UK fashion and textile businesses are gaining new access to innovation opportunities through the fast-growing network of Future Fashion Factory.
Future Fashion Factory started in October 2018 with just 10 core partners and three academic centres: the University of Leeds, University of Huddersfield, and Royal College of Art. Leeds City Council and Burberry were among the core partners.
Since then, businesses from young independent designers to major retailers have been keen to get involved, as well as technology and data companies supporting the fashion and textile industry.
Now the Programme has surpassed 100 members with the addition of Wyedean Weaving Co Ltd, the West Yorkshire mill which supplies uniform, accoutrements and braid to the UK Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces from its base in Haworth.
Among the recent additions to the Future Fashion Factory community are technology giant IBM, young design brand Cunnington & Sanderson, and Community Clothing, the social enterprise founded by Great British Sewing Bee judge Patrick Grant.
Professionals working across the industry are also welcome to become members, as are students and alumni of the three academic centres.
Future Fashion Factory Co-Director Suzy Shepherd, founder of Yorkshire Textiles, said:
“We’re thrilled with the extent of the support Future Fashion Factory has received across the industry, from independent designers to global brands and Yorkshire’s prestigious mills. Members of our community share a fantastic bank of knowledge, skills and creativity which is already enabling new collaborations and making a real difference to businesses.
“We remain committed to supporting innovation in the UK fashion and textiles industry and can’t wait to see where these new partnerships lead.”
Rosie Wright, Business Development Manager of the Programme’s 100th member Wyedean Weaving Co., said:
“We are delighted to be involved with Future Fashion Factory and glad to see so many other Yorkshire textile mills already involved. We are excited to see how we may be able to work together, or collaborate with others on new innovative projects.”
Future Fashion Factory is part of the Creative Industries Clusters Programme, an £80 million initiative led by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) as part of the Industrial Strategy. The Programme is led by the University of Leeds in partnership with the University of Huddersfield and Royal College of Art.
Members of Future Fashion Factory receive privileged access to the cutting-edge research being conducted at the three universities, as well as members-only events and networking opportunities, and eligibility to apply for collaborative R&D funding through our innovation funding calls.
The second funding call will open to expressions of interest on September 2.1 To find out more about Future Fashion Factory please visit www.futurefashionfactory.org.
For more information please contact Sarah Parkin, Future Fashion Factory Communications & Digital Engagement Officer:
Tel: +44 (113) 343-6934