Freelance Researcher Brief 


The Fashion, Textiles and Technology Institute (FTT) at the University of the Arts London (UAL) and the British Fashion Council (BFC) have selected six small businesses from the UK and abroad that will progress onto the second round of the New Landscapes: Fashion, Textiles and Technology (FTT) Catalyst R&D Grant Scheme. 

Repair Cafe Wales, in partnership with Circular Design India and Iro Iro, are one of the six successful projects to be awarded funding. 

We are recruiting a freelance researcher to support us on this project. 

Background to the project: 

In the face of the rapidly expanding fast fashion industry, indigenous textiles practices and mending techniques are being lost. These practices have huge cultural significance to India and to Wales. Circular Design India, Iro Iro and Repair Cafe Wales propose the creation of a publicly available, free to use, digital community platform which connects people in India to indigenous textile menders. This platform will be designed using learnings gained in Wales from the Repair Directory platform.  

We aim to design a concept that is desirable for both menders and public, is technologically feasible and viable to be piloted in India. Success will be found in the creation of a concept that is scalable and adaptable to other geographies. Success will also be measured by increased understanding of the barriers to engaging with textile repair for communities in India and Wales so that we might look to overcome these through the use of digital platforms. The development in India, will provide insights to Repair Directory on how it could evolve its platform to showcase indigenous skills, informal businesses and aspects of community. 


Key questions guiding the project: 

During the course of our project, we will aim to answer the following questions: 

  • How is mending perceived in India vs Wales?  
  • What are the current barriers to engaging with mending? 
  • How can we use digital platforms to increase visibility of culturally significant textile repair techniques and use this visibility to share skills, stories, and increase engagement with textiles repair? 
  • Can the increased visibility of these practices help us change the public’s mindset towards repair?


Project Outputs:

  • A Digital prototype highlighting repair practices, connecting Indian indigenous textile menders to the public, and spotlighting local repair services 
  • Documentation of research methodology and research findings, listing the perceptions and barriers to repair 
  • A list of recommendations from our research for overcoming barriers to repair 


Our requirements: 

We are looking to work with a freelance researcher to provide the following:  

  • Carry out a literature review of existing research regarding attitudes towards and use of clothing repair companies in both India and Wales 
  • Collate data from the survey and analyse results 
  • Identify existing digital platforms which we can draw learnings from  
  • Assist in designing and carrying out focus groups/interviews with members of the public to identify their attitudes towards clothing repair  
  • Assist in designing and carrying out focus groups/interviews with menders to identify their perceptions of barriers to repairing clothing and how digital platforms may help them engage wider audiences 


Assessment Items  

  • The quote should include examples/case studies of previous relevant work and experience as well as a copy of your CV  
  • We would be interested to understand any previous experience you have in textiles/fashion/repair 
  • A breakdown of cost by either daily or hourly rate and whether it includes VAT  
  • Your availability to carry out the work 

Location: Focus groups and participant interviews will be based in Cardiff



– Deadline for responses is: Friday 19th May but we will be reviewing applications as they come in and inviting you to an informal interview.  

– We reserve the right to close this vacancy early if we receive sufficient proposals for the role. Therefore, if you are interested, please submit your application as early as possible.  

– Decisions will be made by: 26th May 

– The project start date: ASAP, work must be completed by 31 August 2023 

Please submit completed proposals via email to