UPDATE on the proposed shutdown of LFW by Extinction Rebellion

UPDATE on the proposed shutdown of LFW by Extinction Rebellion

Following on from our statement on the proposed shutdown of LFW by Extinction Rebellion, Fashion Roundtable will be organising a meeting between Extinction Rebellion, the British Fashion Council, Positive Fashion brands and key UK stakeholders before LFW at the Houses of Parliament. We believe that communication and collaboration are the best way to build bridges; through discussing these important issues we can understand and adapt to different positions and voices.

Fashion is a huge component of the UK economy: the largest sector within all of the creative industries. With the threat of a No Deal Brexit (and all the uncertainties that brings) and the UK possibly being plunged into third party status, Fashion Roundtable does not want to see our fashion industry suffer a loss to business. This would negatively impact our jobs and bank balances.

At a time when other countries are keen to build their reputations and interests by luring our talent, we risk disrupting the work of our world-leading sustainable fashion brands and their sustainable business values. Her Majesty the Queen even awarded one the best of these, Bethany Williams, with the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design— an honour that recognises talent, community values and sustainability practices. The Duchess of Cornwall also attended her show and highlighted the fantastic work Bethany has done, including working with Vauxhall Food Bank and giving a percentage of her earnings to charity.

Bethany and several other Positive Fashion brands have told Fashion Roundtable that will be attending our meeting— this is the first time they will have the chance to speak to Extinction Rebellion and highlight their concerns and positions. This meeting can only be a good thing, allowing each person there the chance to have their say and, we hope, find potential solutions.

None of us want to see climate change escalate, and we can agree with Extinction Rebellion on the importance of highlighting the biggest issue of our time. Equally I am sure all of us applaud the work of Greta Thunberg— who, at just 16 years old, is showing all of us how to campaign with authenticity and clarity. But so many of the designers showcasing at LFW are already the very ones who are leading the sustainable fashion debate: using waste, sourcing ethically and being entirely circular with their business values. This proposed shutdown of LFW comes at a time when the UK fashion industry is already facing the threat of Brexit. With so much at stake for the UK fashion industry right now our meeting will aim bring all these people together and try to find a middle way.

Watch this space.

Additionally, Dr Lisa Cameron MP, the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Textiles and Fashion, has responded by saying:

“The APPG supports London Fashion Week. It does amazing work showcasing British talent, young designers and is thought of as the pinnacle of the industry. The APPG support both sustainable and ethical fashion and many designers will be showcasing new biodegradable fabrics and technological advances. Banning london Fashion Week would be a step backwards, reputationally for the UK and the industry as a whole.”

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