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Leeds Fashion Futures


Co-design & research - interviews, workshops

Awareness raising campaign 


6 month project

Funders & Collaborators

The RSA (The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce)

The challenge 

Leeds City Council estimates that 4000 tonnes of clothing and textiles get thrown away in Leeds every year.  This represents a cost to the city, and is a waste of natural resources, particularly when much of that clothing could be reused.

Meanwhile, the textile value chain is reponsible for between 8-10% of the world's carbon emissions. 

Leeds has a rich textile history making it an ideal place to explore the global issues of fashion at a local level. 

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Our solution 

We co-designed a project with The RSA exploring how Leeds with its rich and pioneering history in fashions and textiles could lead the way again but in a more sustainable and regenerative way.


We brought together for the first time local stakeholders involved in clothing and textiles from businesses, creative industries, academia, waste, as well as citizens in the city to get their views, insights and visions for a new and better fashion future. 

We did this through workshops, interviews, and online events. We set up working groups, meeting regularly to explore themes in more depth. We also held an online fashion week event and ran a 6 week social media campaign. 

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Our impact 

We are proud to say that this project helped shape The RSA's Regenerative Futures programme which looks at the challenges of climate change and inequality globally. 

More locally, we developed 3 strong themes based on the research with over 50 stakeholders which will be used to help inform future work on clothing and textiles in the city. 


As part of the project we developed local resources too including the Leeds Textile Trail, a way for people to understand and take pride in the rich textile history of the city; a zero waste clothing map, helping people to easily find local sustainable fashion choices; and an online hub with tips on recycling, reuse, repair and upcycling of clothing. 

We are involved in various conversations to build upon this work to develop a circular economy around clothing and textiles in Leeds.

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