The Back to Baselines in Circular Fashion & Textiles (B2B F&T) programme encourages academic researchers, industry leaders, and governmental bodies to evaluate current sustainable practices within the fashion and textile sector.

It hopes to establish a data-driven baseline to ensure future strategy is aligned with environmental targets.

The two-year £2m project is led by the Leeds Institute of Textiles and Colour (LITAC) and is supported by the National Environment Research Council, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and Innovate UK.

The funding is said to emphasise the importance of quality, potential impact, and the ability to address evidence and data gaps related to circular fashion and textiles.

The goal of this interdisciplinary network is to evaluate, evidence, and monitor the sustainability credentials of current and proposed practices across the fashion and textile industry, aligning with net-zero targets.

The initiative also hopes to identify barriers to transitioning towards sustainable practices and pinpoint areas where targeted interventions could yield the highest impact.

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Projects can receive three levels of project funding ranging from up to £5,000, up to £20,000 or up to £50,000, depending on the proposed scope, with a mandatory completion period of six months.

Who can apply?

  • Members of the Back to Baselines in Circular Fashion and Textiles network (this is free to join)
  • Applications can be made individually or by a consortium
  • Academic-industry collaborations are encouraged
  • Multi-disciplinary consortia are welcomed, including collaborations between companies or academic research groups.

“This is an exciting opportunity for researchers from different academic backgrounds and industries to come together to address data and evidence gaps relating to the sustainability and environmental impacts of the sector,” said professor Stephen Russell, director of LITAC and the Back to Baselines in Circular Fashion and Textiles Network.

He added: “These projects will help us to establish comprehensive and scientifically validated, environmental and design baselines for the fashion and textile industry that will inform future decision-making.”

The UK apparel retail sector expressed “utter disappointment” earlier this month (March) after the UK government’s Spring Budget failed to address concerns on business rates, VAT and investment.