Challenge 1: Survey of the fashion, textiles and technology ecosystem
The UK fashion, textiles and technology (FTT) industry lacks strong data and compelling evidence compared to other creative sectors regarding existing Research & Development initiatives, opportunities for business growth and job creation.
Our understanding of the polycentric nature of the relevant FTT networks, from makers to suppliers, to data scientists, to media agencies, is not sufficient. We will be consulting with several hundreds stakeholders in order to gain a fine-grained picture of the industry across the country, by mapping the sub-sectors of the FTT ecosystem.
We are looking for owners, founders and CEOs up and down the country working in all aspects of fashion – from high street retailers, charities, jewellers, workspace providers, advanced manufacturing to advertising and beyond to take part in our short survey.
The survey has now closed, and a report is due to be published in November 2020.
Its findings will be instrumental to highlight the unspoken needs of the sector, such as to identify the adequate investment and skills needed, as well as to inform the key policy provisions that can sustain its growth and global competitiveness.
Dr Alessandra Vecchi
Alessandra is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Management at the University of Bologna in Italy where she has held a Marie Curie Fellowship from 2012 to 2018 and works as a Senior Research Fellow at London College of Fashion at the University of London Arts in the UK. Among other areas, her research operates at the intersection of international business and fashion, with a focus on the internationalization of fashion businesses, brand acquisition and the influence of disruptive technologies on fashion and textile companies. Core skills and competences include:
- Fashion business and management
- Mixed-methods business research
- International partnership building
Prof Graeme Evans
Former Principal Investigator (until Dec 2019)
As the former BFTT Partnership Director, Graeme draws on over 40 years experience in project management in international industry working for UK and US as director of a design consultancy and cultural facility; and as a leading research and policy expert on the creative industries in UK and Dutch universities. He has led over 30 research projects for Research Councils, UK government, the European Commission, cultural agencies and industry/trade bodies. In his role as a research centre and institute director, he has attracted over £25m in R&D funding. This has included leading large research consortia working on themes such as city growth, electric vehicles, sustainable design, rapid prototyping and digital clusters (e.g. Digital Shoreditch/Tech City). Graeme regularly advises the UK Culture Ministry and other agencies, as well as overseas cultural and economic ministries (e.g. OECD) on creative city and industries strategy, including programme evaluation and investment appraisal. He has held chairs/professorships in Design at both Brunel and Middlesex Universities, specialising in sustainable/urban design and innovation. He is currently Emeritus Professor at the University of the Arts London, where he previously served as Professor in Creative and Cultural Economy.
Dr Lipi Begum
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Lipi has over fifteen years’ experience as an educator of contemporary fashion business cultures. She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA). Lipi has industry experience in fashion retail, social enterprise and trend forecasting, and has worked as a sustainability consultant for the United Nations, Better Work in Textiles and Garments project for the Bangladesh Ready-made Garment Sector. She regularly advises local charities and schools on fashion and textiles projects. She is co-editor of the book South Asian Youth Cultures: Fashion Media and Society (Bloomsbury 2018). Core skills and competencies include:
- Multidisciplinary fashion research
- Global consumer cultures
- Community engagement and enterprise