Ying Lai, photo CSF_FSP_Main MA Fashion

UK fashion designers are widely acknowledged as creative influencers on the world stage. The Fostering Sustainable Practices project (FSP) investigates the creative practice in these design-led fashion micro and small enterprises (MSEs) as a potential driver for change towards a more sustainable future for the fashion industry. These MSEs often provide pioneering visions of sustainable prosperity in business, but often struggle to survive. This is why the fashion designers and leaders in these MSE teams, are the focus of our project.  


The project team, led by Centre for Sustainable Fashion with partners from Middlesex University and The Open University, are looking at MSE business models; design and business operations; working practices; networks and ecosystems. The findings from this research will be used to develop tools/guides for alternative business support systems, which will benefit the MSEs, the support organisations they work with, and the industry. 

Fostering Sustainable Practices (FSP)

The FSP project investigates the creative practice in fashion design-led micro and small enterprises (MSEs) as a potential driver for change towards a more sustainable future. 

Our Partners 

Fostering Sustainable Practices is supported by, LCF’s fashion incubator Centre for Fashion Enterprise and key industry partners; business support organisations British Fashion CouncilCommon Objective and Africa Fashion Week London; manufacturers’ organisations UK Fashion & Textiles Association, and Textile Centre of Excellence; online fashion platform Not Just A Label. As well as collaborating with five core fashion MSE partners, RaeburnUnmade, Riz Boardshorts, Michelle Lowe Holder and Martine Jarlgaard, and a further 25+ fashion MSEs. 

Project Objectives

Upon completion, the project outputs will include a final project report, academic papers, case studies, a briefing policy note and a resource on business support for sustainability.  

The business support for sustainability resource will aim to enable organisations who offer business support to design-led fashion MSEs: 

  • To better understand definitions of sustainability prosperity for the fashion industry across environmental, social, cultural and economic agendas, 

  • To redefine success, growth and business models, 

  • To redevelop the type of support they offer in line with sustainable prosperity measures of success, 

  • To redefine selection criteria for businesses to support.  

Project Team

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Contact for the project