In March 2015, the BFC and a working group comprising of M&S, UKFT, Creative Skillset, The Alliance Project and Centre for Fashion Enterprise worked alongside independent specialists in the sector to launch the High-End and Designer Manufacturing (HEDM) report. The need for a database of audited UK manufacturers is the result of this report, for which research was undertaken by Glasgow Caledonian University and Oxford University.
The database is free to use and is a part of the BFC Designer Fact File, a dynamic designer business learning platform providing insights and training across a wide spectrum of topics. The topics covered are tailored to a range of business stages, from start-ups to established brands, and content is provided by leading industry professionals. In stage 1, the initial manufacturers recommended for the British High-End Manufacturers Database were sourced through designer recommendations and through research done for the HEDM report. For the stage 2, the BFC will conduct a full audit of all manufacturers listed and the database will grow organically as designers and BFC partners recommend further manufacturers, and as suppliers come forward to submit themselves for listing.
Through the Positive Fashion initiative the BFC hopes to encourage designer businesses to prioritise sustainability and ethical practices. The three key focuses for Positive Fashion in 2017 are sustainability, diversity and industry education (including model health) and local manufacturing and craftsmanship. (RR)
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