Innovation Challenges & Research

At present, development of high value luxury fashion products is a lengthy creative process that can take months of design time and extensive physical sampling by multiple members of the national and international fashion supply chain before product designs can be finalised. As well as the negative impacts on lead times and agility, the existing creative design process incurs substantial costs in terms of labour, manufacturing resource and wastage of high value textile materials.

The design, manufacture and consumption of fashion is associated with significant textile waste and associated environmental impacts and new approaches are required to minimise wastage by ‘right first time’ design and recycling technologies that can be cost-effectively deployed in an industrial setting to create high margin products.

To sustain long-term development, there is an unmet need for a new generation of STEAM-based designers to creatively shape emerging technologies and to cost-effectively speed up the creative product design process, reducing the impact of waste and accelerating new product innovation.

Flagship Innovation Challenges

Our Centre focuses on two flagship innovation challenges, split into smaller projects which address key challenges facing the UK’s luxury fashion design and manufacturing industry. Planned activities are focused around the delivery of tightly-defined industry-defined collaborative R&D projects purposely designed by the industrial partners to ensure resource is focused on challenging innovations that can be practically implemented by cluster companies within a foreseeable timeframe, maximising commercial impact.

Innovation Challenge 1: Digitally Connected & Sustainable Processes

The purpose is to deliver creative, cost-effective approaches for designing luxury customised products with shorter lead times, and circular economies that creatively harness innovative manufacturing technologies to reduce waste.

Innovation Challenge 2: Immersive Digital Communication and Data Analytics

The purpose is to deliver unrivalled speed and agility in development of luxury fashion products, by improving digital communication of aesthetics and exploitation of digital forecasting tools and artificial intelligence during the fashion design process, for luxury high value products.