New UK institute to address global challenges of fast fashion

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2021-09-21 13:42:01 – None

The new Leeds Institute of Textiles and Colour (LITAC) will address global issues such as fast fashion's impact on the environment, as well as the need for improved materials, production processes, and sustainable goods.

The new UK institute at the University of Leeds brings together existing areas of excellence, such as the Future Fashion Factory (FFF), which has been assisting businesses in developing sustainable processes and digital tools to guide design and manufacturing processes from start to finish, analyzing demand, increasing agility, and reducing waste since 2018.

By partnering with industry to apply the world-class research expertise found across a wide range of disciplines at the University, the LITAC will address global challenges such as those created by fast fashion, as well as the need for advanced materials, manufacturing processes, and sustainable products.

Stephen Russell, professor of textile materials and technology in Leeds’ School of Design and the founding director of LITAC, said that textiles and color are fundamental to the function and appearance of countless products used by society, and the industry as a whole is looking to innovate at every stage of the supply chain to increase competitiveness, address environmental impacts, and drive sustainable growth.

Russell, added that they can help with a variety of challenges, such as significantly reducing waste or a lack of transparency in the global fashion industry, developing new materials to quickly diagnose infection in healthcare, or deploying artificial intelligence to decide the color of products and increase their value. Their competence across the University – in design, research, and engineering – puts them in a great position to strengthen existing ties.

Along with the University's contributions, The Clothworkers' Business - a City of London livery company dedicated to assisting the British textiles sector via education, research, and skills development and training – has made a significant investment in LITAC.

Jocelyn Stuart-Grumbar, clerk to The Clothworkers’ Company, adds that they believe that the Leeds Institute of Textiles and Colour will be a strong, collaborative force that will define the future of the textiles industry. The Clothworkers' Company's co-investment with the University of Leeds is the largest single funding commitment the company has ever made. It also reaffirms their faith in the University of Leeds' ability to form effective partnerships with the textiles sector in the UK and abroad, as well as to create clever, innovative, and environmentally sustainable solutions to society's problems.

Industry executives have praised the new institute, with Adam Mansell, CEO of the UK Fashion & Textiles Association, stating that with the present renaissance in UK manufacturing, considerations like sustainability are more important than ever.

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