In an attempt to support and promote British fashion, the British Fashion Council has been engaging directly with the government in order to closely monitor COVID-19 updates, advice and support for businesses whilst, at the same time, ensuring that the challenges facing the industry are articulated to the government.
In particular, BFC has been asking for support for businesses, including ascertaining whether the latest business rate threshold measures will work for fashion businesses, speaking to fashion retailers to see how they can support smaller, independent businesses and urging increased government support to protect self-employed and freelance workers in the fashion industry.
According to BFC, freelancers in particular are facing multiple cancellations by both U.K. and international retailers for Spring 2020 stock. This will, inevitably, leave them with amounts of stock they paid for but are unable to sell. Additionally, as freelancers have been amongst the groups hit the hardest by this worldwide emergency, BFC will be backing the Creative Industries Federation within the U.K. and will propose the creation of a temporary income protection fund of £15bn to provide all self-employed workers with a monthly income.
The non-profit organisation is also working with officials from both the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC), who have confirmed they would be grateful for support in the manufacture of essential products. Last week, BFC took it to Instagram and urged designers to help create face masks and anything else deemed essential, explaining how, “in times of need, the fashion industry can be of service.”