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Hear the sounds of Leyton Green Studios by artist in residence Harriette Meynell

The Art for the Environment International Artist Residency Programme (AER) provides UAL graduates with the exceptional opportunity to explore concerns of the 21st century. One UAL student was selected to visit one of our partnering institutions; Waltham Forest.

Making for Change: Waltham Forest comprises a programme of community engagement, educational and design research activities grounded on the themes of makers, fellowships, and radicals, using fashion as catalyst for change in the borough, with long-term legacy.

In this report, Harriette Meynell at Central Saint Martins shares an soundscape and artist statement post residency:

Alterations Exhibition Audio Excerpt

Artist’s Statement

To conclude a six-week Arts in the Environment residency at Arbeit Studios I (re)constructed Leyton High Road – from the bus garage to the E10/E17 boundary with the Lea Bridge Road – within a site-specific sound installation that gathered together the voices of local shopkeepers.

Colour is associated with redevelopment and gentrification.  Paint has names such as Glass Houses and Royal Mews Gold.  A general painting-over occurs, with a pastel aesthetic.  The installation invited the viewer to listen, look and touch what is lost, perhaps, when this process happens.  The voices talk of community, the sad and funny times, and time spent in the immediate area where twenty pence fuses, henna trays and toy lions are on sale.

Scaffold is at the front line of the alterations.  When the tarpaulins come down a new and different façade comes into being.  The installation used scaffolding as the frame for the installation and brought the prospect of redevelopment into the Arbeit Studios themselves.  A physical embodiment of the changes happening to so many London high streets.

I would like to thank all the shopkeepers that contributed to the project and their generosity of time and openness to my questions.  I have laughed with, and cried at, some of the stories they shared. So thank-you Mohammad, Salma, May, Shabbir, Mohamed, Muhmmad, Vince, Gideon, Jordan, Danny and Serdar (for putting me in touch).  Thanks also to Waltham Forest Council and London College of Fashion for awarding me the residency and the opportunity to make work about the area.

Petit Pli is based in the Fashion District in one of the new studios at The Trampery Fish Island Village. Ryan has been chatting to businesses thinking of applying for the Forge Fashion business support programme in Waltham Forest about using tech innovation to create sustainability. An unfolding success, the company uses aero-space engineering and design to tackle sustainability and push circularity in the fashion industry. 

LEFT: A demonstration of Petit Pli’s patent pending technology
RIGHT: Ryan Mario Yasin – CEO & Founder of Petit Pli.

Petit Pli is a material innovation and Fash-Tech startup that creates clothes that grow together with children. Imperial College London and Royal College of Art graduate and trained Aeronautical Engineer Ryan Mario Yasin founded London-based Petit Pli in 2017, at the age of 23, while he was still a Global Innovation Design Student, with the vision of designing innovative & sustainable garments for our world’s most extreme athletes: children.

His inspiration came from deployable nano-structure from satellites he worked on at Imperial, as well as his new-born nephew Viggo.

Children are extreme users of fashion, growing through 7 discrete sizes of clothing in their first two years. The design opportunity envisioned by Ryan was to embed to children’s clothing a material that expands bi-directionally to fit little ones aged between 9 months and 4 years. Petit Pli’s rainproof machine washable designs reduce waste, costs & pollution in childrenswear on account of designs being able to grow through 7 discrete sizes, streamlining the manufacturing process.

Combining design and engineering, Petit Pli adopted human centred design principles to draw upon prior research knowledge gained by Ryan at Imperial College London into origami & deployable structures for small cubesat satellites. After much R&D and product testing, Petit Pli’s rainproof, windproof outerwear suits are now available to order. 

Petit Pli’s designs also work to reduce inefficiencies for retailers with respect to inventory size requirements and stock management efficiency. 40% of all e-commerce fashion is returned back to the retailer, the largest pain point being in size-discrepancies. Petit Pli aims to mitigate this inefficiency too to the benefit of retailers and the environment.

Petit Pli contributes to making the fashion industry circular and reduces waste by:

Petit Pli is partnered with UAL’s Centre for Fashion Enterprise Pioneer Programme, of which Bethany Williams is a member. Along with this, Petit Pli has won 11 awards which include Fast Company’s 100 World Changing Ideas, 2019 Red Dot Product Design Award, 2017 UK James Dyson Award and recently beat Google for the 2018 Dezeen Award for Best Wearable Design.

