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MHI updates on London Fashion Week
Feb '08
MHI update by Hilary Riva: With London Fashion Week about to start in the next week I thought it would be an appropriate time to give an update on our progress in implementing the recommendations from the Model Health Inquiry (MHI) as well as giving an honest appraisal of some the problems we are encountering on our journey.

Firstly and I believe most importantly we have successfully and significantly raised the awareness of this important issue providing the context for an informed debate amongst a wide group of interested parties from Government and health bodies, to designers, model agencies and print media.

Awareness is one of the key goals of the campaigners who quite rightly aim to keep this issue in the public arena in order to gain publicity for an understanding of eating disorders.

While it is understandable that there is a call for speed and regulation we remain convinced that real progress is only achieved by long term fundamental changes in attitudes and behaviours.

With regard to the recommendations of the MHI I want to talk specifically about areas of progress as well as explain the problems of making steps forward in other areas. Firstly, we are delighted that Equity, traditionally known as a union for actors, has agreed to allow models entry.

This is a significant step which recognises the role of models and gives models access to representation for the first time. This has been achieved as a direct result of the work of the MHI and we regard this as a significant breakthrough. We thank Equity for their support and wish them success.

The MHI contained 14 recommendations which fall into 3 categories; Firstly, those which are within the scope of the British Fashion Council (BFC) and deliverable by us. These number three and were all put in place immediately following the announcement of the MHI recommendations.

Secondly, those which required involvement and action by other organisations but which the BFC could facilitate progress. Of the 5 recommendations of this type two have been implemented, two have achieved significant progress and one is causing us some concern.

Thirdly, those recommendations which fell outside the scope and remit of the BFC. There are six of these which have been passed to the appropriate trade body or the Government for review and comment and at this time we are still awaiting responses. Each of the recommendations and actions are laid out in the appendix at the end of this letter.

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