The Government seeks a Fashion Disability Champion to tackle the issues faced by disabled consumers - by Lottie Jackson

The Department for Works and Pensions has announced that it will be recruiting a fashion industry disability champion to address the challenges disabled people encounter as consumers. Coinciding with International Day of Persons with Disabilities last Monday, the Government revealed that there will be six new disability champions across fashion, technology, countryside and heritage, website accessibility, food and drink and product design. These new recruits are set join the existing 14 champions who are currently driving improvements to the accessibility of services in a range of sectors, including banking, music, tourism, leisure and media. 

FASHION REVOLUTION CONSUMER SURVEY REPORT NOVEMBER 2018

A baseline survey on EU consumer attitudes to sustainability and supply chain transparency in the fashion industry

Fashion Revolution commissioned a survey of 5,000 people aged 16-75 in the five largest European markets, including Germany, United Kingdom, France, Italy and Spain, to find out how supply chain transparency and sustainability impacts EU consumers’ purchasing decisions when shopping for clothing, accessories and shoes.

Is Fashion Finally Squaring The Circle? By Tamara Cincik

On Friday I attended the breakfast launch to Disrupting Patterns at Chelsea College of Art, to celebrate a two year project by designer Filippa K in collaboration with Mistra Future Fashion as well as Professor Rebecca Earley & Dr. Kate Goldsworthy from the Centre for Circular Design at  UAL. "Circular Design Speeds" is a collection using the latest methods in innovation for production, the highlight of which is a dress which is 100%  bio-based and biodegradable, after wearing it several times, you can compost it and it will fully decompose.The "Throw Away Dress" is created with non-woven Tencel material that avoids the costly processes of spinning and weaving, before being naturally dyed using food by Heart and Earth Production. Another highlight was "The Eternal Trench Coat" that is 100% recycled using polyester from plastic bottles. The dyeing process used also reduces water usage by 75 % and chemical usage by 90%. The coat is available at Filippa K stores and online.

Brexit Status Update. An Op-Ed for Fashion Roundtable

We are in the final stretches of the Brexit negotiations.  On 14th of November, the UK and the European Commission jointly published the draft Withdrawal Agreement (WA), the infamous 585 page document spelling out the terms of disengagement.  The European Council, composed of the premiers of the 27 remaining EU member states, endorsed the agreement on Sunday. 

Some of the withdrawal terms have been well known for almost a year, including the lump sum payment the UK will be making to honor its obligations towards the EU budget and other specific projects as well as citizen rights, which both parties will maintain according to existing EU regulations. On other issues such as customs, trade or the Northern Ireland (NI) border discussions were going back and forth as there were no adequate solutions.  As it stands now NI will have a closer regulatory alignment with the EU and products coming from and going to NI will use the EU`s customs code, be subject to other single market rules including product certification and phytosanitary measures.

#LoveNotLandfill: Why vintage and pre-loved clothing is your answer to shopping more sustainably. By Lottie Jackson

Within an article for Man Repeller last week, fashion journalist Pandora Sykes spoke about bringing a newfound eco-consciousness into her sartorial choices. Whilst admitting she is still not immune to the “new in” sections, her latest rule is ‘if I see something new that I like, I have to see if I can find the vintage version of it first.’ Now surely this is something all consumers could introduce into their mind-set? This weekend Fashion Roundtable hosted an event at The Festival of Sustainable Fashion to discuss fashion waste and the viable options to counteract its polluting impact. While Rafaella de Freitas covered the local, national and international governmental policies to combat waste, Jodi Muter-Hamilton offered tech solutions which could aid transparency and thereby reducing the cost and excess of overconsumption. Also speaking during the event, JJ Hudson aka Noki said: ‘the fast fashion brand is creating weapons of mass production, Brandalism is a solution. My practice as a solo customiser selling a custom built collection could be classed as a micro footprint in sustainability to create for a consumer.’

Intellectual Property in the Fashion Industry: what risks will come with Brexit? - by Rafaella de Freitas

Intellectual Property (IP) protects a brand, but the panel quickly understood that it is not fully grasped by those who would benefit the most from it - sole traders, micro and SMEs. CEO and Founder of Fashion Roundtable, Tamara Cincik, said: “we have not yet grasped that IP is a brands reputation”. In fashion as well as in any other creative industry, IP is central to the success of the company or brand, which by its very nature is dependent on its unique image. The originality of a design is what makes it stand out as exceptional and desirable from other collections, and ultimately, what defines the brand. As part of the EU, brands showcasing their collections in the UK for the first time are protected under the unregistered design right. However, in the midst of Brexit, designers wanting to launch their collections in the UK will have to find other ways to protect their creations.

Minutes for the APPG for Textiles and Fashion Event on IP, Fashion and the Global Market Place

• Fear that this will add cost where competition is already tough

• Trade mark will have big impact especially on small businesses

• Can be achieved but clock ticking

• Not good for London Fashion week show - because designs will be showing in EU

• Moving ahead we need to be as agile and proactive as possible

• We must identify and enforce our rights IP and our goodwill

• Monetarise brand through licensing

A Fashionista's Guide to Politics: The US Judicial Branch

The midterms were marked by emotion and change, from the start of campaigning to the counting of the final ballots. The number of firsts was unprecedented – the first Muslim woman in Congress, the first openly gay elected governor, the two first Native American Women in Congress – a sign that the voices of minority groups in America are finally opening the door. Another big change – the House of Representatives is now dominated by a Democrat majority, a shift after two years of a Republican majority in Congress.

