The essential link between fashion,
business, consumers and policy leaders.
All tagged Fashion and politics
True to Fashion Roundtable’s style, their first workshop on Fashion Politics and Empowerment was presented on the 7th floor of London’s fashionable Ace Hotel surrounded by spectacular vistas of the city. With a better understanding of what is going on in the political landscape and how that impacts our personal and professional lives, we left with tools to increase our agency and feel more empowered, via policy and via fashion. #FrontRowtoFrontBench is Fashion Roundtable’s rallying cry for the fashion industry to be heard seen and properly represented. So get involved through following on social media, attending events and signing up for their regular newsletters.
"When we launched Fashion Roundtable the majority of politicians I spoke to thought the industry was just Kate Moss & catwalk shows and were more concerned about fisheries than fashion” Cincik says.“However after contacting each of the 650 MPs highlighting the reality of the UK Fashion Industry’s valuable contribution - generating over 890,000 jobs, nationwide and thousands of jobs and revenue to each of their constituencies - we're now seeing politicians from across the parties, uniting to ensure that our industry maintains its status as a global soft power leader for the economy.”
The EAC report is also wrong on the point that "Short lead times means that wash tests and wearer trials are often not feasible, with implications for garment quality". This is nonsense. Every single fabric has to be tested and approved. We make up to 10,000 garments a week and we have had to test every single fabric and if it fails the tests then quite simply we can’t use them.
Find me a fashion designer who hasn’t looked to Nature for inspiration, whether literally referencing flowers, trees, the oceans, the rainforests, animals, feathers or only the colours and moods of the wild or the weather. Bet you can’t, because our natural world is the source of the greatest, most diverse, most magical, spine-tingling beauty. It’s not just our home, but the source of all life. Including ours. We’d do well to remember this with every breath we take, because seriously, we’re trashing the joint.
Low-Level Letter Boxes – It is indicative of our peculiar Westminster system, that in a period dominated by uncertainty around Brexit and when Parliamentary time is so precious, that debating time was allocated to a discussion about changing the height of letter boxes. Fashion Roundtable has always tried to argue that Parliament will listen to fashion, as long as they shout loudly enough, and in the right direction. So if you’re reading this and you are frustrated, write to your MP with our help, and your message will be delivered (albeit it in a higher than usual letter box).
Approaching the end of November, we were posed with a difficult question: do we try and take the shocking events of that month and leave several unanswered questions going into December? Or do we batten down the hatches and review the end of year once the Christmas festivities have died down?
Furthermore, as we are well through the ‘100 days to go’ point, there are three self-perpetuating challenges that face the UK Parliament: there is no Parliamentary majority for the deal negotiated by the Government, there is no time or European appetite to renegotiate, Parliament has passed the bill to leave but hasn’t passed the bill that tells us how.
Fashion has a front row; politics has a front bench.
Both operate on a clearly hierarchical system: one where there are constant threats of being dethroned from the back benches/row, as politics, fashion change.
As a stylist, I have long known that the power of clothes: to enhance sales for a brand, to make a designer relevant in a jaded (and saturated) market, and as a communication tool. Strangers assess all of us before we speak: in a matter of seconds what we wear communicates who we are. Not only is fashion a clearly valuable asset to the global market place, if it was a nation state, it would rank 7th in the world economies, understanding it as a means to decode who we are to target audiences is I believe vital to any seeking either a position in public life, or being considered for promotion. Knowing what you are saying with how you present yourself isn't simply an irrelevance, it is in fact vital.
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.
So what should the British fashion business be doing to ensure that the industry retains both its economic clout and "soft power" in the wake of Brexit? Firstly, if you haven't started preparing for Brexit, this issue needs to move to the top of your agenda right now.
96% of you voted Remain and with that in mind, we wanted to bring your concerns to the centre of this anniversary event. Especially as by then we might finally have some clarity on the deal or whether we are looking at No Deal and therefore be able to decode what this means for you, your business, our fashion futures.
Brexit is the defining issue for this generation within the UK. Whether you voted Remain or Leave in the EU Referendum in 2016, for the fashion industry (which voted 96% Remain; is worth more than £29.7 billion to the UK economy; and depends upon a globally-interconnected international supply chain), it raises significant questions - from deregulation of labour markets, to trading and employment rights. Tamara Cincik, CEO and Founder of Fashion Roundtable, which launched last November to create a much-needed conversation between fashion, business, consumers and policy leaders, points out the main risk factors to consider - Deal or No Deal.
