The collaboration by the British Council and UAL, led by the Fashion, Textiles and Technology Institute (FTTI), aims to address critical challenges in the fashion and textile industry and promote innovation, research, sustainability, and environmental responsibility.

The initiative, known as the “New Landscapes India: R&D Grant Scheme,” a three-year initiative, focuses on promoting collaboration in sustainable fashion, textiles, and technology between stakeholders in India and the UK.

It is calling for joint proposals from UK and Indian designers, entrepreneurs, and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in five key areas: sustainability, materials, manufacturing and commerce, retail engagement, and digital.

It seeks to support seven collaborative projects by awarding grants of up to £7,000 each, involving UK-based SMEs partnering with Indian design entrepreneurs and SMEs.

Participants in the scheme will benefit from UAL FTTI’s mentorship, academic expertise, and exclusive opportunities to showcase their work.

Professor Jane Harris, Director of the University of the Arts London Fashion, Textiles and Technology Institute (UAL FTTI) added: “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.

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“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 the planet.”

Alison Barrett MBE, director of India at the British Council said: “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.”

Successful applicants will carry out project activities from April 2024 to September 2024, with a requirement to host a public event presenting their findings in late 2024.

India’s apparel manufacturers revealed to Just Style back in August, the latest sourcing opportunities but highlighted that the sector needed government intervention to get it on par domestically with international sustainability standards.