Positive Fashion


Throughout 2017 the British Fashion Council aims to celebrate Positive Fashion best practice by creating a dialogue and providing a platform to tell good news stories that help facilitate change whilst encouraging British designer businesses to have sustainability and ethical practices high on their agenda. Positive Fashion Topics include:

  1. Sustainability: Origins & Ethics, Fairtrade & Environmental Health
  2. Diversity & Industry Education: Communication, Equality & Model Health
  3. Local Manufacturing & Craftsmanship

A first highlight for Positive Fashion in 2017 is the launch of 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
Creative Skillset
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 
Oxford Economics
Paula Nickolds, John Lewis Partnership
Roberto Canevari, Burberry
Shadi Halliwell, Harvey Nichols
Simon Colbeck
Stephen Sunnucks, Gap
Tania Littlehales, Marks & Spencer
The Alliance Project 
Vanessa Podmore