£2m Investment in UK Fashion and Textiles

More than £2 million investment has now been secured for innovation in the fashion and textile industry over Future Fashion Factory’s first three funding calls. 

Thirteen additional collaborative research and development (R&D) projects have been approved in the Programme’s third Innovation Funding Call, supporting independent designers, heritage Yorkshire mills and fashion tech companies. 

Each project addresses a challenge identified by industry partners from Future Fashion Factory’s community of over 270 fashion businesses and professionals, from new AR/VR/MR experiences of high value fashion and textiles to more sustainable materials and designs for outerwear and footwear.

Future Fashion Factory is part of the Creative Industries Clusters Programme, an £80 million initiative led by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), part of 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. 

Successful projects in this call include:

  • A new digital system for 3D-woven fashion design (Twelve Oaks Software
  • An AI-driven planning system for producing luxury fabrics (Abraham Moon & Sons
  • 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
  • A new advanced and circular material for watersports using nylon from waste garments whilst mitigating micro plastic leaching (RubyMoon Gym to Swim
  • A vegan, petroleum and freshwater-free alternative to down or polyester for insulated clothing (SaltyCo
  • Colour-based machine learning to create new pathways for designers seeking inspiration in visual databases (Visualist
  • Closed-loop manufacturing of customisable, sustainable, made-to-measure footwear (Vivobarefoot

The funding call built on the success of projects that were supported in Call 1 (announced in 2019) and Call 2 (announced earlier this year).

Professor Stephen Russell, Director of Future Fashion Factory, said: “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.”