Plans to make East London the global hub of fashion technology have been announced today at the launch of the capital’s new Fashion District.
Fashion District aims to return world-leading fashion manufacturing and design to east London with sites in East Bank, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Hackney Wick, Haringey and Poplar. It aims to boost growth through thousands of new jobs, improving skills and training, and the provision of new affordable workspaces.
Fashion is currently worth £1.4bn to the east London economy and has seen a rise of more than 10,000 fashion jobs in east London between 2010 and 2015. The work of the Fashion District is predicted to provide a further boost to the area with additional jobs.
The new plans unveiled today will build on a long history in fashion manufacturing and legacy in East London to ensure that the area is the centre for fashion education, design, business and technology. Throughout the capital’s history the east end has been at the centre of fashion manufacturing – from silk weaving in Spitalfields to all the work of the seamstresses and tailors. Currently 23 per cent of the capital’s fashion enterprises and employment are based in east London, and this new hub will support further growth through training and provision of technology used in fashion production – 3D printing, laser cutting, interactive and wearable fabrics – and design software.
Professor Frances Corner, Pro Vice-Chancellor UAL and Head of London College of Fashion said:
“London needs to act now if it wants to stay at the forefront of the fashion tech revolution. Emerging businesses only grow with significant support in skills, advocacy, innovation and investment. That’s what the Fashion District will bring. I am particularly delighted the London Boroughs of Hackney, Newham, Haringey, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest have pledged their support. Working with London Boroughs will accelerate the development of space and business support for SMEs and attracting light manufacturing to east London.”
This brand-new approach comes as the result of an innovative collaboration by London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London, the British Fashion Council (BFC), UK Fashion and Textiles, the Mayor of London, London Legacy Development Corporation (LDDC), Unibail Rodamco-Westﬁeld, Poplar HARCA, The Trampery, Fashion Enter, Here East, Newham College, and the London Boroughs of Hackney, Haringey, Newham, Waltham Forest and Tower Hamlets.