Future Fashion Factory is a £5.4 million R&D partnership exploring and developing new digital and advanced textile technologies to boost the design of high-value creative products.

Leeds City Museum

Developing luxury fashion products is a lengthy creative process from design to shelf. It can take months of design time and extensive physical sampling throughout the global supply chain before the design is finalised and the product reaches the point of sale.

This means that new product design can demand huge labour and manufacturing resources as well as long lead times, limiting businesses’ agility. Fashion is also associated with significant textile waste and environmental impacts at every stage in the product life cycle, from design and manufacturing processes to retail, consumer habits, and the end of a garment’s life.

Future Fashion Factory aims to understand consumer wants and needs better using AI and data analytics, and develop data-driven design tools to move towards ‘right first time’ design decision-making – maximising sell-through, reducing over-production and minimising waste.

There is also a need to develop late-stage customisation techniques in manufacturing so that personalised products can be produced quickly and cost-effectively, and move towards economically viable circular economies by rolling out new cost-effective recycling technologies.


Future Fashion Factory will fund and support a variety of industry-led collaborative R&D projects, bringing together industry and academic partners to respond to existing business needs.

This strand of the Programme aims to support innovative, industry-focused projects in the high value fashion and textile industries that fit with any of our five core research themes:

  • Late-stage customisation
  • Sustainability and circular economies
  • Aesthetic communication
  • Data-driven design
  • Education and skills