In a bid to boost manufacturing and fashion industries, East London has launched a fashion district. The project, which has been four years in the making, is a hub of businesses, workspaces and technology opportunities.
The district was launched last month at designer Christopher Raeburn’s studio in Hackney Wick – it is a collaboration between the University of the Arts London, the London College of Fashion, housing association Poplar HARCA, the London Legacy Development Corporation and the London Fashion Fund. The mayor’s Good Growth Fund supported the district with an investment of nearly £2 million.
An independent report found that east London is home to a massive 23% of London’s fashion businesses, but prohibitively expensive rents have limited the area’s industry growth potential. Frances Corner, head of London College of Fashion has said: “In East London, the revival of fashion, both in designing and making, is contributing major growth.” She hopes that in the next decade, the industry will undergo a major shift, putting east London at the heart of it.
The district will open up the fashion industry to people in east London in many ways, including a campus of fashion studios near the Olympic Park which will offer low rent. The London College of Fashion will also move to a campus on the East Bank in Stratford in 2022. Financial investments into new technologies aim to make east London the “Silicon Valley of the fashion world”.