Research and Knowledge Exchange

At Manchester Fashion Institute

Fashion is front and centre in the opportunities and the challenges facing society in a fast-changing twenty-first century, (post) COVID-19, post-Brexit world. The UK fashion industry, with its reputation for high quality design and innovation, is a significant global force. To remain relevant, however, it must respond to significant future environmental, technological, social, cultural, and structural change. Our research responds by foregrounding critical fashion thinking and practice around cutting-edge topics such as ethics, diversity, sustainability, supply chains, digital innovation and e-commerce.

Areas of Expertise

The Fashion Research Hub’s community of cultural historians, designers, technologists and social scientists covers the breadth and depth of the fashion discipline. We have three central areas of research: Fashion Cultures, Fashion Business, and Fashion Technology, with three underpinning and cross-cutting themes of Sustainability, Equality and Diversity, and Digital. Our researchers are involved in collaborations across and outside the University both nationally and internationally, including third sector stakeholders, industry partners and policymakers. We work with various external partners on knowledge exchange to ensure our research creates positive change for society, culture, the environment and the economy. Our researchers’ expertise is often called upon by the national and international press and media.

Fashion Business

Providing innovative thinking and practical solutions to commercial challenges.

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Fashion Cultures

Fashion in an expanded field of cultural activity, across cultures and over time.

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Fashion Technology

Our Innovation Lab is central to our fashion technology research.

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Knowledge Exchange

Academic-led and impact driven activities to serve the private and public sectors as well as local community organisations.

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Research Staff

“Our Research and Knowledge Exchange Hub brings together high-ranking researchers, leaders in diverse aspects of the discipline, and those who are newer to the field”

Professor Fiona Hackney
Professor of Fashion

Research Degrees

Our research degrees enable you to deepen your expertise, to enhance your existing practice or to develop the skills, knowledge and expertise to address real-world problems and pursue new scientific, technological, creative and business pathways. Our research programmes also equip you with advanced research skills and a deep understanding of the philosophy of research and how society and culture work. The development of these skills, knowledge and expertise will enable you to make an original contribution in your field of study and provide you with a strong foundation to pursue advanced roles in academia, the cultural industries, the creative and business sectors.

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Research News

Eco-friendly and plant-based antimicrobial dry wipes could prevent the spread of disease, research shows

17 Jan 2022

Findings reveal new method for using plant-based substances in an innovative way

University expertise transforms Manchester City kits into children’s hospital gowns

29 Apr 2021

Staff and students design gowns for Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital from shirts donated by club

Topshop: how the once trendsetting brand fell behind the times

2 Dec 2020

High street stalwart has struggled to adapt to digital and changing retail trends, argues Julie Hodson

Fashion sustainability and the problem with degrowth

6 Nov 2020

Dr Patsy Perry on the need for an industry-wide shift to a slower and smaller fashion system

Understanding Race & Fashion: Black History Month in Manchester Fashion Institute

28 Oct 2020

Manchester Fashion Institute hosts Digital Fashion Innovation e-symposium

5 Oct 2020

The three-day symposium featured contributions from over 50 participants

Parallels, problems and possibilities of mask-wearing in pandemics

24 Jul 2020

Cultural historian and fashion lecturer Dr Benjamin Wild on mandatory face coverings

Coronavirus: Three ways to prevent PPE shortages in future outbreaks

5 Jun 2020

Provision of equipment should fall under critical national infrastructure, argue policy and manufacturing experts

Manchester Fashion Institute awarded CMI HE Partner of the Year

21 May 2020

Recognition given for impact on student experience, professional development and employability

Prisons to make vital medical scrubs for the NHS as part of Manchester Metropolitan University-led appeal

6 May 2020

Production has started on thousands of medical scrubs using design template from Manchester Fashion Institute

Research Events


Manchester Metropolitan University have invested £300 Million across the university to create a world-class learning environment, and continue to invest in facilities to ensure we provide the best working environments for our students, academics and researchers.  We pride ourselves on the quality and variety of equipment and facilities available at Manchester Fashion Institute. All our machinery is industry standard, and our dedicated team of technicians are on hand to provide training and support. From 3D body scanning to textile testing, our on campus resources are used daily by researchers to further develop their outputs.

Digital Technologies

Fashion Manufacturing & Product Development

Textile Testing & Analysis


About our facilities


For research enquiries please contact