British Council, the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities, has partnered with the University of the Arts London (UAL) to create solutions to promote global sustainable fashion, textiles, and technology, led by the Fashion, Textiles and Technology Institute (FTTI).
The open call invites joint applications in one of five key areas: sustainability, materials, manufacturing and commerce, retail engagement, and digital. This initiative aims to make a substantial impact on the fashion and textile landscape by directly addressing critical global challenges. Its primary objectives include fostering innovation, conducting research, promoting sustainable practices, and addressing environmental concerns within the fashion and textile industries.
Driven by the need for fashion, textiles and technology industries to re-think and re-design their impact on people and the planet, the New Landscapes Catalyst Grant Scheme is an international initiative that has been fostering innovation and research in sustainable fashion, textiles, and technology since 2021. This programme has already successfully facilitated cross-border research and development projects across 10 countries, contributing to the advancement of sustainable practices within the fashion, textiles, and technology industries.
The New Landscapes: India R&D scheme, a three-year initiative, will focus on promoting collaboration in sustainable fashion, textiles, and technology between stakeholders in India and the United Kingdom. This will be done by awarding seven grants of up to £7,000 each to support collaborative projects involving UK-based SME’s partnering with Indian design entrepreneurs and SMEs.
The scheme aims to nurture international cooperation, share best practices, and uphold the cultural, social, and environmental values inherent in India’s fashion and textiles industry. It will foster collaborations that promote not only sustainable and ethical fashion but also showcase the diversity of India’s fashion heritage and innovation.
Participants in the programme will benefit from UAL FTTI, including mentorship from leading academics and FTTI expertise, as well as exclusive opportunities for showcasing their work. Additionally, successful completion of projects in the first year will provide grantees with an opportunity to secure further funding in the second year.
Alison Barrett MBE, Director India, British Council said, “I am delighted to announce the launch of New Landscapes India. This is a step in showing our commitment to putting arts, culture and education at the centre of the debate on climate and sustainability, but also at the heart of solutions. Through programmes like this the British Council renews its commitment to promoting sustainability within the fashion landscape even as we continue to support emerging design and technology initiatives in UK and India. We are excited about our collaboration with University Arts London and welcome both UK and Indian talents to be a part of this exciting initiative.”
Professor Jane Harris, Director of the University of the Arts London Fashion, Textiles and Technology Institute (UAL FTTI) said. “This next phase of collaboration between the British Council India and the UAL FTTI will continue to address the wider apparel and textile industry’s relationship with climate change. FTTI will facilitate a supported risk-taking R&D culture, enabling an exchange of knowledge and methods of designing and producing in a more sustainable and socially engaged way. FTTI’s work to date with small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) across fashion, textiles and technology sectors, is seeing a new type of future with SMES as the driving force behind sustainable innovation that critically is better for people and planet. We are really delighted to have the opportunity to further evolve this initiative with the British Council in support of UK and Indian sustainable fashion and textile innovators.”
This open call for proposals seeks to encourage Indian and UK partnerships to co-design and co-develop projects that:
• Expand global networks to facilitate the development and ideation of sustainable design, materials, and production methods that inspire positive environmental change in both India and the UK.
• Promote knowledge exchange between small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to enable more sustainable and socially responsible design and production practices.
• Empower young designers, researchers, and entrepreneurs in India and the UK to become advocates for sustainable, ethical, and socially responsible fashion, textiles, and technologies.
• Concentrate on R&D in one of five key areas: Sustainability, Materials, Manufacturing and Commerce, Retail Engagement, and Digital.
Key Eligibility Information:
• The call is open to all designers, entrepreneurs and SMEs in the UK and India.
• Applications must support a partnership between at least one eligible UK applicant and at least one eligible Indian applicant.
• Both UK and India applicants must have been in business for a minimum of three years.
• Applications must demonstrate strong collaboration, knowledge exchange, and mutual benefit for each partner.
• Successful applicants must demonstrate the ability to carry out project activities between April 2024 and September 2024, with a requirement to host a public event presenting their findings in late 2024.
• Financial administration will be the responsibility of the UK applicant, who will receive the funds to distribute among project partners. The application deadline is 15th January 2024 at 23:59, with interviews scheduled between 12th February 2024 and 15th February 2024.