Disused Holloway garages converted into garment-making workspace

Designer-maker Majida Sayam, second left, in the new FC Designer Workspace

Designer-maker Majida Sayam, second left, in the new FC Designer Workspace with members of the Jannaty sewing group - Credit: Islington Council

Disused garages on the Andover Estate have been fitted out with the latest industry-grade sewing machines and equipment to create a brand new affordable workspace in Finsbury Park where up and coming makers will be able to network with like-minded entrepreneurs.

Garages on the Andover Estate have been turned into designer workspace

Garages on the Andover Estate have been turned into designer workspace - Credit: Islington Council

Islington Council has entrusted social enterprise Fashion-Enter to run the space in Durham Road, Holloway, which has workshop, exhibition and training space for local designers, an in-house photography studio, 12 private studios with eight available to rent, and 38 industry-grade specialist machines for garment making.

Asima Shaikh (left), Jenny Holloway, Jennifer Sutton, Jules Pipe, Tricia Blake

Cllr Asima Shaikh (left), Jenny Holloway, chief executive of Fashion-Enter, Jennifer Sutton, development director at Fashion-Enter, Jules Pipe, London's deputy mayor for planning, regeneration and skills, and designer-maker Tricia Blake of Diva Choice - Credit: Islington Council

Fashion-Enter which produces up to 15,000 garments a week for the likes of ASOS, Tesco F&F, Coast and Brora, will in return offer business mentoring and masterclasses and professional stitching courses.

The workspaces have already proved popular with local designer-makers, including those who sell their products in the FC Designer Collective shop nearby in Fonthill Road. 

Fashion-Enter was given that premises rent-free by the council in return for running the shop to platform the work of nine designer-makers, to help kick-start careers in the garment industry.

Both the shop and the affordable workspace were co-funded by the council and the Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund. 

Designer-maker Majida Sayam, sitting at the sewing machine in the new FC Designer Workspace

Designer-maker Majida Sayam, sitting at the sewing machine in the new FC Designer Workspace, with members of the Jannaty sewing group - Credit: Islington Council


You may also want to watch:


At its launch on Friday (September 17), the council's business chief, Cllr Asima Shaikh, said the FC Designer Workspace presented "a golden opportunity for community talent and industry expertise to combine and produce amazing results".

“With the FC Designer Collective store already well established, I look forward to seeing our residents kick-starting new careers and forging fresh, rewarding futures for themselves," she added.

Most Read

“We are absolutely committed to investing in local jobs and businesses, creating a strong local economy, and I’m proud to be working with Fashion-Enter who share our vision to make Islington a more equal place by nurturing this potential."


Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter