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Fashion District Festival: championing sustainability and innovation in East London

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Image of the outside of a shop in the Westfield shopping centre in Stratford
Image of the outside of a shop in the Westfield shopping centre in Stratford
Fashion District Festival pop up store at Westfield shopping centre in Stratford. Photographer: Richard Hanson.
Written by
Emily Webster
Published date
30 November 2021

Since launching in 2019, Fashion District has been supporting emerging designers, start-ups and makers across East London and beyond.

Fashion District Festival 2021

Co-founded by London College of Fashion, UAL and supported by Mayor of London, Fashion District was created to help nurture connections with industry ahead of the College's move to Stratford in 2023.

This relationship building mission culminated in September 2021 with the inception of the first Fashion District Festival, a celebration of sustainability and innovation which took place across 5 different venues in Stratford. Working with industry partners including Westfield Stratford City, British Council and The Trampery, the festival championed sustainable fashion designers and start-ups that are working to disrupt fashion from the inside out.

The Fashion District Festival is a celebration of all good things in Fashion — we're celebrating sustainability, diversity and innovation.

— Helen Lax, Fashion District's Project Director
Image of inside of a fashion store with garments in the rails
Fashion District Festival pop up store at Westfield shopping centre in Stratford. Photographer: Richard Hanson.

WATCH, GROW, MAKE and SHOP

The festival featured 4 main pillars of activity, carefully crafted to ensure all parts of the fashion eco-system were included during festival activity. From a boutique pop-up in Westfield showcasing independent designers, to panel events and fireside chats which platformed sustainable business strategies for fashion and fashion-tech start-ups, the festival was a unique celebration of modern fashion which gave the local community a chance to engage with industry.

"It's been amazing to see lots of different people coming together, not only from within the fashion industry, but also from the local area. It's so important for people to understand how clothes are made and the value of their clothes," said Tasmin Blanchard, Special Projects Curator for Fashion Revolution.

"The Fashion District Festival really allows people from diverse backgrounds — from race, to ability and religion — to have access to new discussions and find out what is possible for them within the realm of fashion," added Deborah Latouche, Creative Director at Sabirah.

Francesca Colloca, Senior Regeneration Manager at London Legacy Development Corporation, believes initiatives like Fashion District Festival will positively contribute to empower the coming generations of designers and makers in the area:  "The fashion industry has a really rich history in the East end. Events like this, bringing together people people who are trying to do good for the industry, mean that fashion in the East end has a bright future as well."


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