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Fashion District launches latest ‘Manufacturing Futures’ initiative to support emerging changemakers

Tom Bottomley
12 February 2024

Fashion business networking company Fashion District has announced the return of its innovation challenge, ‘Manufacturing Futures’, to find emerging businesses with innovative solutions to help "revolutionise the retail and fashion manufacturing industry for the better".

Start-ups and SMEs will have the chance to win a £15,000 cash prize to grow their business model, and the opportunity to pitch to some of the industry’s leading brands and innovators.

Successful candidates will also get membership to the UKFT, providing access to its annual programme of events and webinars, networking opportunities, and market insights.

Additionally, there will business membership for a year to Common Objective, accessing 30,000+ global connections, premium intelligence and training courses in sustainable fashion and manufacturing, as well as desk membership for a year at The Trampery workspace and fashion community in Fish Island Village, East London.

Applications are now open, and those shortlisted will be brought in front of a judging panel in July 2024 consisting of experts who are at the forefront of the crucial change around sustainability in the fashion industry.

The judges include Gillian Lipton, Sustainability Director at Alexander McQueen, Ella Gould, Head of Sustainability and Innovation at Selfridges, Chelsea Franklin, Head of Advanced Concept Design at Pangaia, Matthew Drinkwater, Head of Fashion Innovation Agency at London College of Fashion, UAL, and Adam Mansell, CEO of the UKFT.

Helen Lax, Founder of Fashion District said: "I am incredibly proud to bring back the Innovation Challenge: Manufacturing Futures for its second iteration.

"We welcome all applicants who are passionate about technological innovations and sustainable solutions, such as materials innovation, digital innovation, manufacturing processes, supply-chain and logistics, traceability, circular economy and end-of-use - just to name a few.

"There are many aspects our industry needs to improve, and I look forward to learning more from the start-ups on how we can do it."

Other benefits from those who make the grade include business development consultancy hours from Pangaia and access to the new Fashion District and The Trampery accelerator programme, Evo Fashion.

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