Nationwide, the fashion design industry contributes £28 billion to the economy, with a growing workforce of nearly 900,000 – making it one of the largest creative industries in the country. Collaborative research and development by creative companies across the supply chain is fundamental to ensuring future growth.
The vision for Future Fashion Factory is to transform the UK industry’s capacity for new product innovation, and to reduce lead times and waste. This will be done through the convergence of new digital and textile technologies within the fashion design process.
Future Fashion Factory will explore and develop new digital and advanced textile technologies to boost the design of high value creative products, helping designers and manufacturers work
The project also aims to reinvigorate the hugely valuable industry on-shore capacity and agility in design and manufacture, developing technologies to increase productivity, shrink lead times, lower costs and reduce waste.
New fashion design programmes will also be created for undergraduate and postgraduate students and researchers at Leeds. Industrial apprenticeship programmes will aim to address a skills gap in the industry for designers who can combine creativity and craft, design, science
and technology skills.
The programme is led by the School of Design at the University of Leeds. Partners of the five-year project include the Royal College of Art, Burberry, the British Fashion Council, UKFT, Yorkshire Textiles, Wools of New Zealand, Abraham Moon & Sons, the Textile Centre of Excellence, and Camira Fabrics.