Everything You Need To Know About Purple Tuesday, The UK's First Accessible Shopping Day. By Lottie Jackson

One in five people in the UK has a form of disability or impairment, and collectively these individuals are recognised as having a spending power of £249 billion. Now known as the ‘purple pound’, this staggering sum of money isn’t entering into the UK economy because of the many physical barriers which prevent those with disabilities from fulfilling their potential as consumers. Research carried out by the disability charity Purple revealed that nearly 50% of disabled shoppers have given up on making a purchase because of poor customer service. The aim of Purple Tuesday, which takes place on 13 November during the pre-Christmas shopping period, is to make retailers more conscious of this untapped consumer group.

Q&A with Alice Potts, The RCA Graduate And Material Researcher Proving How Our Excreta Is The Future Of Sustainability In Fashion, By Lottie Jackson

For me fashion has always had a key opportunity to create a more sustainable future because it’s the closest thing we wear to our bodies without us realising, becoming our second skin. Personally, I believe that our bodies are our greatest technologies. I looked at how we could use secretion to form second skins as well as natural health indicators. Not only does the industry need to change, but we also need to transform the way the consumer shops and thinks about clothing. One of the biggest issues is over-consumption, so by trying to prolong garments that can grow and change with us I hope to expand their life-span. 

October Political Intelligence

The build-up to the annual budget this year largely focused on whether this was going to be a Brexit emergency budget, or a business-as-usual budget. It proved to be the latter, but the Chancellor warned that in the event of a no-deal or a bad deal, it was likely a new budget would be required, with revised figures and targets. The Chancellor was not given an easy ride leading up to the announcement, as many in his party and in No.10 appeared to challenge some of his key messaging, but in general there was optimism about the proposals. 

This article provides a fashion tint to the winners from this year’s budget.

From McKinsey Analyst To Kashmiri Goat Herd: Babar Afzal. Op-Ed By Florence Raqa.

The lessons learnt result in a NFP where luxury, sustainability and artisanal values meet. From the community whose fragile economy is based on the survival of the pashmina goat, in a location currently deeply divided with internecine conflicts, to an eco-system which creates a cashmere wool so fine that it literally defines luxury, all in remote mountains hit by the severe impacts of climate change, Babar is working to protect and safeguard these communities and supply chains. 

Anti-fast fashion activist DR NOKI brings his own brand of sustainable luxe to MATCHESFASHION.com Innovators Platform. By Lottie Jackson.

Of his design process, NOKI reveals “I see vintage garments as spare parts much like a car customiser sees their futuristic vehicle builds. My clients are also very similar, they know they are receiving something unique and are very willing to pay those luxury prices to get their hands on NOKI. They just trust me to create and it’s a privilege to be trusted like this.”

Continuing his long-held status as a pioneer, NOKI’s latest designs signal a new age of sustainability for the luxury fashion market- where the domains of haute couture artistry and sustainability may seamlessly intersect.

Single Use Plastic: Does Brexit Mean Brexit For The UK As The EU Commits To Plastic Reduction By 2021? By Rafaella De Freitas and Tamara Cincik

This is what we at Fashion Roundtable will be advocating for post-Brexit: a UK fashion industry which continues to lead in the exciting space where craft, artisan and ethical FashionTech coalesce into a transparent and truly sustainable fashion industry. We have to ensure that leaving the EU does not mean deregulation. We need a future vision where the UK is not an isolated island drowning in a pool of plastic and instead showcase one where any plastic we do create is reused to make something relevant and long-lasting, be that a shoe, a sock, or even a red carpet dress.

Celebrating Black History Month: Are You Represented - The Ballet Inclusion Issue. An Op-Ed By Florence Raqa.

Why do we have a white dancer for both Odette and Odile: the famous dual personality white and black swans in Swan Lake? Why can’t a BAME dancer play both if a white dancer can?  Does classical ballet have to stay just that, classical (and white)? Do we need our princesses pale and our fairy stories European? Is there a core value system which upholds one archetype as desirable, even down to skin colour, while others are excluded and othered? Are the directors of the UK ballet companies waiting for a new generation of black or mixed-race dancer, regardless of the traditional ballet plots? As if so, what are they doing to make ballet more inclusive and less elitist? What changes are happening at community level? All children are interested in sports and arts given the opportunity via parents, schools and the right funding (which is key). However, very few black dancers enter the ballet studio.

Halloween's Growing Influence Op-ed By Tamara Cincik

The Halloween outfit I might wear this year, but which I fully expect to be lost in translation on the mean streets of Muswell Hill, is that of “An Influencer” from Urban Outfitters. Photos of it have been DMed to me a few times by people who loved Fashion Roundtable’s  The Power of Influence event in July. Oh the irony.  My son might be in his 3rd year as Dracula. And it’s not just me recycling Halloween costumes. Mintel’s research cites that 75% of us will reuse the outfit: will November be the month we all decide that a skeleton suit is in fact the new millennial pink body con?