Future Fashion Factory


£5.4 million

Partners and collaborators

Yorkshire Textiles, Burberry, Wools of New Zealand, Abraham Moon & Sons, the Textile Centre of Excellence, Camira, the UK Fashion and Textile Association and the British Fashion Council.


The £5.4m Future Fashion Factory project will explore and develop new digital technologies to help improve high value, luxury design processes. We will explore and develop new digital and advanced textile technologies to boost the design of high value creative products, helping designers and manufacturers work more collaboratively in a circular economy to increase productivity, shrink lead times, lower costs and reduce waste.

 This project is part of the AHRC Creative Clusters Industry Programme which is a £80 million initiative delivered on behalf of  UK Research and Innovation and is led by the University of Leeds in collaboration with the Royal College of Art as well as a number of industrial partners.

The fashion design industry contributes £28bn or £50bn including indirect contributions, to the UK economy with a growing workforce of nearly 900,000 making it one of the largest creative industries in the country.

This is an industry-led challenge in which designers will lead a highly creative process of applying, co-developing and implementing new textile and industrial digital technologies (IDTs) in collaboration with supply chain manufacturers and other technology experts, in the high value luxury textile and fashion sector. The R&D cluster will deliver exciting new creative innovation opportunities, new products, shorter product development and design lead times, reduced costs, and substantially increase global industrial competitiveness and productivity.

The research focuses on developing new creative design processes, products, service and business models, linked to two key themes: 1. Digitally Connected and Sustainable Processes. 2. Digital Communication and Data Analytics.

The research will also feed in to the creation of new fashion design degree and industrial apprenticeship programmes to address a skills gap in the industry for multidisciplinary STEAM-based designers, that possess a unique combination of art, design, science and technology competencies.                   

Find out more on the project website

Project website