In 2018 the British Fashion Council continues to focus on its Positive Fashion initiative, a platform designed to celebrate industry best practice and encourage future business decisions to create positive change.
Positive Fashion is led by 3 strategic pillars -
SUSTAINABILITY – Ethics – Focuses on social, environmental and business governance to drive a more sustainable fashion future. Positive Fashion champions the long term sustainability of the fashion sector which contributes £29.7Billion to the UK economy in GDP and supports 850,000 jobs. Through the power of collective influence, our Positive Fashion committee of global brands, designer businesses and industry stakeholders gather thought leadership and drive change through best practice.
EQUALITY & DIVERSITY – People – Represents the people, from the product makers to the staff, students and models who pioneer our brands. The BFC takes the lead in setting the standards for an industry that strives to represent equality and diversity on the global stage. Championing the importance of every person in the sector as a vital and valuable part of our industry entitled to be treated with respect and dignity.
CRAFTSMANSHIP & COMMUNITY - Community – Supports the community of talent, skills and craftsmanship that make up our unique industry. Our initiatives are designed to develop connections and understanding between designers and manufacturers taking a holistic approach to the long term viability of the sector. We celebrate the wealth of talent and capability that is unique to British designer businesses.
The British Fashion Council Positive Fashion logo celebrates the designers who are adhering to Positive Fashion principles within their businesses and in turn promoting and contributing to positive change within our industry. We encourage the whole fashion industry to promote the good news stories and come together with one voice.
MODEL HEALTH & DIVERSITY
In December 2017 we announced a new Models First initiative that sees the British Fashion Council working alongside the newly formed British Fashion Model Agency Association, with the aim of setting best practice for the modelling industry and lobbying to remove barriers for models and talented individuals to work in the UK.
The British Fashion Model Agency Association (BFMAA) aims to unite the UK modelling industry to face and tackle industry challenges and recognise legitimate model agencies that sign-up to a code of Best Practice. The Models First Initiative, is chaired by the BFC and will form an independent committee comprising leading individuals from the fashion industry to develop a charter that will protect and give a voice to models. To reach someone at the BFC to discuss the Models First Initiative please call 020 7759 1996 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In September 2017 we were delighted to announce the appointment of Adwoa Aboah as the British Fashion Council’s Positive Fashion Ambassador for Model Health and Diversity, who will help the BFC lead the charge on change and use fashion as a positive platform to inspire future generations. We are working with Adwoa (Gurls Talk) and taking learnings from Google, Channel 4 and Elle to define our strategy on diversity which will be a focus in 2018.
Fashion SWITCH to Green
Launching in September 2017, The British Fashion Council, Dame Vivienne Westwood and the Mayor of London have joined forces in a campaign to bring the fashion industry together to lead in ambitious climate action, for a safer and greener future. Fashion SWITCH to Green, part of the BFC’s Positive Fashion initiative, asks fashion businesses to commit to SWITCHing offices and stores to a green electricity supplier or to a green energy tariff by 2020. The year 2020 significant, tying the campaign to the Paris Agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; whose goal it is to prevent what scientists regard as dangerous and irreversible levels of climate change.
Find out more.
LOCAL MANUFACTURING & CRAFTSMANSHIP
In March 2017 the BFC launched the High-End and Designer Manufacturers Database, a national database of UK manufacturers, which aims to make it easier for designers to gain ethical supply chain certificates and facilitate successful relationships between designers and production units. The initiative was a direct recommendation from the Manufacturing Report, published in 2015.
The British Fashion Council would like to thank Positive Fashion lead partner (2013-2016) M&S for their commitment to our initiative and their passion for developing and celebrating best practice in our industry.
In May 2016 in line with its aim to focus on best practice the Positive Fashion Committee partnered with the ‘Make it British – Meet the Manufacturer’ trade fair to host an event where a panel discussion between key industry figures, designers and manufacturers focused on helping designers to engage manufacturers in a way which secures the best results for all parties.
Positive Fashion’s first focus was on the challenges around High-End Designer Manufacturing in the UK. In March 2015 the BFC and a smaller working group comprising of M&S, UKFT, Creative Skillset, The Alliance Project and Centre for Fashion Enterprise worked alongside independent specialists in the sector to launch the High-end and Designer Manufacturing Report. The research was undertaken by Oxford Economics (OE) and Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) to resolve challenges faced by designers in finding the right production partners in the UK and the concerns around the long-term viability of existing units. Download the full Manufacuturing Report
A High-End Manufacturing Steering Committee continues to drive this work forward, with initial mapping of units and resourcing underway with access to audits to assist in assessing and developing standards.
A Positive Change Committee of BFC patrons, brands and advisors was created to support the development of the Positive Fashion strategy and advise on implementation of its three key pillars: Compliance (awareness of legislation and forthcoming legislation), Corporate Social Responsibility best practice guides) and Consumer (consumer engagement).
Download the full Positive Fashion Report
In 2013, the BFC executive board set the challenge to develop the organisation’s ethical and sustainable agenda. Meeting the board’s remit, a new stream of work called Positive Fashion was launched, supported by lead partner M&S, putting a broader focus on celebrating and encouraging Best Practice in the sector.
2006 - 2013
In 2006 the British Fashion Council launched Estethica, a pioneering scheme to put sustainable fashion at the heart of the mainstream industry by creating a showcase within London Fashion Week. Co-founders of Estethica, Orsola de Castro, Filippo Ricca and Anna Orsini, helped develop the strategy to pave the way for sustainable fashion business to be celebrated, whilst promoting an agenda of addressing waste, organic materials and fairtrade. The mentoring support provided through this scheme assisted new businesses to develop their sustainable agenda whilst developing commercially successful businesses. Christopher Raeburn is the most successful designer to come through Estethica, showing at both London Fashion Week and London Collections Men, part of NEWGEN supported by Topshop in the early years and shortlisted for the BFC/GQ Menswear Fund prize. In 2014, it was agreed that Orsola, Filiippo and Anna would independently continue the great work of Estethica, which would continue to be recognised by the BFC as they develop it into its next phase.
The British Fashion Council would like to thank those who have already contributed to its Positive Fashion Strategy since its inception:
Adam Fenwick, Fenwick Limited
Anna Orsini, Estethica
Annette Cremin, Selfridges
Belinda Earl, Marks & Spencer
Caroline Rush, CEO British Fashion Council
Catarina Midby, H&M
Christopher Moore and Glasgow Caledonian University
Dana Gers, Jimmy Choo
Daniella Vega, Selfridges
Diana Verde Nieto, Positive Luxury
Emma Byrne, Harvey Nichols
Eoghan Griffin, John Lewis Partnership
Eva Von Alvensleben, Kering
Filippo Ricca, Estethica
Juliet Warkentin, Amazon Fashion
Krishan Hundal, Marks & Spencer
M&S, Lead Positive Fashion Partner (2013-2016)
Orsola de Castro, Estethica
Paula Nickolds, John Lewis Partnership
Roberto Canevari, Burberry
Shadi Halliwell, Harvey Nichols
Stephen Sunnucks, Gap
Tania Littlehales, Marks & Spencer
The Alliance Project