About

The 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

The UK’s fashion design industry contributes £28bn (£50bn including indirect contributions) to the economy with a growing workforce approaching one million people. As one of the most influential and creative hubs in the world, the UK fashion industry takes a leadership position internationally in the design and manufacture of high value branded products, with retailers promoting British provenance, heritage and luxury. Digitisation across the value chain is increasing, there is a proliferation of data, and an accelerated pace that is pushing the limits from design to shelf. This includes increasing demands for personalisation of products at appropriate scale. Direct-to-consumer engagement is also important for luxury brands strategically focusing on opportunities for innovation in end to end customer service and experience. The capability to digitally connect with fashion consumers across the globe has never been greater. There are also growing concerns about the environmental sustainability of the fashion industry, particularly levels of waste.

The Future Fashion Factory is an industry-led collaborative research project 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 project involves collaboration with the Universities of Leeds, Huddersfield and the Royal College of Art as well as the Centre for Textile Excellence in Yorkshire.