Friday 27th March

| BY Helena Fletcher

The British Fashion Council Launch A Fund Supporting Fashion Businesses During the Covid-19 Crisis

To say the spread of the Coronavirus has upended the fashion industry would be an understatement. Across the globe, our industry is currently in an uncertain state of flux. To help combat the upheaval in the UK, the British Fashion Council has announced today the launch of the BFC Covid Crisis Fund. The Fund aims to help both individuals and designers survive the COVID-19 crisis, making £1,000,000 of emergency fund available as a vital resource to support UK-based designer businesses, as well as students and the future of creative talent.

“Now more than ever, we are committed to support the businesses and people that make up our industry. With the BFC Foundation Covid Crisis Fund and the donations raised, our hope is to support those British businesses that need additional subsidies, beyond Government stimulus available, to address their most urgent challenges,” said Caroline Rush, chief executive of the BFC. The not-for-profit organisation, which is integral to the both London and the UK’s fashion industry, has been working with the government to brief them on the challenges, as well as keeping their stakeholders updated via letters, digital Town Hall meetings, newsletters and social media. The fundraising campaign is calling for support in the form of grants or long-term low-risk loans to address retail cancellations and sell-through guarantees to negate the domino effect caused by disruption to supply chains for businesses. To protect employment, the BFC is also calling for rent holidays for offices and retail stores and have campaigned for additional financial measures to protect creative freelancers as a member of the Creative Industries Federation. Stay up to date with the latest government advice and updates through the BFC’s COVID-19 Business Bulletin. Applications for funding from the new BFC Foundation Covid Crisis Fund will open within the next 7 days and will close on April 10th.

In response to the health emergency, internationally, brands and conglomerates are stepping up to do their part. LVMH converted their cosmetics factories in France to manufacture hand sanitizer, Hugo Boss’s factory in Metzingen will be dedicated to manufacturing 180,000 washable and reusable face masks to donate to public facilities, including nursing homes, the police and fire departments. Following a request from the Tuscany Region, Prada’s factory in Montone, Perugia, has begun producing 110,000 masks 80,000 medical overalls for healthcare personnel. The Armani group have also begun producing medical overall for healthcare workers at all of their Italian production plants in addition to donating 2 million euros to hospitals in Tuscany. Gucci will be making a 2 million euro donation in support of two crowdfunding campaigns as well as launching the “We Are All In This Together” initiative on social media in support of Protezione Civile Nazionale and the World Health Organisation, calling for their community to donate too.

Applications and mechanics for funding from the new BFC Foundation Covid Crisis Fund will open within the next 7 days, with applications closing on April 10th. Stay tuned for more information via @britishfashioncouncil.

Top image: Marques’Almeida AW20 at London Fashion Week, photo by Jason Lloyd-Evans.