We reflect on the past 6 months of programming at The Lab E20, ahead of the next season of activity.
Since March we’ve been curating The Lab E20’s cultural programme with a focus on sustainability, community and creativity. From summer schools and fashion shows to knitting clubs and panel talks, we’ve hosted a range of exciting events at the expansive Stratford space designed by Christopher Raeburn and owned by Get Living – and we have a lot more planned for the next few months! Read on below to find out some of our event highlights so far and stay tuned to find out what we have coming up for the rest of the year.
Fashion District: Investment Event Series
Our first ever investment series took place over a single day and featured pitching workshops, 1:1 investment clinics with experts, and a Pitcha Kucha Investment Evening where we spotlighted 8 fashion startups and offered them the chance to pitch to a panel of investors and industry experts. The events gave attendees the chance to upgrade their pitching skills, partake in workshops and get business advice and guidance from experts in communication, investment and innovation.
LOANHOOD preview party and pop-up
LOANHOOD kicked off their weekend-long pop-up with a preview party in collaboration with Project ReGo’s exhibition launch (more details below). With over 150 attendees on the night, including designers featured on LOANHOOD’s platform, as well as their members, the event featured an inspiring panel discussion and a DJ to really get the party started. Over the course of the weekend LOANHOOD also organised an upcycling workshop with Saint Muze and a crochet workshop with Crochet Cookey.
Project ReGo Exhibition
Supported by Foundation for Future London and London College of Fashion, ReGo: Our Story in the Making examined how fashion activism can lead to positive social change. Showcased in the exhibition were 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 items on display were 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.
During the course of the exhibition, Michelle-Lowe Holder and The Reclaimery ran several workshops teaching participants practical skills on how to upcycle their wardrobes.
Design Futures 2022 Launch
We celebrated the launch of our innovation challenge Design Futures 2022 at a special evening event in May. The launch night 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), designer Phoebe English, and fashion journalist Sarah Mower, about the challenge.
Kicking off the event was our keynote speaker Marilyn Martinez from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation who spoke in detail about designing for circularity, followed by the judges who took it in turns to offer advice on applying and shared their thoughts on what they were looking for in terms of submissions, before answering audience questions. Afterwards, guests stuck around to have a drink, feast on canapes and network.
Anciela ‘El Viaje’ Exhibition
Commissioned by the Colombian ambassador, Mr. Alvaro Gomez Jaramillo, London-based womenswear brand Anciela hosted her first solo exhibition ‘El Viaje.’ Celebrating Colombian folklore, the exhibition explored the relationship between cultural heritage, memories and sustainability. At the launch the Colombian ambassador gave a speech, before an informative talk took place between Jennifer Droguett (ANCIELA) and Liliana Sanguino Ramirez, followed by networking and drinks, with music from DJ Bushbby.
Colèchi’s You Can Knit With Us
Touted as the coolest knitting club in London, You Can Knit With Us, run by fashion research and co-learning agency Colèchi, takes place at The Lab E20 every last Sunday of the month. Having set up the club to democratise fashion and destigmatise knitting culture, YKNWU has invited several knit specialists including Loupy Studio and Restoration London to come along and teach skills to attendees, as well as running a one-off paint party / upcycling workshop with Freaky Upcycle. YKNWU will continue to run on the last Sunday of every month.
Green Kids Studio
In June, we hosted our very own Green Kids Studio: a sustainable children’s fashion pop-up that ran over an entire weekend. Demonstrating ways that parents and families can engage with sustainable fashion, attendees checked out functional, fun and environmentally friendly products from leading kidswear brands including Bundlee, dotte, VANDALKIDS, Petit Pli, Pip & Henry, Boy Wonder, By Kala x and Zupcycled. Verte London also ran a children’s clothes swap which offered a great opportunity to buy second hand clothing for children and swap out old clothes at the same time. Throughout the weekend we hosted a range of playful activities for little eco warriors to get involved in, including Pip & Henry’s Bug hunt – a unique storytelling activity; workshops by Art Play London, and drop-in craft sessions run by Community Couture.
SOBOYE Fashion Show
Renowned for their beautiful, handcrafted clothes which champion the African diaspora, SOBOYE’s fashion show and pop-up showcased their latest collection, Lagos 54. Paying homage to the iconic 70s nightclub Studio 54 and the vibrancy of Nigeria, guests got an exclusive preview of the collection, as well as the chance to purchase the pieces on display and meet the designer behind the brand. Marking SOBOYE’s first solo show, the event, which was in collaboration with The Company at Winchester School of Art, was a tremendous success with around 100 people in attendance.