Fashion Roundtable submitted a response to the Parliamentary Inquiry on the Sustainability of the fashion industry, for the Environmental Audit Committee chaired by Mary Creagh MP. This “investigates the social and environmental impact of disposable ‘fast fashion’ and the wider clothing industry. The inquiry examines the carbon, resource use and water footprint of clothing throughout its lifecycle. It will look at how clothes can be recycled, and waste and pollution reduced.”
The US President is the news we wake up to most days and the Tweets we read on the way to work. Donald Trump’s use of social media and choice of team and family members to lead his Republican Presidency have been as unusual as the US choosing a multiple bankrupt TV star facing multiple sexual abuse allegations, with no political experience, to enter the White House. What are the President’s powers and why does who control the vote in the Senate matter? Why does who he chooses for the Supreme Court and what does this mean to important legislature such as Roe Versus Wade, US Trade Deals or global relationships?
With the UK due to officially leave the EU on March 29th 2019, we now have less than 6 months to not only fully understand how the EU works, but what it does for those on the inside and what effects not being at the decision making tables at the European Parliament in Brussels, Strasbourg and Luxembourg will mean for the UK. Did you even know that the EU meets in not one, not two but three cities across Western Europe, with meetings for the whole Parliament taking place in Brussels and Strasbourg and admin being done primarily in Luxembourg? Second only to India for the size of the electorate, the power and impact of the EU cannot be underestimated. Educational programmes such as Horizon 2020 and Erasmus and key to its value, with the former acting as the largest EU Research and Innovation (R&I) programme with over €80bn of funding over 7 years between 2014 – 2020. The sheer power of this as an economic driver for advances in science, medicine, tech and the creative industries cannot be underestimated, creating a genuine single market for knowledge, business opportunity as well as R & I.
28 countries across Europe, soon to be 27, with a shared agenda across finances, IP and sustainable initiatives, creates a powerful trading bloc which represents over 500m people.
At first glance, politics and fashion are polar opposites, and political affairs may seem irrelevant to someone in the fashion industry, especially in the creative aspect of the sector. A designer or stylist might think they are removed from politics: except as Brexit shows, our previous freedom of movement for goods (textiles) and services (work in Europe) is a part of the on-going Brexit negotiations. Game of Thrones has been discussed in the Chamber (what you see on TV for PM’s Question Time where MPs vote) multiple times more than fashion.
Intellectual Property rights within fashion form a crucial foundation to the industry and have the potential to generate material value for fashion designers. However, the impending loom of Brexit is generating widespread fear throughout the industry. Fear of what the effect of exiting the EU will be on UK IP design rights, and how this could damage the UK fashion and design industry.
The main concern is the potential loss of the protection provided by the Unregistered Community Design Right. This could, in turn, undermine the global prominence of events such as London Fashion Week.
The Design Council’s recent design economy research has supported the message that a more diverse workforce will lead to a more diverse output and wider audience appreciation. The Design Council has added depth to this understanding by uncovering further statistics and underpinning their message with both the positives and negatives of a diverse design workforce. The Design Council explains that a more diverse workforce will be able to understand the needs of an increasingly diverse population.
Using both the full Design Economy 2018 report and their article on the link between diversity and business performance, Fashion Roundtable looks to break down their findings and view them from the perspective of the fashion industry.
I don't think this is the result of a Government not understanding Brexit and its implications. During the past two years several advisors, economists, policy officers, NGO and company representatives (including Fashion Roundtable) have explained the consequences both in monetary and socioeconomic terms, time and time again.
Dr Cameron MP: “To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if he will take steps as part of the negotiations for the UK leaving the EU to seek the creation of a visa system between the UK and EU countries to meet the needs of the creative sector.
A Answered by: Caroline Nokes Answered on: 09 July 2018
The Government is considering a range of options for the future immigration system. We will build a comprehensive picture of the needs and interests of all parts of the UK, including different sectors, businesses and communities, and look to develop a system that works for all.
We will make decisions on the future immigration system based on evidence and engagement. That is why we have asked the independent Migration Advisory Committee to advise on the economic and social impacts of the UK’s exit from the EU. When building the new system, various aspects including the creative sector will be taken into account, to ensure the future immigration system works for sectors.
We will set out proposals later this year.”