On the day the British Fashion Council (BFC) announced the recipient of a £ 1 million emergency fund, the organization said the amount was small given the amount needed to help small and independent fashion companies.
“£ 1 million sounds like a lot of money, but when you divide it among so many businesses, it’s only a drop in the ocean,” Caroline Rush, BFC’s chief executive, told the trading website Business Mode. “There is still much to be done.”
Along with the threat of closure, fashion designers have suffered massive financial losses from production changes, canceled orders, and rescheduled catwalk shows. Retailers experienced an 80% decrease in footsteps “Best ever” drop, in four weeks between April 5 and May 2.
Thirty-seven labels, including Craig Green, Bethany Williams and Ahluwalia, will receive financial assistance from BFC Fashion Funds Foundation up to £ 50,000 each. “This will allow our team to have stability so far,” said Eden Loweth, from the School of Art, one of the recipients of the funds. He added that the money would be used to “invest in our assistant and factory direct teams, support them and therefore the company’s infrastructure over the coming months.”
The pandemic has forced the fashion industry to question how it works. A Open letter by designer Dries Van Noten and signed by designers, executives, retailers and other industry figures have called for less production of goods, fewer trips for fashion week and a rearrangement of seasonal shipments and sales periods.
“I think this is an important moment for the whole industry,” Loewth said. “Everything will never return to normal.”
“[The pandemic] has made designers see what is really needed, “said Bianca Saunders, who also received money from BFC funds. “We basically have to tear up the rule book and find new ways of doing things, from collection production, to performances and the marketing side of things.”