Fashion District would like to say a huge thank you to all the businesses who have taken part in our programme of events to date, including:
Art Play London
By Kala X
Catalyst in Communities
Centre for Sustainable Fashion
Here Us Collective
London College of Fashion
Michelle Lowe Holder
Pip & Henry
Reform The Funk
Sisters in Sustainability
Torro Latino UK
Follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter and keep your eyes peeled for more exciting news on the upcoming programme at The Lab E20.
Waltham Forest Fashion has worked in close collaboration with Fashion District and local design studio, Egg, to create a new brand identity that reflects their unique network of strong sustainable fashion businesses.
From long established businesses that have grown up and worked in the area, to a new wave of local fashion pioneers, there’s a new generation of changemakers on the rise. All share a common entrepreneurial spirit, community driven ethos and a vision to transform the way we produce and consume clothing, and manage its impact – both on society and the environment. With the help of Egg, we’ve created a vibrant and exciting platform to portray that message.
Egg’s research into the borough’s art and design heritage and conversations with local fashion businesses unearthed a rich and creative story. They listened to a diversity of voices and explored the functional aspect of fashion, it’s creativity, as well as current marketing trends. The result takes inspiration from Waltham Forest’s cultural heritage, the Arts & Crafts Movement, and brings it into a more contemporary space, creating a fusion between history and evolution.
With an increasing focus on sustainability, Egg also wanted to look at how clothes are made, worn, washed, and looked after long-term and were inspired by the graphic symbols found in our simple everyday washing labels. As they transformed them into a series of repeat patterns they became reminiscent of the floral print designs associated with William Morris and the arts and crafts movement. A combination of the current and the past.
The colour palette is inspired by the diverse people and places of the borough with names linked to well-known locations in Waltham Forest:
For the main logo, Egg used a combination of fonts fused together mixing decorative with instructive. Acumin, the sans serif font has a balanced, clear and rational quality, and Kaftan Serif, a highly elaborate font full of lovely idiosyncrasies pays tribute to the design heritage of Waltham Forest.
Egg’s design story for Waltham Forest Fashion embodies both the functional and self-expressive side to our fashion community. There are endless combinations of background colours and graphics to showcase businesses in their very best light. A timeless, flexible identity that can shift, bend and grow side by side with the Waltham Forest Fashion community. We hope you love it as much as we do.
Investment Pitcha Kucha
The Lab E20, East Village
Thursday 7 April
18:00 – 20:00
UPDATE: Please note that expressions of interest are now closed for this event.
Are you an emergent fashion business looking to raise capital? Want to receive expert feedback on your business innovation? Express your interest to participate in Fashion District’s upcoming investment events.
Fashion District is hosting an Investment Pitcha Kucha at The Lab E20, East Village, on Thursday 7th April from 18:00 – 20:00, where selected businesses will present to a panel of investors and industry innovators, who will provide friendly, quick-fire feedback. The Pecha Kucha style format means that each business will have 3-4 minutes to pitch to an audience and the panel, with the equivalent time for feedback.
Expressions of interest are open to start-ups who are looking to raise capital of up to £25k, and whilst this is not available on the night, we hope the exposure and networks will help you on your way.
The panel are all interested in new sustainable solutions that tackle the critical issues of the fashion industry. Joining us will be:
Your business may be targeted towards any part of the fashion chain; retail tech, manufacturing tech, materials innovation or perhaps experiential / digital technologies. If your solution aims to innovate the fashion industry, to help it become more circular, more sustainable, more ethical, we would love to hear from you.
If you are interested in pitching at the Investment Pitcha Kucha, please complete the Expression of Interest form by midnight on Monday 21st March.
Jonathan Chippindale, Chairman of London Fashion Fund + Chief Executive of Holition
Formed as a venture start-up a decade ago to explore and expand the role of technological innovation, Holition is a synthesis of mathematicians, scientists and technologists, artists and psychologists, retail specialists and cutting-edge leaders in innovative thinking.
Jonathan is External Industry Advisor at Central St Martins, a founding member of the London College of Fashion Digital Think Tank and advisor to the University of Cambridge Digital Compass Group. He is Chairman of the London Fashion Fund, which is a sustainable fashion accelerator supported by the Mayor of London, as well as a Digital Advisor to the British Fashion Council and Innovation Advisor to Tate.
Jonathan is a Visiting Professor and holds an Honorary Doctorate from University of Arts London.
