dagmar Grote – Partnership Manager, Fashion for Good
Marilyn Martinez – Project Manager, Ellen MacArthur Foundation
Chelsea Franklin – Senior Concept Designer, PANGAIA
PRODUCTION + SOURCING
Blake Sturgess – Senior Manager, Product Operations, PANGAIA
Andrew Yip – Head of Materials and Process Innovation, PANGAIA
Mikha Mekler – Lecturer in production manager, Ex-Head of Production at Raeburn
USE PHASE / END OF LIFE
Anastasia Grenkova – Sustainability Manager, Oxwash
Rory Hugill – Materials Impact Manager, PANGAIA
Layla Sargent – Founder and CEO, The Seam
We would like to extend our thanks and gratitude to all of the industry experts that provided invaluable feedback during the Critical Friends Day. We can’t wait to see the results at the final presentations in November.
Stay tuned for more Design Futures 2022 updates by following us on our social channels, or why not sign up to our much-loved monthly newsletter?
The Fashion District, in collaboration with London College of Fashion, UAL, is pleased to announce the shortlist of nine designers that could revolutionise the fashion industry.
Design Futures 2022 calls upon sustainably-driven designers and businesses to present new design solutions to prevent premature disposal, and extend the usage of products to help make a positive impact on the planet. It is focused on designers who are developing propositions for longevity, zero waste design, designing with waste, material cyclability, and regeneration.
Shortlisted designers are competing to win a cash prize of £15,000, donated by PANGAIA, one of the leading material science companies dedicated to tackling the climate crisis. The winner will also receive a development workshop with PANGAIA, plus ten consultancy hours with the company. The Trampery Fish Island Village will provide a one-year desk membership, alongside the Business of Fashion who is offering complementary professional membership, and Common Objective who will be providing a 12-month business membership with global connections, premium intelligence and training courses in sustainable fashion and manufacturing. The winner will also receive a brand new sewing machine from Anglo American Sewing Machines.
The shortlist was selected by our high-profile panel of leading sustainable and fashion experts: Craig Smith, Research and Development Director at PANGAIA; Shailja Dubé, Institute of Positive Fashion Lead, British Fashion Council; Sebastian Manes, Executive Director, Buying and Merchandising, Selfridges; Phoebe English, Designer; and Laetitia Frost, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Centre for Circular Design.
The 9 finalists are listed below:
Andrew Bell is a London-based designer whose design practice aims to change the future of tailoring. His innovation integrates traditional tailoring techniques with sonic welding and taping technologies in a bid to transform the tailoring process. The result is a lightweight garment that is mono-material in its fabrication, allowing it to be easily reprocessed at the end-of-life stage.
Reimagining British tailoring, Daniel Crabtree offers handcrafted menswear staples that are progressive and built to endure. Each shape is drawn and cut freehand, generating unexpected fits and proportions that playfully embody the awkwardness of youth. His look is crafted from repurposed fabrics and materials to eliminate waste from development and production processes.
FibreLab empowers fashion businesses to implement circular practices throughout their supply chain by shredding their unwanted textiles and developing innovative ways to use them. Their look was designed with circularity in mind and explores key sustainability themes including hyper-local sourcing, modularity, and design for disassembly.
Having completed an MA in Fashion Knitwear at the Royal College of Art, designer Nicci James works with a design method that harnesses wool’s durability by using knitted structures to engineer strength into the garment. Her innovation uses the capabilities of wool without added interfacings, stabilisers, or linings, presenting a completely mono-material example of tailoring that is easier to reprocess.
Osmose Studio is an interdisciplinary design studio focused on regenerative circularity and sustainability in fashion, accessories, and homeware. Their innovation offers a new restorative and symbiotic clothing production model, where renewable fibres are combined with organic dyes, assisting the remediation of UK polluted land sites.
Savvas Alexander is a designer and maker from Yorkshire whose design practice embodies the creation of meaningful clothing by enabling made-to-order systems that tackle overproduction and overconsumption. His innovation reduces garment processes and speeds up manufacture by sealing garment edges, and eliminating excess finishes and fastenings.
Skins of Earth
Plant-based luxury handbag brand Skins of Earth is on a mission to drive sustainable change. Paying homage to paleobiology, their designs evoke sculptural forms and are made entirely from natural rubber biomaterials that are grown as a live form using a low-energy incubation system; ensuring that all designs can be biodegradable after their life cycle.
WEFFAN x Liquid Editions
Weffan x Liquid Editions is a collaboration between 3D woven textile company Weffan and designer brand Liquid Editions. Together they have created a 3D woven, low-waste outfit that combines two manufacturing steps into one, merging the weaving of the fabric with the creation of the garment. This method considers the sustainability of everything in the production process and proposes a new way to decrease garment manufacture.
