Recognising the UK's ability to hold international showcase events which enhance soft power and boost creative exports, the UK government has agreed new funding of £2 million for London Fashion Week for 2023-25.
LFW is one of the four global fashion weeks, unique in its breadth of businesses from highly creative start-ups to global fashion brands. The funding will enable the BFC to continue to amplify the work of these businesses to a global audience and co-ordinate a city-wide celebration of fashion and cultural experiences.
The announcement was included as part of a broad ranging Creative Industries Sector Vision of measures agreed with industry representatives via the Creative Industries Council, to support economic growth, jobs, and talent development.
The support, welcomed by the British Fashion Council (BFC), was outlined in tandem with confirmation that the BFC will lead a Circular Fashion Innovation Network to accelerate a Circular Fashion Eco-system through the Institute of Positive Fashion in partnership with UK Fashion & Textiles (UKFT).
The Circular Fashion Innovation Network is funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and will be aligned to the BFC's Institute of Positive Fashion. In partnership with UKFT, it aims to convene industry, academia and innovators to accelerate work and expertise needed to create a Circular Fashion Eco-System in the UK with an innovation led mindset. The programme has six main areas of focus: recycling infrastructure, sustainable manufacturing, circular business models, novel technology, diverse and future-proof workforce and green growth.
Through the Circular Fashion Innovation Network, UKFT’s main areas of activity will focus on recycling infrastructure and sustainable manufacturing and will be supported by a number of practical innovation and research projects to boost the competitiveness of the UK fashion and textile industry. The BFC and UKFT will set out their collective roadmap for change over the next few months.
Caroline Rush, Chief Executive, British Fashion Council, said: “The British fashion industry leads in creativity and its founders and entrepreneurs are leading innovators in their field. However, in order to responsibly grow businesses at a time of great change requires platforms, support and co-ordination. We look forward to working with industry and government to support the UK in retaining its reputation as creative leaders in a global industry and to develop its ability to responsibly and collectively address how we accelerate to a leading Circular Fashion Eco-System in the UK.”
Adam Mansell, CEO, UKFT, said: “Sustainable manufacturing and recycling infrastructure will be key drivers in the move to a circular fashion ecosystem here in the UK. We’re excited to work with the BFC to support our industry to connect, collaborate and share experiences to build the most resilient, sustainable and competitive sector for future generations.”