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

Manchester Fashion Institute catwalk shows feature chrome, offcuts and cress

17 May 2023

Alien headpieces, deadstock fabric and a coat of cress among striking student collections

New £4 million micro-scale robotic fashion production facility to develop high-value, low volume UK garment industry

16 May 2023

The ‘Robotics Living Lab’ will explore more sustainable approaches for fashion manufacturing

University fashion experts join forces to share expertise with MPs on high street regeneration

16 May 2023

Manchester Fashion Institute academics support political discussion on innovative use of empty retail space after teaming up with think tank Fashion Roundtable.

British and Italian menswear connections investigated in new project

20 Dec 2022

Fashion researchers examining this unexplored area of menswear

Research project Reclaiming the Narrative explores young British Muslim identity in Manchester

21 Oct 2022

Collaboration with photography project Portrait Youth results in series of portraits on display at the British Muslim Heritage Centre

Photography project Portrait Youth explores young people’s style and self-expression through menswear

14 Oct 2022

Photographic portraits of young people from The Proud Trust on display in exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery

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

Sustainable footwear sector to be revolutionised in new industrial partnership

23 Nov 2021

Industry to benefit from digital supply chain and 3D printing expertise

COP26: Changing consumer behaviours can help improve sustainability in fashion

11 Nov 2021

Prof Fiona Hackney discusses how being creative can help consumers develop pro-environmental behaviour

Photography project Portrait Youth returns to explore young men’s identity through dress

29 Sep 2021

Partnership with the Westminster Menswear Archive and Italian brand C.P. Company results in British Textiles Biennial exhibition

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