Hackney Walk is committed to helping the local community, as well as the development of the fashion industry in East London. Our ambition is to ensure that the entire local area benefits from the development of Hackney Walk.

The Stitch Academy is the community component of the Hackney Walk project and is designed to deliver innovation, training and employment opportunity within the fashion, manufacturing and retail industries and to support the wider generation of Hackney.

The Stitch Academy’s main purpose is to support the development of the local fashion industry and ensure that the local community benefits from the development of the project, both employment and training and the wider transformation of the area as the development takes shape.

The Stitch Academy will have 4 key themes

  • Providing affordable workspace for the local fashion industry
  • Supporting innovation within the UK fashion industry
  • Supporting young local fashion designers and the creation of fashion cluster in Hackney and East London
  • Supporting the regeneration of Hackney and providing employment and training opportunities for residents of Hackney in fashion and retail

Supporting Local Employment in Hackney Walk

Hackney Walk is much more than a retail project, it is a regeneration of Hackney Central. Through Stitch Academy, we work to secure jobs and training for local people in the fashion shops that are locating at Hackney Walk. The Stitch Academy works closely with the brands and Hackney Council’s ‘Ways into Work’ Team to ensure the majority of jobs go to local people.

Affordable Work Space

As the development of Hackney Walk gathers pace, new commercial work space will become an important element of the project and will see the creation of a major fashion and creative industries-led business community moving into the area.

Hackney Walk is committed to providing affordable workspace for start-ups and emerging businesses, particularly within the fashion industry. This will see 10% of all of the new workspace delivered across the project offered at affordable prices for the local fashion business community.

Delivering innovation and opportunity within the UK fashion industry

The Stitch Academy is constantly seeking innovation and new opportunities within the fashion industry. Hackney Walk is about crafting innovation and driving the fashion industry forward creating economic resilience and the right conditions for the UK fashion industry to thrive.

The Stitch Academy is creating a high level board of key figures from the fashion brands, manufacturers and designers to develop new ideas and support the growth of the fashion industry.

The board will examine how Hackney Walk and the Stitch Academy can support major issues within the fashion industry such as on shore manufacturing and the development of high quality education and training opportunities for young people within the fashion and retail industries.

Designer in Residence - Free workspace bursary

Every year the Stitch Academy offers a free workspace bursary for a young East London based designer to become the Designer in Residence at Hackney Walk and Stitch Academy. This is to support a local fashion designer at the beginning of their business career during the early stages.

“The studio space is allowing me to expand my business by having a productive, purpose built space to work in, in a great location; which otherwise might not be an option at this stage in my career if I wasn’t receiving the support of Hackney Walk” – Ashley Williams (current Designer in Residence).

The Hackney Shop

Hackney Walk, through the Stitch Academy, will continue to provide the Hackney Shop as a permanent pop-up retail space for young local fashion designers to experience and learn how to retail and sell their product in a supportive and pressure free environment.

“As a designer living and working in London, any financial assistance is a big help. Being a creative person you sometimes doubt your work, and how it could be perceived by the general public, therefore an opportunity in the Hackney Shop to gain genuine feedback from visitors was brilliant. The interior being a blank canvas was, in my eyes, perfect! This really encouraged creativity to re-invent an atmosphere that complemented my pieces.”- Lamula

East London Fashion Cluster

Hackney Walk and The Stitch Academy are key partners in the development of East London as a fashion cluster, working with the Greater London Authority and The London College of Fashion and a host of other key partners, we are creating the right business and educational conditions for East London to become the UK and Europe’s leading fashion district.

Local supply chains and supporting local businesses

The Stitch Academy oversees and promotes opportunities for local businesses to get collaborate with Hackney Walk in areas outside of the fashion industry. The Stitch Academy promotes opportunities for local food and beverage companies to become a key part of the story. So far Hackney Walk has helped 6 local food and beverage brands to open new businesses.

The Stitch Academy is also supporting the regeneration aspirations of Hackney Council and key partners to redevelop Hackney Central town centre.