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Creating the Future Fashion Factory


UKFT is working on a new multimillion pound project to develop advanced digital and textile technologies that will increase competitiveness and productivity in the design and production of luxury fashion, led by the University of Leeds alongside project partners including Burberry, Royal College of Arts, Wools of New Zealand, Wooltex UK and the British Fashion Council (BFC).

Future Fashion Factory is an industry-led collaborative £5.4m research project linking the textile design and manufacturing centres within the Leeds City Region with the creative design and retail centre of London.

UKFT CEO Adam Mansell will be chairman of the project, spearheading the drive to increase productivity, shrink design process lead times, lower costs, and importantly, reduce waste.

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.

“Future Fashion Factory is about driving innovation and digitisation throughout the manufacturing process of UK clothing and textiles, and digitising the link between brands and retailers to shorten timescales around sampling and development. It’s about creating efficiencies and improving high value, luxury design processes.”

Adam Mansell, CEO of UKFT

Stephen Russell, Professor of Textile Materials and Technology in the University of Leeds School of Design, said: “The vision is to transform the UK industry’s capacity for new product innovation, and to reduce lead times and waste. This will be done through the convergence of new digital and textile technologies within the fashion design process.

“Collaborative research and development by creative companies across the supply chain is fundamental to ensuring future growth, and harnessing UK design and manufacturing assets is central to our strategy.”