Logo close icon

Rethinking Fashion Design Entrepreneurship: Fostering Sustainable Practices

Commission by Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC)

In 2018, researchers from CEEDR, as part of a cross-university research consortium, won a grant of close to £450K from the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to investigate the role of creative entrepreneurship and design in micro and small fashion enterprises (MSEs) as a potential driver for a more sustainable fashion industry, in a project lasting 2.5 years.

The research analysed existing and novel business models and practices in the fashion sector that foster a balance between environmental, social, cultural and economic considerations. The project identified barriers and points of intervention in order to develop alternative business support mechanisms for sustainability to inform fashion businesses at both small and larger scales.

The academic team was drawn from three leading research centres and universities, whose complementary academic expertise provided a novel cross-disciplinary approach to research in fashion innovation and sustainable prosperity. Led by London College of Fashion at University of the Arts London (UAL), the project was a collaboration between UAL's Centre for Sustainable Fashion (CSF), Middlesex University's Centre for Enterprise and Economic Development Research (CEEDR) and the Open University's Department of Design

The CEEDR team working on the project consisted of Dr Andrea Werner, Prof Fergus Lyon, Dr Ian Vickers and Dr Patrick Elf.

This project web page showcases selected project outputs including a guidebook, case studies, and a policy note.

Further reading:

Lyon, F. (2021) Sustainable fashion designers inspiring policy change: how enterprises can be supported for a sustainable future. Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity

Werner, A., Elf, P., Lyon, F. (2021) The purpose of fashion: How sustainable design entrepreneurs challenge economic growth paradigms. The Cultural and Creative Industries: Pathways Beyond Economic Growth Seminar Series.