Time for Fashion To Grow Up!
Newsletter 8th July 2020
Leicester’s Clothing Factories Under Intense Scrutiny
The big industry news this past week has been damning report by ‘Labour Behind the Label’ on unethical clothing factories in Leicester. In particular online retailer Boohoo has been named and shamed for using factories that allegedly pay workers £3.50 an hour in unsafe conditions offering no protection from coronavirus, along with additional allegations of intimidation and furlough fraud.
Since the publication of the report Next, ASOS and Zalando have dropped the Boohoo brand from their websites. The allegations have additionally sparked further press articles and debates across the sector. As industry expert Fiona Lambert stated in her LinkedIn post: ‘The issue of ethical manufacturing in UK is very complex and needs several parties to work together. I think it’s time, do you?’
As a manufacturer striving to work the right way Fashion-Enter Ltd CEO Jenny Holloway said: “It’s unacceptable for any factory to put the lives of their workers at risk and all retailers have a duty of care not to coheres their supplier base. There has to be integrity within fashion and the health of nation is at risk as evidenced by the spike in COVID-19 cases in Leicestershire.
“Fashion has to grow up and garment manufacturing must be recognised as a skilled profession that it rightly deserves. Putting profit before people is totally unacceptable, it doesn’t need to be this way – as we and other ethical UK factories demonstrate.”
Manufacturing in the UK – Challenges and Advantages
Which leads us on to The PCIAW® ‘Manufacturing in the UK – Challenges and Advantages’ in partnership with Gerber Technology webinar that took place today (8th July 2020). Jenny Holloway was amongst an industry strong panel that included the likes of Richard Jessup – Gerber Technology UK, Sales Director EMEA, Adam Mansell – UKFT, CEO and Simon Hunter, MBE – Hunter Apparel, CEO and others to discuss some of the most pressing topics facing the UK clothing industry. That included the Leicester allegations, the price of production, sustainability and of course the pressures of the coronavirus crisis and the problems highlighted by the pandemic.
The webinar was frank and informative with a direct plea to government to invest in the UK manufacturing sector. Thanks to the https://pciaw.org/ and Gerber Technology for organising this event.
How About a Fashion Apprenticeship?
Want to get on the fashion career ladder but don’t know where to start? Or perhaps you are an employer wanting to grow your company and pass on industry skills? Our Fashion and Textiles Apprenticeship programme offers a unique combination of training and career specific work experience. The apprentice will be working with one employer for the entire course therefore providing an opportunity for both the employer and the individual to develop a long and sustainable relationship.
Jenny Holloway comments: “A big shout to Selvie (pictured) who has now completed her Level 3 apprenticeship in pattern making. She came in during Covid-19 to finish off her practical work and she was an absolute delight. When it comes to fashion apprenticeships Fashion-Enter is proud to be England’s leading fashion and textiles provider offering quality training at all levels.”
To find out more about the Fashion-Enter apprenticeship programme please visit: https://fcfta.com/apprenticeships
The GFF & TikTok Project
This past week we have welcomed Class of 2020 students to participate in a 5-day creative Graduate Fashion Foundation / TikTok residency. Held at Fashion-Enter’s Tailoring Academy with COVID-19 health and safety measures in place, the students have had the opportunity to access practical industry experience and learn new skills.
Caroline Ash, Production Director at Fashion-Enter Ltd comments: “We have been delighted to be working with the Graduate Fashion Foundation & TikTok in our new Unit 4 Tailoring Academy and over the next two weeks we shall be working closely with the students on commercialisation of designs and understanding the principles of ethical production in the UK.”
More on this project soon.
All Parliamentary Group Meeting tomorrow
Tomorrow Fashion-Enter will be joining Fashion Roundtable and the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Ethics & Sustainability in Fashion to a virtual evidence session to discuss how COVID-19 has impacted global supply chains in the fashion industry, and ways forward from post-pandemic. The meeting will take place via Zoom and will include the likes of Catherine West MP, Baroness Young of Hornsey Peer, Lord Young of Norwood Green Peer, Dr Lisa Cameron MP, Laura Farris MP, John McNally MP and Baroness Jenkin of Kennington Peer, amongst many others. More on this to follow.
Introducing The Well Worn by Emma Shaw
Last month we introduced FashionCapital member Fashion Design Consultant – Emma Shaw and she told us all about her fashion career to date. This month Emma introduces us to her launch brand ‘The Well Worn’ and reveals her unrelenting passion for vintage and sustainability. To read the interview tap here.
B of London
The Belles diffusion line ‘B of London’ is going from strength to strength with more styles added this week on the online fashion etailer SilkFred
Stitching Academy Level 1 & 2 courses have re-commenced, these are on a rolling programme to find out more tap here.
Pattern courses Level 1 & 2 have also re-commenced.
The Tailoring Academy will be re-opening end of July 2020.
Optitex 2D & 3D – 1-day Introductory Course – 22nd July
Gerber AccuMark 3-day Course for Beginners – 29th / 30th / 31st July
Fabric Swatch of the Week
This week we’ve picked out this mint green summer shade in a lightweight chiffon available from the FCFabricStudio at just £3.50 a meter.
This Week on FashionCapital
We talk to the founder and designer of the luxury accessories brand Willique.
Independents’ Day – 4th July 2020, saw the launch of #2020vision, a reactive initiative that aims to support independent fashion businesses through the COVID-19 crisis.
And Fashion-Enter Junior Designer Brooke Tate gives us a second instalment of her work diary and recent fabric factory visit.
We love to hear feedback on any of the services that we offer and we recently received this positive comment from Matthew. ‘I was super impressed by the Fashion-Enter team when I tuned in to a couple of their webinars during lockdown. They are great role models for what our industry should be.’