Future Fashion Factory secures over £2m investment for textile innovation

Nearshoring benefits for professional clothing

The Future Fashion Factory has secured over £2 million in investment dedicated to continuing innovation and originality in the fashion and textile industry. 

Its first three funding calls were successful in garnering the approval of thirteen additional collaborative research and development (R7D) projects, which invite independent designers, heritage Yorkshire mills, and fashion tech companies to inspire inventive ideas in fashion and textiles. 

Future Fashion Factory’s projects seek to address challenges identified by industry partners and experts from within its community of over 270 fashion businesses and professionals. 

Wide in scope, these cover new AR/VR experiences of high-value fashion and textiles, as well as innovation in sustainable materials and designs for outerwear and footwear. 

The Future Fashion Factory is part of the Creative Industries Clusters Programme, an £80 million initiative pioneered by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), embedded into UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). 

The Programme is led by the University of Leeds, in partnership with the University of Huddersfield and Royal College of Art. The Chair of the Project is CEO of UKFT, Adam Mansell.

Previous successful projects in this call have included:

  • A new digital system for 3D-woven fashion design (Twelve Oaks Software)
  • An AI-driven planning system for producing luxury fabrics (Abraham Moon & Son)
  • Customisable, comfortable and effective British wool face coverings with defined filter performance (British Wool)
  • Digital technologies for lead-time and waste reduction in the colouration of luxury fabrics (DP Dyers)
  • A radical approach to more sustainable cotton production (hydroCotton)
  • High-quality virtual garment simulation from blockbuster movies to digital fashion (Numerion Software)
  • A sustainable coloration system to reduce the environmental impact of adding colour and pattern to fashion products (Rose Danford-Philips)

Professor Stephen Russell, Director of Future Fashion Factory, added: “This year has presented a unique set of challenges for the fashion and textile industry, requiring a raft of new solutions while accelerating changes that were already underway, not least digitalisation.

We had a fantastic response to this funding call, which shows the appetite for innovation among UK businesses. By supporting these exciting projects, we want to pave the way for continued growth and resilience in the UK’s world-renowned luxury fashion industry.”

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