Petit Pli has been working with NB Studio in London to develop a well thought-through brand identity and reusable, recyclable and gamified packaging.

To celebrate the launch of Forge Fashion, the new business support programme in Waltham Forest, Ryan was interviewed by Sarah Thirtle from Creative United UK. You can hear Ryan’s approach to how he grew his innovative brand here.

Sustainability Facts

Social Media

Facebook: @petitpli

Instagram: @petit.pli | Ryan Mario Yasin: @ryanmarioyasin

Hashtags: #petitpli #clothesthatgrow

Visit & purchase:

For more information, please get in touch with the Petit Pli Press team at


Retail Futures: Critical Friends Development Session

As the next stage of the challenge, we invited our nine finalists to attend a critical friends development workshop where start-ups could recieve feedback on their business ahead of the finals on November 5th from some industry experts:

Briana Cross, Head of Marketing Operations (UK), Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield

Briana has worked within retail marketing for over 12 years and now leads Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield’s centre teams in the UK. With experience across both Australia and the UK, she brings knowledge of delivering strategic marketing plans across different markets. Through a deep understanding of the consumer, Briana has delivered marketing campaigns, events, new experiences and innovations to ensure our centres remain number one choice for customers and retailers.

Carolina Neri, Account Director, Brunswick Group

Carolina is a corporate and financial communication advisor specializing in the consumer and tech industries, with a strong focus on luxury retail and start-ups. Aside from her interest in these industries, at Brunswick Group, Carolina deals with reputation management and crisis communication for established and upcoming companies.

Francesca Baillieu, Commerical Analyst, True Capital

Francesca joined True, a retail and consumer innovation and investment firm, after gaining experience as an Investment Analyst at technology seed fund, Playfair Capital. Prior to this, Francesca spent two years working at ecommerce startup Evode Group as Project Coordinator. Francesca’s role at True is to identify innovative business to work with True’s corporate partners such as M&S, Abercrombie and Fitch, Morrisons, Shell and 7-Eleven (to name a few).

Katie Baron, Head of Retail,

Katie Baron is a journalist, author & futurist who specialises in defining and predicting the intersections between technology, pop culture and consumer behaviours. An inaugural member of London College of Fashion’s Digital Anthropology Laboratory think-tank, she’s currently Head of Retail – Trends, Insights & Innovations – at global futures agency Stylus, and contributes to Forbes on the topics of retail innovation and brand culture. She’s also authored two books on visual culture – Stylists: New Fashion Visionaries (2012) and Fashion + Music: Fashion Creatives Shaping Pop Culture (2016).

Lisa Chatterton, Business Manager, Fashion Innovation Agency

Lisa Chatterton works at the Fashion Innovation Agency, at London College of Fashion. Here she establishes collaborations between the worlds of fashion and technology. Lisa implements innovative projects that use emerging technologies to accelerate the pace of change in the fashion industry.  Lisa has a wealth of fashion retail experience from her career in merchandising, which provides real insight into how new technologies might be applied within fashion businesses. Lisa has worked with major brands including Microsoft, Disney, Unilever and Arcadia Group, alongside designers such as Preen, JW Anderson, Steven Tai and Phoebe English. She has delivered a range of projects that include bringing Mixed Reality to London Fashion Week, using artificial intelligence to predict fashion styles and a project that Forbes described as “the first example of truly beautiful wearable tech”.

Kiara Alves-Walters, Senior Strategy Analyst, Farfetch

Kiara Alves Walters is a Senior Analyst in the Strategy & Innovation team at Farfetch, where she specialises in delivering strategic cross-functional initiatives with a focus on luxury fashion, retail and brand building. Before Farfetch, Kiara spent 4 years as a management consultant at PwC, working on a range of client engagements from global transformation projects to M&A advisory. Kiara is currently a mentor for the Farfetch Dream Assembly accelerator programme, and co-creator of the Farfetch X #FASHHACK panel events that aim to explore market trends in an open forum with the wider Fashion Tech ecosystem.

