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£2.8 million awarded to British textile SMEs for sustainable innovation

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Following an initial £1.2 million investment in 2020 to 10 of the UK’s leading Small to Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the fashion and textiles industry, a further £1.1 million funding has been announced for thirteen pioneering businesses that place sustainability, innovation and social purpose at the heart of their business model.

This new award brings the total investment by BFTT – including this R&D Programme, and collaborative research funding of £500,000 across three additional BFTT projects – to approximately £2.8 million across 35 SMEs, with the creation of at least 20 new jobs.  

These SMEs cover a range of subsectors and R&D areas including; surface finishing processes and natural dyeing, embedded use of traceable raw materials, high-value recycling of fashion and textile industry waste, sensing technologies for healthcare, bio-materials, non-woven textiles, on-shoring of state-of-the-art manufacturing, novel digital solutions and sustainable chemical treatments of fabrics.  

In the second and third round of the BFTT SME R&D Programme awards are made to:

  1. Dash and Miller with Jessica Garvey Birch 
  2. Grady and Robinson  with  Phoebe English 
  3. iinouiio
  4. Keracol  with  Bulmer and Lumb 
  5. Kirsty McDougall
  6. Nurvv
  7. PlanetCare
  8. Project Plan B
  9. Virustatic
  10. William Clark

The projects will focus on specific R&D challenges and will launch in Autumn 2021 for twelve to fifteen months. 

Nikki Matthews, BFTT’s Creative R&D Programme Manager, said:

“We are delighted to have 13 fantastic companies joining us in this R&D Programme. It will provide participants with multi-disciplinary and multi sector expertise, to accelerate the innovation of sustainable business models, processes and products. From the Programme’s first cohort funded in 2020, we have seen how SME’s can be incredibly agile and creative, and the real difference that focused R&D can make to the businesses we work with.“ 

Image: Northern Ireland’s linen mill and finisher of fabrics © William Clark and Sons

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