Fashion Industry Leaders Launch New Sustainable Innovation Network

by SHOWstudio on 8 September 2023

In a groundbreaking partnership, the BFC, UKFT, and UKRI have formed the Circular Fashion Innovation Network to tackle ongoing sustainability issues.

In a groundbreaking partnership, the BFC, UKFT, and UKRI have formed the Circular Fashion Innovation Network to tackle ongoing sustainability issues.

Everyone talks about sustainability, but who’s stepping up to the challenge? With the rate of consumption of new clothes higher in the UK than any other European country it’s clear that something needs to be changed soon. Well, the British Fashion Council (BFC), the UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKFT), and UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) have joined forces to launch the Circular Fashion Innovation Network (CFIN). With the goal of creating a more sustainable fashion industry, the newly launched network will operate under the BFC's Institute of Positive Fashion (IPF) to come up with innovative ways to tackle the environmental crisis.

‘It has never been more important to combine knowledge and networks to tackle the challenges of sustainability,’ says UKFT chief executive Adam Mansell. ‘We’re excited to work with the BFC and other partners via the Circular Fashion Innovation Network to establish both direct interventions and long-term plans to help the transition towards a new circular economy in the UK. Our particular area of focus will be sustainable manufacturing and recycling infrastructure, which we believe will be key drivers in helping to build the most resilient, sustainable and competitive sector for future generations.’

At the launch of the Circular Fashion Innovation Network

Thinking beyond conventional boundaries, the CFIN will bring together industry specialists, academics, and innovators who prioritise action over promises. With funding of £1.8 million, the network will develop a community dedicated to addressing the environmental crisis. With an impressive advisory board including luxury brands like Chanel and British retailers Marks & Spencer and New Look, the CFIN’s diverse perspectives promise to come up with inventive solutions.

‘Collaboration has always been our guiding principle in effecting change. The new CFIN rests on this very spirit,’ explains BFC chief executive Caroline Ruse. ‘Our cross-sector advisory board will combine and advance novel technologies and approaches, which we hope will create a world-class blueprint here in the UK.’

The CFIN will also play a central role in UKRI’s £15 million Circular Fashion program which already comes up with solutions to the fashion industry's pollution problems. With the aim of driving positive transformations within the sector, the new network will coordinate six working groups, each dedicated to a specific area: Circular Business Models, Recycling Infrastructure, Sustainable Manufacturing, Novel Technology, Diverse and Future-Proof Workforce, and Green Growth. While CFIN is still in its early stages, their plans to reshape the industry into a more sustainable system sound promising.



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