Fashion District announces ten tech start-ups shortlisted for Manufacturing Futures 2021


The Fashion District, in collaboration with The Fashion Innovation Agency from London College of Fashion, UAL, has announced the shortlist of ten start-ups that “could change the face of fashion manufacturing”.

Shortlisted start-ups are competing to win a cash prize of £15,000, sponsored by the Institution of Engineering and Technology in celebration of its 150th anniversary in May.

The award, Manufacturing Futures 2021, calls upon fashion and tech companies to bring forward new tech solutions for the industry’s challenges and drive future growth in the fashion industry. It is focused on start-ups who are developing propositions for new materials, manufacturing processes, waste management, supply-chain and logistics, transparency, traceability, end-of-use and the circular economy.

The winner will also receive a one year lab membership for rapid prototyping and experimentation, provided by The Mills Fabrica. IBM are providing bespoke business support that utilises design thinking to produce an action plan, and Common Objective are providing a 12-month business membership with global connections, premium intelligence and training courses in sustainable fashion and manufacturing.

The 10 finalists are:

Treekind by Biophilica is a plant-based leather alternative for the fashion industry. It is estimated to be carbon negative, recyclable as green waste, home compostable, non-toxic and completely free of plastic and petrochemicals.

Clean Ocean Technology by Airjet Global is a textile business that creates new yarn by binding any recycled raw material with natural and bio artificial spun yarn.

ClearChain is a software platform for easy, low-cost, high-value supply chain mapping, compliance auditing and reporting. It enables companies to get answers to the big questions facing them about sustainability, Net Zero and ethical compliance.

2DTronics by G Square is a textile technology start-up dedicated to producing smart sustainable clothing for the home, for work and for exercise. 2DTronics fabrics are made from composites of nanomaterials with recycled or natural fibres giving enhanced strength, durability and comfort.

Modern Synthesis is a London based biomaterial start-up connecting the dots between biology, material science and design to craft progressive biomaterials for the fashion industry.

Nanofique Limited is working with bio-composites of nanostructured material to degrade the dyes in wastewater, removing the colour and associated harmful effects. They also separate, remove and upgrade the heavy metal ions and salt without producing sludge and recycle the water.

Nanoloom creates biodegradable fibre from a novel, unique nanomaterial called BioHastalex, which is based on graphene. BioHastalex is extremely strong, light, flexible and durable. It can be made to attract or repel water without additives, doesn’t shed and is scalable.

Pattern Project is a clothing micro-factory, developing machinery and software to enable independent fashion brands, high street retailers or tailoring companies to produce custom-fit clothing in-store and on-demand.

Petit Pli is a wearable technology company engineering clothes that grow. Trained aeronautical engineer, Ryan Mario Yasin founded Petit Pli in 2017, shortly after gifting clothes to his newborn nephew in Denmark. Ryan drew inspiration from his background in deployable nano-satellite structures to pioneer a new approach to slow fashion.

Terra Neutra provides innovative services that measure the carbon footprint of a product and allow customers to offset the impact in the shopping cart. Their mission is to create a carbon positive world, empowering people to live more sustainably, raising awareness of climate impact, enabling reduction and offsetting any residual emissions.


Before pitching to the judges at an industry and investor supper in September 2021, the finalists will receive constructive feedback from high-level industry experts who will act as ‘Critical Friends’, in the areas of fashion manufacturing, strategy, investment, IP and sustainability.

‘Critical Friends’ include representatives from: H&M Foundation, Fashion For Good, Make it British, UKFT, Supply Compass, Innovate UK, ReLondon, University of Cambridge Centre for Sustainability, Lewis Silkin, and Making for Change.

Helen Lax, Director, Fashion District said: “Manufacturing Futures 2021 has unearthed some truly cutting edge start-ups that are applying technology and science to tackle the urgent environmental needs of the fashion industry. We have a real opportunity to collaborate, both within the industry and with other sectors, to bring on the brightest and most impactful innovations to reshape the industry.”