Grady & Robinson + Phoebe English

The Company

Grady & Robinson aim to supply brands and designers with vegetable-tanned and sustainably finished leather that is traceable to animals raised on pasture at ecological farms in the UK. Phoebe English is a Womenswear and Menswear British designer

R&D Focus:

It is not currently possible to finish leather at a commercial scale with ingredients that are known to be sustainable, natural, and biodegradable.

We aim to identify ingredients and processes of leather finishing that are traceable, sourced from UK bioregions, are natural and sustainably produced, and are biodegradable in the finished leather.

The project will launch in autumn 2021.

Partners:
  • UAL: University of the Arts London
  • London College of Fashion, UAL
  • Fashion, Textiles and Technology Institute, UAL

Team

Liz Ciokajlo

R&D Project Lead

UAL

Liz is a designer, researcher and educator with over 20 years of experience working across product and fashion accessories. She is a consultant and collaborator on multi-disciplinary creative research and innovation projects within Innovate UK, Arts Council England and Kings College Research. She exhibited internationally and received commissions from the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) New York for Items: Is Fashion Modern?. She was also shortlisted for Beazley Designs of the Year and Design Museum awards, nominated for The Arts Foundation Material Innovation Fellowship, and a finalist for International Talent Support 2013 for accessories.

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Sara Grady

R&D Company Lead

Grady & Robinson

Sara created and directed programs at the Glynwood Center for Regional Food & Farming, advancing regenerative agriculture and food culture in the Hudson Valley. She now consults for food and farming enterprises in the UK and France, providing strategic planning, research, and project management. Inspired by a belief that regenerative agricultural practices are a critical solution in renewing soils, stewarding land, and reforming food and fashion systems, Sara Grady and Alice Robinson are creating a new supply of vegetable-tanned leather made from the hides of animals raised on regenerative farms in the UK.

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Alice Robinson

R&D Company Lead

Grady & Robinson

Alice expertise is in creating collections from animal hides that would otherwise be discarded. Her work explores the relationship between food and fashion by following the journey from farm to finished products and revealing the life behind the leather. Alice trained as an accessory designer and is an Alumna of the Royal College of Arts. Her work is shown at the London Design Festival, Victoria and Albert Museum and MAD, Brussels; her collection ‘11458’ was acquired by the V&A in 2020. Inspired by a belief that regenerative agricultural practices are a critical solution in renewing soils, stewarding land, and reforming food and fashion systems, Sara Grady and Alice Robinson are creating a new supply of vegetable-tanned leather made from the hides of animals raised on regenerative farms in the UK.

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Phoebe English

R&D Company Lead

Phoebe English

The PHOEBE ENGLISH label, founded in 2011, creates pieces with close attention to detail and quality, rejecting mass-made or ‘fast’ fashion. All production is made in London, meaning the footprint from sketch to garment is minimised and the entire business operates from one studio in South London. Phoebe English trained at Central Saint Martins where she completed both BA and MA in Fashion. On graduation, she was awarded the L’Oreal Professional Prize, Ungaro Bursary and Chloe Award. She has been nominated for both emerging Menswear and Womenswear categories several times and has worked across a wide variety of disciplines and organisations, regularly guest lecturing in leading Universities.

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Prof Mohammad Mahbubul Hassan

R&D Academic Mentor

UAL

Mohammad Mahbubul Hassan is a material scientist with 24 years of academic and industrial research experience in sustainable textile and polymeric materials development. He completed his PhD in Textile Chemistry in 1999 at the University of Manchester under a British Commonwealth scholarship. Previously, he worked as a senior scientist in the Bioproduct and Fibre Technology Team of the New Zealand Pastoral Agricultural Research Institute for 18 years and as a lecturer at Yamagata University for two years. His expertise is in the following areas:

  • Sustainable textiles and biodegradable polymeric materials
  • Eco-friendly multi-functional textiles
  • Smart, healthcare and cosmetotextiles
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