Mark Sims, Senior Development Manager, Customer Experience, John Lewis & Partners

Mark is responsible for developing John Lewis & Partners future store blueprint – what the physical experience of John Lewis will be in 2030.  He is working with teams across the business to identify what customers will want in the future and develop the capability to meet those future needs.  He has experience of developing new formats and improvements to the customer experience across Grocery, DIY and Telco retailers.  His passion is for finding ways to reduce operational costs and improve customer experience with changes to the operating model.

Marina Atarova, Dream Assembly Accelerator Lead, Farfetch & Fash-Hack Founder

Marina is an entrepreneur and mentor with over 7 years of experience working with early stage tech startups and investors. As a partner in several projects, Marina has been involved in running marketing campaigns, events, workshops and hackathons and created a network of tech investors, looking to back up early stage tech superstars. Marina also has the #Fashhack tech community for fashion and retail brands, startups and investors looking to disrupt Fashion Industry.

Centre For Sustainable Fashion Better Lives Lecture Series

30 October 2019, 6 – 9pm

The second event in the 2019 Better Lives Series, Centre for Sustainable Fashion will ask: How can micro and small fashion businesses contribute to better lives and more sustainable futures?

Micro and small businesses stand at the forefront of innovation towards sustainability. Join us to meet some pioneering businesses doing things differently across the fashion sector. The panel discussion is led by Professor Sandy Black from Centre for Sustainable Fashion.

Professor Dilys Williams, Director of Centre for Sustainable Fashion will also introduce the Centre’s AHRC funded project Fostering Sustainable Practices which aims to support designer-entrepreneurs in their transition to more sustainable practices.

You will also meet our project partners from Middlesex University and The Open University and have an opportunity to network with other micro and small fashion businesses. Drinks and networking from 8pm.

Address Town Hall Hotel & Apartments
8 Patriot Square
E2 9NF

Hosted by Professor Sandy Black and Professor Dilys Williams of Centre for Sustainable Fashion, UAL

Panel presentations, discussion and Q&A Professor Sandy Black in discussion with Raeburn director Graeme Raeburn, Patternity co-founder Anna Murray, Cute Circuit co-founder Francesca Rosella, Sabinna creative director Sabinna Rachimova, Riz Boardshorts founder Riz Smith, and creative innovator Martine Jarlgaard

London Fashion Fund Opens To Applications

The London Fashion Fund is now OPEN for applications from 30th July to November 5th 2019.

Round 1:
Closing date: August 15th 2019
Selection panel shortlisting 22nd August 2019
Investment Committee 3rd September 2019

Round 2 :
Closing date 5th November 2019
Selection panel shortlisting 12th November 2019
Investment Committee 10th December 2019

First send an expression of interest to register yourselves on our database to:

This will briefly clarify (no more that one side A4) who you are, what your business does, are you solving a problem, team, market , revenues and strategy for investment . 

Then, provided you meet our criteria, published on our downloadable FAQ sheet, we will send you an application form. You will send your completed application form to :

Please note you must be  company registered in UK and be trading already. 

APPLY: DeFINE Retail-Tech 2 Day Bootcamp – June 5th & 6th

DeFINE (Developing a Fashion-tech Innovation Network for Europe) is a three year collaborative project co-funded by the European Commission’s COSME programme which aims to support the fusion of cutting-edge technologies and innovation with the European fashion and design industries.

London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London is one of ten European consortium partners working to build a network of fashion, technology, business and investment community across Europe.

As part of the DeFINE events series, London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London and Fashion District will be leading the London Bootcamp that is taking place Wednesday 5th – Thursday 6th June 2019 in Stratford.

If you are a start-up or SME, the London Bootcamp is a fantastic opportunity to meet with industry experts to vet your business idea. Through a series of inspirational talks, engaging workshops and business tools – you will come away feeling confident about your business idea. Our mentors will be joining the bootcamp to provide one-to-one support on topics such as ideation, marketing and investment readiness. While networking with peers, discover top tips on how to apply for the 8-month Mentoring Programme.

Applications are now closed.

Visit the DeFINE website for more information on events, networking and mentoring programme.

#DeFINE #FashionTech