Since March 2020, the Fashion and Textile Museum has lost more than 80% of its income, an average of £32,000 per month. Because of this, the future of the Museum is now under threat and we are asking, urgently, for your support.
The Fashion and Textile Museum is the only museum in the UK dedicated to showcasing contemporary fashion and textile design. The Museum was founded in 2003 by icon of British design, Dame Zandra Rhodes, with the mission of preserving the work of her contemporaries across British fashion and textile design.
Over the last two decades, and under the ownership of Newham College since 2007, the Fashion and Textile Museum has broadened its mission. Today the Museum has staged over 30 major exhibitions, featuring British and international designers, artists and brands, and is dedicated to the celebration and exploration of textiles, fashion and related disciplines.
The majority of the Fashion and Textile Museum’s income comes from you: our visitors, learners and supporters. Every penny of income you help us to generate is put back into the running of the Museum; into producing our exhibitions, running our education, volunteer and digital programmes, and conserving our collection.
Please help us secure the future of the Fashion and Textile Museum. Secure fashion and textiles for everyone. Secure #fashionandtextilesforever.
Due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic and the subsequent, unprecedented events of the last 12 months, the future of the Fashion and Textile Museum is under threat.
Across several national lockdowns, and local tier restrictions, our team have worked tirelessly behind the scenes. We have redeveloped our exhibition programme, launched online and on demand digital events, created an online shop and produced more digital content than ever before. Your response and support for all the above has been astonishing.
The Government’s recently published roadmap, outlining steps to ease England out of lockdown, advises that the earliest museums will open is 17 May 2021. In addition, this document sets out that social distancing measures will be in place until at least 21 June 2021. This means that, while the Museum can hopefully reopen safely in mid-May, it will continue to operate with a reduced capacity and income. Managing and maintaining our building and collection throughout another 3 months of closure will further decimate our income, and will severely threaten our ability to produce important exhibitions in the future.
Despite the incredible work of our team and your generous donations and purchases, we now find ourselves with no choice but to ask for your help.
Presenting a diverse range of temporary exhibitions, showcasing innovative fashion and textile design from around the world, the Fashion and Textile Museum explores the past, present and future of fashion and textiles. The Museum’s work is recognised nationally and internationally, with exhibitions featuring designers, artisans, craftspeople, and artists from across Britain and abroad touring regularly across the UK and the world.
The Fashion and Textile Museum is housed within a beautiful and distinctive building on South London's Bermondsey Street. Designed by renowned Mexican architect, Ricardo Legoretta, the Museum is the only example of his work the UK. As part of the local community, the Museum promotes the rich history and modern diversity of Bermondsey Street and its surrounding areas.
The Fashion and Textile Museum also supports a wide range of independent specialists, including textile and garment conservators, design historians, freelance exhibition designers, set builders, graphic designers, textile and fine artists and designers. In addition, the Museum provides a meaningful volunteer programme, committed to training, encouraging and celebrating our volunteer team.
Furthermore, the Fashion and Textile Museum’s education programme offers practical workshops, hands-on learning of textile and fashion-based skills, talks from academics, authors and specialists and digital skills training. Our experienced tutors teach specialist skills that are not readily available through traditional educational routes.
"The Museum is remarkable because it provides something for everyone, from someone who has a passion for fashion, through to students who are working hard to improve their skills, collectors, historians and so on. The Museum is a significant factor in what, going forward, is going to help preserve London as an international fashion centre." - Mary Schoeser, textile historian and Fashion and Textile Museum curator.
"The Fashion and Textile Museum is an incredible place to volunteer. It's a warm, nurturing place, full of kindness. It means no matter what else is happening in the world, the few hours spent there are going to be informative, aesthetically beautiful and fun." - Danielle Higgins, Fashion and Textile Museum volunteer.
"The Fashion and Textile Museum is one of the only places in the UK dedicated to showcasing fashion and textile design. For people like me, who spend their time researching and understanding fashion from the past, the Museum is an essential space." - Amber Butchart, fashion historian, broadcaster and Fashion and Textile Museum collaborator.
"I was really lucky to be part of the Fashion and Textile Museum’s encouraging, creative world and have hugely benefitted from the community, support and education I’ve gained. I don’t think I would be where I am today without the support and encouragement of the Fashion and Textile Museum and Dame Zandra Rhodes." - Kitty Joseph, fashion designer and Fashion and Textile Museum supporter.
"I don’t think there’s any question that the Fashion and Textile Museum’s place in society, and its place in London, is very important for the textile industry as a whole. The creativity that it engenders, the teaching it does, it’s connection with Newham College – all of these things are very important." - Sarah Campbell, textile designer and Fashion and Textile Museum workshop tutor.
"The Fashion and Textile Museum is a wonderful, inclusive hub that engages so many different people from so many walks of life - one of the reasons I love teaching my workshops is the range of people I meet. The Museum opens so many doors for people who may not otherwise have those opportunities presented to them." - Michelle Lewis, pattern cutter and Fashion and Textile Museum workshop tutor.
"As a Fashion Illustrator, when volunteering at the Fashion and Textile Museum I am fully immersed in colour, texture, shape and pattern. The staff’s knowledge and passion for fashion and textiles allows me to be constantly inspired and feeds into my work. Since volunteering at the Fashion and Textile Museum, I’ve gained confidence, had so much fun and felt included and valued for my help and ideas." - Martine Spencer, fashion illustrator and Fashion and Textile Museum volunteer.
Every donation, big or small, will assist in securing the future of the Fashion and Textile Museum. Every penny will go towards the reopening of the Museum and ensuring its future sustainability and resilience.
If you are able, please consider making a donation and sharing this campaign. Every donation and act of support will be so gratefully received.
Together, we can secure the future of the Fashion and Textile Museum. Secure fashion and textiles for everyone. Secure #fashionandtextilesforever.
This project offers rewards in return for your donation.