Fashion Academy Gets £150k Boost From Fashion Etailer

Following on from last month’s announcement of the opening of the new FCFTA in Leicester, we are delighted to announce we have joined forces with popular fashion etailer I Saw It First to help raise industry standards and embed best practice in the textiles manufacturing industry.

The FC Fashion Technology Academy (Leicester) will benefit from a £150,000 investment from popular fashion etailer ‘I Saw It First’.

Jenny Holloway, director of Fashion-Enter, said: “Our core aims are to create a new generation of skilled garment machinists and technicians, offering a range of qualifications – as well as supporting the manufacturers with their supply chains.

“We’re delighted to have secured this investment from I Saw It First, which will help us not only to deliver qualifications, but also to support ethical compliance and robust auditing processes for manufacturers.

“During this Covid period, etailers have experienced buoyant sales and have therefore seen the benefits of making in the UK; one such company is I Saw It First, which already has strong links to Leicester.”

Leanne Holmes, Buying and Brand Director at I Saw It First, said: “We wholeheartedly support the garment industry in Leicester. We want to help train the next generation of skilled garment machinists so that the UK industry can thrive, providing much-needed jobs, especially for young people who have been hit so hard by the damaging effects of Covid on the UK jobs market.

“We also want to provide vital support for existing manufacturers in compliance and policies. We look forward to engaging with all the partners involved in this project to demonstrate our commitment to this industry and to Leicester.”

FCFTA (Leicester) is also being supported by local clothing company Ethically Sourced Products Ltd and by Leicester City Council. Deputy city mayor Cllr Adam Clarke said : “I’m very pleased to hear of this investment in the fashion training academy. city council has formed the Leicester Labour Market Partnership to raise standards and highlight best practice in the local textiles industry, and the training academy is a key part of this work.

“It’s vital that we bring on board as many fashion businesses as we can to back this important new venture.”

Jenny added: “We are keen to secure further backing and investment from other retailers and etailers, to help us progress our ambitious plans to embed ethical compliance and top-class training into the garment manufacturing industry in Leicester and beyond. I would encourage any retailers or manufacturers who want to be involved to in this incredibly positive and transformative project to get in touch.”

Leicester has a long heritage of garment manufacturing. Latest estimates from the Office for National Statistics estimate there are more than 600 textiles manufacturing businesses in the city of Leicester, providing 4,200 jobs.

The speed to market fashion trend means there is potential here and now to expand the industry at a crucial time, as the economy recovers from the significant economic impact of COVID-19.

To find out more about the FCFTA (Leicester) please contact