Minutes from the APPG for Textiles and Fashion on Commonwealth Fashion 16/05
Minutes for APPG for Textile and Fashion
MAY 16TH 5PM-6.30PM COMMITTEE ROOM 11 HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT
Topic: Commonwealth Fashion Trade https://allpartyparliamentarygroupfortextilesandfashion.wordpress.com/
1/10 INTRODUCTIONS AND WELCOME - Tamara Cincik CEO ashion Roundtable stands in and chairs meeting until Chair, Dr Lisa Cameron arrives.
2/10 DANIEL HUTTON founder of ommonwealth Fashion Counci - gives a Powerpoint presentation explaining objectives and vision for Commonwealth Fashion Council.
Commonwealth Fashion Industries and the Global Fashion Sector (The great love affair for the future)
Focus: The Commonwealth Fashion Apparel Industries
Emerging markets have in recent times proved to be a dynamic growth opportunity, and also offered companies the potential to diversify their revenue stream and expand beyond the boundaries of their originating markets. The Commonwealth Fashion Industries are no different.
In an era where The United Kingdom is considering alternative trade agreements and a clear strategic vision that includes emerging markets shows foresight for the apparel industries, as emerging markets will continue to offer the greatest growth opportunities going forward and should not be underestimated.
To remain profitable in an environment of ‘informed’ global competition and increasing material and operational costs, shortening production lead-time has become a new source of competitive advantage however - at what cost does fast production come?
How can the Commonwealth Charter and its view point on sustainable, inclusive development address a more responsible apparel sector?
Currently, the apparel industry is experiencing a number of challenges including:
Instances of unethical processes impacting on human rights to reduce production costs and sustainability. Should we have Commonwealth Fashion Standards?
Mass production increasing the amount of textile wastes in landfills and impacting consumer behaviour (positively & negatively) and climate change.
How can the apparel industry rise to the challenge to create sustainable and profitable supply chains in the Commonwealth emerging markets?
The Emerging Commonwealth Consumer and Market
Goods and services within the Commonwealth are estimated to be worth $3.1 trillion USD and consumer are at 1 Billion, the Commonwealth Fashion Industries (CFI’s) are becoming more wealthier and seeking goods and services.
Commonwealth GDP stands at $10.4 trillion USD. By 2020 GDP will be $14 trillion USD.
It is 15% cheaper to do business in the Commonwealth because of shared legal systems and language. Intra Commonwealth trade is estimated to be worth $525 billion USD and is set to surpass 1 trillion USD by 2020.
In terms of contribution to GDP, the Commonwealth Fashion Industries (CFI’s) generates above 100 Billion USD, employees mostly women and young people along with elevating women into key decision-making roles throughout design, manufacturing and production.
It is also very important to say that the full fashion cycle (raw materials, design, manufacturing, supply, retail and digital communications) all exist within the CFI’s – making 100% made in the Commonwealth products a reality. The industries are a access point for youth, women and the LGBTI+ community and used correctly, advance the rights and prosperity of those three groups. The Commonwealth Fashion Council and our partners work very closely with Commonwealth governments (through being a Commonwealth accredited organisation) to amplify our principle objective.
2/1 DANIEL HUTTON founder of ommonwealth Fashion Council
Explains Commonwealth bound by charter of 53 countries Democracy and freedom of speech
Core value of human rights - Lasting democracy trade and peace 3 Objectives : Rewire fashion through Commonwealth
3 Objectives :
a) Rewire fashion through Commonwealth
b) Membership for programs collaborating with all 53 countries focus on sustainability and protecting workers and practices with accreditation
c) Commonwealth fashion exchange sharing designers and artisans within the Commonwealth
Accreditation gives access to government decision making encouraging industry e.g. Kenyan Fashion Council.
Aim to have fashion 100% made in Commonwealth a global conscious movement bridging gap between government and industry.
Commonwealth charter is glue that keeps commonwealth together - Daniel wants a Commonwealth Fashion charter. Tamara applauds Daniel for getting 53 Commonwealth countries together.