Shanaya Curtis, Senior Equity Fundraising Manager at Crowdcube
Shanaya’s role is primarily focused on sourcing and building relationships with Europe’s leading private companies, advising start-ups and scale-ups on sources of investment and their ability to crowdfund.
Abi Mohamed, Libra Programme Lead at Tech Nation
Abi leads on The Libra Programme – the newest growth programme for early-stage underrepresented founders scaling in the UK. In addition, she co-founded Community Growth Venture angel firm based in the UK and was previously a software engineer.
Tech Nation is the leading growth platform for UK tech scaleups, fuelling the growth of game-changing founders, leaders, and scaling companies so they can positively transform societies and economies. Tech Nation provides them with the coaching, content, and community they need for their journey in designing the future. Tech Nation has years of experience facilitating and helping UK tech companies scale, both at home and abroad. Over 30 cohorts and 900 companies have successfully graduated from Tech Nation’s growth programmes, with alumni including Skyscanner, Darktrace, and Monzo, as well as 3 of the UK’s 7 new ‘decacorns’; Revolut, Wise, and Farfetch.
Mandy Nyarko, Angel Investor and Venture Partner at Ada Ventures
Mandy is the Co-Founder of innovation consultancy Startup Discovery School who have designed incubators, accelerators and open innovation programmes for public and private organisations in the U.K that are focused on building sustainability startups.
Mandy is also an angel investor and venture partner at Ada ventures, a 50M VC fund focusing on investing in overlooked founders. She is also an advisor on the SME action board to the UK Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
Alexander Shapiro, Investment Manager at The Conduit Connect
Prior to Conduit Connect, Alex worked for boutique consultancy firm PlusValue, advising clients in the public sector on strategies to encourage and nurture impact focussed businesses, and those in the private sector on how to create effective impact strategies. Amongst other projects he led a 12 partner EU funded research project into the power of the maker movement to drive innovation in the manufacturing sector in Europe, and worked with the Turkish Government, UN and Gates foundation to design an impact focused accelerator programme in Istanbul.
Prior to PlusValue, Alex spent 4 years at RBS, working in project finance, and convertible bond origination. Alex holds a BSc in Economics from the University of Nottingham, and an MSc in Development Economics from the London School of Economics.
Hannah Williamson, Investment Manager at Edge VC
As an Investment Manager, Hannah focuses on deal flow generation and execution, particularly focusing on retail tech and content businesses.
Prior to Edge, Hannah worked at the online retailer ASOS for 3 years, within the operational side of the business. Hannah holds a first-class honours degree in Fashion and Textile Management from Nottingham Trent University.
Fashion District are collaborating with Seekd on an exciting new pop-up at The Lab E20 – Get Living’s new flagship destination in East Village.
Fashion District has joined forces with Get Living to develop a programme of events focusing on sustainable living at The Lab E20, East Village. Kicking off in March 2022, The Lab E20 will host an experiential pop-up with sustainable jewellery marketplace, Seekd.
From 11th – 13th March, Londoners will be able to browse eco-conscious jewellery designers and wellness products from planet positive brands. With Mother’s Day and Easter fast approaching, this will be the perfect opportunity to buy treasured jewels or a special self-care gift for your loved ones. There will be a line-up of local designer-makers, including Maalo Jewellery, All Its Forms and Pikaya Jewellery, with plenty more to be explored on the day.
Seekd will also be offering the chance to indulge your creative senses and practice wellness through craft workshops. Immerse yourself into the world of jewellery with Maalo Jewellery, and learn how to make your own beaded necklace! This simple activity opens up a world of creativity for all ages as you start to explore design, colour, and stones. Learn more and sign up here: Necklace Workshop with Maalo Jewellery
Looking for a relaxing way to spend your Saturday afternoon? Join Canvas & Cake Club for a fully guided canvas painting workshop, while enjoying a glass of bubbly and a delicious cupcake! This 40 minute creative session, hosted by a professional artist, will tap into your inner Monet while giving you an overwhelming sense of calm. Find out more and book here: Mini Canvas Painting Workshop
Be sure to pencil this pop-up into your diary and come along to discover the latest in sustainable jewellery and wellness!
Friday 11th + Saturday 12th, 10:00 – 17:00
Sunday 13th, 11:00 – 16:00
Located at 3-4 East Park Walk, The Lab E20 has been designed and produced by Christopher Raeburn, founder of RÆBURN, with a focus on positive fashion and sustainable living.