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Traces: Stories of Migration Workshops for Textile Practitioners

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. 

Sharing Stories
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. 

Story Cloths
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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Fashion Circle: Sustainably Made

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

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

Image courtesy of Gung Ho

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

Image courtesy of Fanfare Label

The Agenda:

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

About the Panel:

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

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

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

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

Fashion District & The Trampery present: Fashion Circle

Join us at our new event series for fashion businesses. Launched as part of a day of events to celebrate Poplar Works’ 1st Birthday, we will be kicking off the series with ‘REMODEL AND REPAIR’ to explore the growing interest in creating a ‘KEEP IT CULTURE’.

Two fashion tech start-ups driving forward the ‘Keep It Culture’ will fuel our discussion. We will be joined by Nina Van Volkinburg, CEO and Co-Founder of RETURE, a digital platform that connects users with a network of sustainably driven fashion designers to upcycle underused garments. Nina will be accompanied by Poplar Works based designer, Joao Maraschin, who has also completed The Trampery’s Sustainable Fashion Accelerator. They will discuss the benefits of upcycling as a means to extending the life of clothes whilst supporting independent creatives, and the importance of valuing the garments we already own.

Josephine Philips, the Founder of Sojo App, which aims to take away the hassle of repairing your clothes by providing an easy and effortless alteration service, will share insights into how research has sculpted their business journey, and their strategies for growth in a changing fashion landscape.

The Agenda:

About the Panel:

NINA VAN VOLKINBURG is the CEO and Co-Founder of RETURE, the world’s first upcycling marketplace dedicated to premium fashion. The platform connects customers to a global network of world class and emerging fashion designers to upcycle their underused garments into unique fashion pieces; giving old clothes a new lease on life. RETURE’s mission is to make upcycling the most desirable choice for modern-day fashion consumption. The platform aims to preserve craft in the digital age; extend the life of garments; and rediscover our local communities.

JOAO MARASCHIN is a London-based Brazilian designer who launched his eponymous brand, following graduation from the MA Fashion Womenswear at London College of Fashion. Through many collaborations with artisans in underserved conditions, the brand gives renewed value to their practices and helps them protect their communities. By working only with recycled or organic materials, the brand is as aware of its environmental impact as possible. Maraschin was recently shortlisted for the Drapers Sustainability Awards 2021 and awarded a residency at Thread Senegal by the Anni and Josef Albers Foundation.

JOSEPHINE PHILIPS is the Founder of Sojo, a fashion-tech business that is working to make the fashion industry more circular by making clothing alterations and repairs an easy and hassle-free process. It does this by connecting customers to local seamster businesses through an app and bicycle delivery service so that people can get their clothes fixed, with a few simple clicks.

Celebrate with Poplar Works

POPLAR WORKS, a home for anyone working or training in fashion and making, is celebrating its first birthday with a series of online events to mark its impact since launching at the start of the covid-19 pandemic. Discover the full birthday programme running from 27 February to 16 March.

Apply to MATCHES FASHION’s New Internship Programme!

Are you looking for a chance to give your career a new direction in 2021?

This year, MATCHESFASHION have begun their 4th cohort of their Internship programme – but with a twist. It is now open to everyone, not just students looking for a sandwich year placement. Regardless of your educational background or previous work experience, they are looking for the most committed and passionate individuals to join their team from July 2021.

As an Intern at MATCHESFASHION, you will be an integral member of your department, gaining rich hands- on experience with your own remit and daily responsibilities.

MATCHES are offering 12-month paid internships in 9 different departments, to help young people from varing backgrounds to break into the fashion industry. Those departments are:

So, whoever you are, and whatever your stage in life, education and career – if you can demonstrate passion, curiosity and a great deal of motivation, MATCHES look forward to hearing from you. Submit your application, including your complete open brief and CV, by Friday 12th February.

Check out for more info!

The Trampery’s Sustainable Fashion Accelerator Launches!

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

Charles Armstrong, Founder and CEO of The Trampery said

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

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

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

Deputy Mayor for Culture and the Creative Industries, Justine Simons OBE, said:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

APPLY NOW: DeFINE Fashion-Tech Mentoring Programme

DeFINE is thrilled to announce the launch of applications for the 8 month Mentoring Programme, designed for fashion-tech start-ups and SMEs.

We are focused on helping you develop your innovative ideas and improve your innovation management practices. We will provide you with 80 hours of mentoring support, to guide you through the innovation process. By the end of the mentoring programme, you should have a prototype or proof of concept of a new product, process or new business model.

Deadline: 15th August, 2019

EVENT: Eastworks Fashion Shared Internship Programme

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

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

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

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

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

Please RSVP through Eventbrite.

See you there!