Future Fashion Factory researches and develops advanced digital and textile technologies to transform the industry’s agility in the luxury fashion design process, and ability to shift to circular economies.

Our innovative design and manufacturing advances will address the need for increased competitiveness and productivity in luxury fashion designer products by:

  • Shortening product development cycles and lead times to increase agility.
  • Designing the right product, for the right customer at the right time, reducing waste.
  • Shifting from linear to circular economies, reducing waste costs and creating new business models.
  • Developing STEAM-based fashion designers capable of exploiting new textile and digital technologies as part of the creative design process

With a growing workforce approaching one million people, the UK’s fashion design industry contributes £32bn to the economy. As one of the most influential and creative hubs in the world, the UK fashion industry is an international leader in the design and manufacture of high value branded products, with retailers promoting British provenance, heritage and luxury.

The industry is changing rapidly: digitisation across the value chain is increasing, there is a proliferation of data, and an accelerated pace that pushes the limits from design to shelf – including increasing demands for personalisation of products. Direct-to-consumer engagement is also important for luxury brands, strategically focusing innovation in end-to-end customer service and experience. The capability to digitally connect with fashion consumers across the globe has never been greater. At the same time, consciousness is growing of issues surrounding the environmental sustainability of the fashion industry, particularly levels of waste.

Future Fashion Factory is an industry-led collaborative research programme linking the textile design and manufacturing centres within the Leeds City Region with the creative design and retail centre of London. It brings together expertise from ten core industry partners, with many more forming a wider network spanning design, manufacturing and retail in the UK. The Programme involves collaboration with the Universities of Leeds, Huddersfield and the Royal College of Art, as well as the Textile Centre of Excellence in Yorkshire.

Future Fashion Factory is part of the Creative Industries Cluster Programme, funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council and part of the Industrial Strategy.