Y.A.N.G. (You Are the Next Generation)
Hailing from Chile, Y.A.N.G. has spent the last six years working as a designer and upcycler. Their innovation is a waste-minimising garment reconstruction method that will allow retailers to efficiently reconstruct or redesign their excess stock. This will ensure retailers cut out waste, extend the life of their products, and introduce garment remaking techniques.
Before pitching to the judges at an industry and investor supper in November 2022, the finalists will receive constructive feedback from high-level industry experts who will act as Critical Friends, in the areas of fashion design, business strategy, IP, production and circularity.
Helen Lax, Director, Fashion District said: “We are delighted to announce our shortlist of designers who have proposed nine innovations that could advance the field of circular design. This is our chance to work together, both within the industry and across other sectors, to bring circular design into public consciousness in a bid to tackle environmental issues and reshape the fashion industry.”
Follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to stay up-to-date with the latest Design Futures news.
Are you a maker with textile skills? Here’s your chance to develop your practice and produce a new work alongside internationally acclaimed artist, Lucy Orta.
Traces: Stories of Migration is a community art project exploring migration stories across East London, delivered in collaboration with Making for Change. Now, they’re looking for 25 textile practitioners to share stories, exchange craft skills and create textile artworks that will be showcased at several exhibitions from June 2023. The project draws from the migrant history of the East End Rag Trade to build on the sustainable fashion and textile practices burgeoning in the East End.
What you will do
Taking place at The Lab E20 every Wednesday from 9 November to 14 December, 6pm-8pm, the weekly workshops will be an inclusive, welcoming space to share personal stories and memories, learn new craft skills, and make textile artworks. Read on to find out what the workshops will entail.
Traces involves sharing family migration stories. You will have the chance to listen to members of the group tell their stories, and you can share yours if you want to. To help with this, you might like to bring a personal keepsake with you. A keepsake is a personal object that helps you remember your story.
During the workshops, you will turn your story into textile artwork called Story Cloths. The resulting artworks will convey the memories, histories, and heritage of communities living in East London. Artist and project lead Lucy Orta and the team will be on hand at all times to support you.
You will tell your story and create your Story Cloth using artistic processes and techniques including mind mapping, moodboards, block printing, stencil printing, embroidery, and appliqué. You will have the opportunity to develop existing skills or learn new practices to best represent your story.
Participants in the Traces project will be invited to a showcase on Thursday 15 December. This will give everyone the chance to share the work they’ve created, as well as the story that informed it. Lucy Orta will also present some of the work she has created in response to the stories and participants that have engaged with the project.
Where your work could be exhibited
The work made in the workshops will be displayed in public exhibitions at Nunnery Gallery, Bow; Fashion District Festival, Stratford, and London College of Fashion’s new gallery at East Bank next year.
What we’re after
If you’re an artist, textile practitioner, or a maker with textile skills and have first, second or third generation migrants with connections to East London, then the team would love to hear from you!
What to send
The simple application form will ask you to write about yourself and your eligibility for the programme. For example, tell us about your relationship to east London; what textile skills can you bring to the workshop; and what would it mean to you to take part in the project?
When to send it
Applications close on Friday 28 October. All applicants will be contacted on Wednesday 2 November.
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We’re delighted to announce that Fashion District is supporting The PDS Innovation Awards! Celebrating the ongoing partnership between Common Objective (CO) and PDS Limited, the awards offer early-stage businesses the opportunity to pitch in front of PDS investors.
PDS Limited is a leader in enabling the next generation of sustainable and scalable fashion tech start-ups. PDS Venture Tech, the venture arm of PDS Limited, has already invested in a raft of businesses – from Materra to Good on You, Unspun, and many more. Could you be their next investment? The PDS Innovation Awards is your opportunity to pitch to the PDS investment team, plus benefit from promotion to the 50k+ Common Objective fashion industry base.
For the purpose of the awards, the judging panel considers sustainability to encompass positive impact for people, as well as addressing environmental concerns.
By completing the application form below and creating a CO business profile, you enter the competition to win a chance to pitch in front of the PDS investment team. In this process, the CO team will pre-screen a shortlist of the most innovative and exciting start-ups. Out of these, PDS will select a few that will be invited to pitch. Judging these pitches, PDS will select a winner to be considered for investment or other support from PDS.
All shortlisted applicants will benefit from promotion across the CO platform. All applicants benefit from creating a free business profile on CO, and joining the global industry community dedicated to sustainability best practice.
For your business to be eligible for the awards, you must:
Judges will be looking for the following:
Innovation led business models
To finish your application, please complete the following 2 steps:
Applications can only be considered if both steps have been completed by the deadline: 30th June 2022.
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