3/10 LAKSHMI KAUL - UK Representative from CONFEDERATION INDIAN INDUSTRY(CII)
Indian urbanisation has led to shopping malls and 75% shift in customers. Great opportunity for artisans
Fashion 2nd largest employer of women
By 2025 possible 50 million jobs achieve because unencumbered fabric chain CII 4 Factors : Ease of product - Ease of market - Ease of business - Innovation India has flexible labour laws so can bridge the cost gap and make world class facilities through streamlined infrastructure and FTA (Fair Trade Agreements) equalising markets
Tamara asks how employers protected. Bigger players have better ethics and hand hold people at grassroots. To change need better work conditions hence CFC. Tamara brings Daniel in and he wants government to be accountable and this works if there is a strong collective and good supply chain managements
Tamara introduces Safia of GCM
Safia gave presentation via Powerpoint
Explains GCM embedded in good ethical practice
Looked at 100 human rights over 98 industries
Best result was 28.7% for 3 industries - This is very poor result like taking a exam and getting 28.7%!
Companies better on policy and governance and poor on tracking an responding to results
Apparel is good at serious allegation and transparency - good in a crisis but poor otherwise
Objectives - Make Boards clear and answerable - How to deal with complaints - public policy on child labour
Want emerging market to learn from our mistakes and have better practice rom the start
Lisa takes over chair from Tamara introduces Erzumah
Womenswear designer but starting menswear soon
Snapshot of her background - Born in Brixton of Ghanaian heritage uses fabric and influences from Ghana
London is largest global market which given so much opportunity
Africa is market to target because of its resources and its young population Set up unit in Ghana to create trade and growth
Explains VARANA means river a blessing a wave its very positive
Adapts Indian craft from tradition but with innovative design
Aim to show Indian skill and craft and be strong not produces of cheap product
Not easy to be financially strong but patience and re-education going for slow rather than fast fashion is target.
Working for Made in India better, Lisa says - breaking the mould so that India is known for its high quality production
7/10 OSWALD BOATENG OBE MENSWEAR
Listening to Sophie its fantastic manufacturing is huge
Investment needed like Commonwealth fund - There is capital in government which can be accessed
Lisa asks how through ticket investment can counter balance to Brexit?
OB says Commercial opportunity is vast but infrastructure needs funding
LC asks How does he see this
OB There is a lot of unemployment so training programs between East and West can work
LC We need to write to East and West African government about funding an support OB Look at Burberry with traditional African dress in their campaign embracing culture and things like Commonwealth Fashion Council
LC Good points have been raised
TC Explains Daniel’s role at CFC
DH Commitment from Commonwealth government for funding in fashion to encourage manufacturing and design which comes fundamentally from education
LC Difficulty with getting funds but need to write to appropriate ministers
Mr Tillman suggests that rather we can create methods of working together that involves more people action and less money
LC We have lots of ideas and lets see what works and this is about planting seeds. The Commonwealth is so important here and we need to build momentum
8/10 Tasmin Lejeune - Managing Director and Founder of Ethical Fashion Forum and CEO of Common Objective
Explains problem of helping women make progress using their artisan skills e.g. Batik was very successful in kids wear but not womenswear. We made connections with strategic people together with fashion colleges and companies like Topshop who they have worked with for 3 seasons. Their products have sold out and it has increased earnings for these women 10 fold.
Worked with 100’s of women across the Commonwealth and with the right connections and resources it can be catalyst for change
487 million work in the global fashion industry
Explains Common Objective - Set up in 2016 - Its liked Linkedin for Fashion – A Explains problem of helping women make progress using their artisan skills e.g. Batik was very successful in kids wear but not womenswear. We made connections with strategic people together with fashion colleges and companies like Topshop who they have worked with for 3 seasons. Their product have sold out and it has increased earnings for these women 10 fold
9/10: PAIGE EARLAM Head of Marketing Plexus Cotton
Started trading with her British born Ghanian husband in 1990 exporting 95% of produce
In 1998, they invested in a Gin factory here they clean and process the raw cotton Vision to transform African cotton economy from seed to fabric as it is so cost effective Biggest potential is workforce as average is 19
Governments excited to make this happen
Plans for education program for diversity not just cotton responsibility
10/10: Questions and Comments from the floor
Sally O’ Rourke - Head of WGSN comments that consumer demand provenance that is driving retailers to get it together go to Common Objective where mechanism is available.
Martin Docherty - Hughes MP - Trade and impact on industry - Commonwealth will be in driving seat of any trade deal of 60million - China role with impact on Africa - Leaving Euro where is money and aid coming from. How do we combat Brexit
Tamara - explains Creative Industries worth £91.7bn to the UK and Fashion Roundtable’s impact assessment by Assay Corporate Finance places a Hard Brexit means 38% loss of trade
LC suggests writing to government sending concern to Tamara and make suggested questions and profiles championing new opportunities
APPG helps experts get consensus to move forward