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Happy 1st Birthday, Poplar Works!

Person working inside workshop at Poplar Works
  • Written byJ Tilley
  • Published date 09 March 2021
Person working inside workshop at Poplar Works
Poplar Works - Photography by JC Candanedo | London College of Fashion | University of the Arts London

Poplar Works, a partnership between Poplar HARCA, London College of Fashion, UAL and The Trampery, is celebrating it's first birthday with a series of online events to mark its impact since launch in 2020. All three organisations have worked together to bring something unique to the space and have been supported by the Mayor of London’s Good Growth programme and are part of the Fashion District.

Poplar Works is a home for anyone working or training in fashion and making, designed to help people and businesses reach their full potential in the fashion industry. Current Poplar Works residents include LCF alum Bethany Williams, Joao Maraschin, Juliet Herrera, Lofo and Rahemur Rahman. Particular highlights throughout 2021 have included:

  • A growing membership, with 39 small fashion, making and creative businesses calling Poplar Works home.
  • London College of Fashion, UAL’s Making for Change initiative and the Emergency Designers Network producing masks and scrubs for local hospitals and community groups.
  • A range of business support offers, coordinated by The Trampery helping enterprises to navigate through the pandemic.
  • London College of Fashion, UAL’s Making for Change initiative delivered its first fashion skills training programme, in collaboration with Newham College.
  • Recognition of the scheme’s architectural and placemaking impacts, winning the Working Category in the New London Awards, the Pineapple Award for Contribution to Place, and being named as a regional winner in the Civic Trust Awards.
  • London College of Fashion, UAL’s Centre for Fashion Enterprise has supported 7 fashion and fashion tech SMEs at Poplar Works.
Poplar works first birthday info graphic
Poplar Works Birthday Logo

Poplar Works represents an extremely important aspect of London College of Fashion’s commitment to social responsibility and nurturing talent.  During lockdown the Making for Change studio pivoted to provide scrubs for local hospitals and demonstrated what an important role the studio is playing in connecting us with our communities.  As the college prepares to move to East Bank in the Queen Elizabeth Park in 2023, Poplar Works will continue to provide an inspirational place for our young designers and students to meet, collaborate and reach their full potential.” - Linda Roberts, Director of Graduate Futures, Business & Innovation at London College of Fashion, UAL

First birthday celebrations will include a programme of events open to the public, running from 27 February – 16 March, including the launch of the Poplar Works local business directory, social media spotlights on business owners, film premieres, making workshops, panel discussions and seminars. Poplar Works is also home to London College of Fashion’s Making for Change - who will be host for a lunchtime making workshop, transforming old garments into something new! Register for the upcoming celebratory events.

"We are really enjoying settling into the new space and sharing the Poplar space with fellow designers and creatives, getting to know them all on a personal level and learning even more about the inspiring work that they do with their work. With our new home being situated directly beneath 'Making For Change' we are now able to work even more closely with them, bringing an even more enjoyable feeling to the manufacturing process and created a great sense of community to the whole Poplar Works Space for us. It brings such excitement to think ahead to when we move out of lockdown and back into more of a 'normal' way of life, to really reap the benefit of this communal space and amazing opportunity to mingle with the Poplar community." - Bethany Williams

Person using sewing machine
Photography by Christopher Woloshak - MFC HMP Downview