Bureau 555, a startup venture designed to promote and make digital craftsmanship accessible, has received a grant from the British Council and Fashion, Textiles and Technology Institute (FTTI) in the UK through the New Landscapes programme. The grant was declared on November 2021.
As a part of the New Landscapes programme, British Council, in partnership with FTTI of University Arts London, launched an open call for new initiatives to support international Research and Development (R&D) and global collaboration around new ideas for the future of sustainable fashion, textiles and related technology, in September 2021. They announced 5 UK and Official Development Assistance (ODA) country SME partnerships to share £100k in funding and business support for sustainable design and production under the New Landscapes: Fashion, Textiles and Technology (FTT) Catalyst R&D Grant Scheme. Bureau 555 was one of the recipients of this grant.
Bureau 555’s aim is to support local craftsmen by creating digital archives of their work, enabling future generations to continue to study and appreciate the intricacies of their work.
In honor of public awareness about textile and archiving through digitisation of fabrics, Bureau 555 and Brihatta Art Foundation held a talk about Weaving, Archiving and Digitising in the crafts industry at Brihatta Art Foundation, Mukti Tannery 1, Hajaribag on March 11, 2022. Designers Shaibal Saha & Lipi Khondoker from Fashion Design Council of Bangladesh (FDCB); Nawshin Khair from Aranya; Sumbal Momen, Pride Group; Yasmin Jahan Nupur; Azizi; Saifur Rahman from Prothom Alo Digital team; Kanak Chapa; Ariq Mansur, Strides & Co.; Robert Chatterton Dickson, British High Commissioner; and Teresa Albor, Artist (Wife of British High Commissioner), attended the event.
The event was held to promote greater accessibility to digital technology throughout the supply chain for brands and manufacturers, working towards a more sustainable and resilient future.
On the mentioned topic, a discussion took place between Gabrielle Shiner-Hill, co-founder of Bureau 555 and Faiza Ahmed, founder of Manas. Gabrielle spoke about her background in weaving, the history of women in weaving in Europe and shared her experiences throughout her textile career. Faiza Ahmed talked about the women's role in the creation of textiles and the history of fashion design in Bangladesh.
The discussion came to an end with an emphasis on how digitisation can enable proper archiving of heritage textiles and motifs.