The day the British Fashion Council (BFC) announced the recipients of its £ 1 million emergency fund, the organization said the amount was meager considering the amount needed to help small businesses independent fashion.
“A million pounds is a lot of money, but when you divide it up among so many companies, it’s just a drop in the ocean,” said Caroline Rush, CEO of BFC, at Professional Business of Fashion website. “There is still a lot to do.”
Along with the threat of closure, fashion designers suffered huge financial losses due to production changes, canceled orders and postponed fashion shows. Retailers experienced an 80% drop in traffic, the industry’s “biggest drop ever”, in the four weeks between April 5 and May 2.
Thirty-seven labels, including Craig Green, Bethany Williams and Ahluwalia, are expected to receive financial support from the fashion fund of the BFC Foundation to the tune of £ 50,000 each. “This will allow our team to have stability during this time,” said Eden Loweth of the art school, one of the fund recipients. He added that the money will be used to “invest in our direct team of assistants and manufacturers, supporting them and therefore in the company’s infrastructure in the coming months”.
The pandemic has forced the fashion industry to question how it works. An open letter from designer Dries Van Noten and signed by other designers, executives, retailers and industry figures called for fewer goods, fewer trips during fashion weeks and a realignment of seasonal deliveries and sales periods.
“I think this is a watershed moment for the whole industry,” said Loweth. “Things will just never return to what they were before. “
” [The pandemic] prompted the designers to look at what is really needed, “said Bianca Saunders, who also receives money from the BFC fund. “We basically had to tear up the rulebook and find new ways of doing it, from producing collections to presentation and marketing. “