Hackney designers forced out by 400pc rent hike

The Fashion lab

The Fashion lab - Credit: Archant

A rent increase of 400 per cent in one of the borough’s renowned fashion incubators has meant that dozens of small businesses have been left desperately seeking new premises.

The Trampery in London Fields was paying £125,000 a year to rent the 20,000 sq ft space, which is home to the likes of Jonathan Saunders and Lou Dalton, and had expected this amount to rise to £230,000 in September.

But the landlord has now raised the fee to £500,000 a year, which has serious implications for small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and Hackney’s young creatives.

Not only does the social enterprise, in Mare Street, host 31 SMEs, but is also the home of The Fashion Lab, a collaboration between Hackney Council, the Design-Manufacturer Innovation Support Centre (DISC) and the Centre for Fashion Enterprise (CFE) to provide young designers and graduates with equipment and studio space as they begin their careers.

Students and designers alike have found access to this specialist equipment invaluable for everything from consolidating graduate shows to catwalk collections.

Caroline Rush, chief executive of the British Fashion Council, said in a statement on The Trampery website: “The Trampery is an incredible facility for start-up and developing designer fashion businesses.

“Many of the businesses that currently rely on the Trampery facilities are part of London Fashion Week. It is essential to us that The Trampery be found a new home.”

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The Trampery is calling on large fashion brands and retailers with 500 to 2,000 sq ft of unused space to help, by temporarily housing the displaced companies.

It is also looking to establish a permanent home in a space of 10,000-30,000 square feet in zone one or two, with good natural light and a minimum five-year lease.

The cause has been backed by the likes of The Barbican, the London College of Fashion and the British Fashion Council, with #savetramperyfashion being used on Twitter.

The Duke of York, patron of The Trampery, has also pledged his commitment to the cause.