The British Fashion Council (BFC) has launched its Institute of Positive Fashion (IPF) website in recognition of World Ocean Day, to celebrate its new partnership with Parley for the Oceans, which will see Cyrill Gutsch, chief executive and founder of the environmental non-profit organisation join the BFC advisory board and the IPF steering committee.
The Institute of Positive Fashion, which was announced last September, has been developed to help the British fashion industry lead in the goal to be more “resilient, circular, equal and fair through global collaboration and local action,” explained the British Fashion Council in a statement.
The launch of the website brings together global resources, information and campaigns to help businesses increase knowledge and embrace sustainable and people led best practices.
As part of the BFC’s partnership with Parley for the Oceans, to reciprocate Gutsch joining the BFC advisory board and the IPF steering committee, Caroline Rush, the BFC’s chief executive will join the advisory board of Parley for the Oceans to create a long-term partnership to “encourage positive change” within the fashion industry.
Other members of the IPF steering committee includes Claire Bergkamp from Stella McCartney, Adam Mansell from the UKFT, Dax Lovegrove from Swarovski, Jalaj Hora from Burberry, Accenture, and Simon Platts from Asos.
Parley for the Oceans partners with the BFC’s Institute of Positive Fashion platform
The partnership will also include pro-active projects for students, education and mentoring, with Parley providing dedicated missions for the BFC and IPF network, explained the fashion industry body.
In addition, the BFC and IPF network will also help raise awareness for ocean conservation and, in line with the IPF environment pillar’s initial focus on reducing waste, the organisations will support Parley on a campaign to phase out single-use plastics as part of its commitment to Parley AIR (Avoid. Intercept. Redesign), Parley’s strategy to end marine plastic pollution.
Commenting on the partnership, Gutsch, said: "Fashion is made from this innovative fabric of creativity, craftsmanship and collaboration. It is built on dreams. Our partnership with the British Fashion Council will support us to make our AIR Strategy the new standard for a new dream, one where toxic ingredients and harmful production methods are relics of the past. Together we will drive the Material Revolution! Avoid. Intercept. Redesign.”
In February 2020, the BFC shared details of its three-pillar plan to address sustainability with its IPF Global Initiatives Map, focusing on the responsibility of Environment, People, Craft and Community, after Stephanie Phair, chair of the BFC called sustainability of the planet the “biggest challenge” to the fashion industry.
At the time, the BFC set the ambition to help future proof businesses in the context of adapting to climate change, however, it now adds that every business also needs to adapt to the “Covid crisis and answer the call to finally end prejudice, racism and injustices against human rights”.
The BFC added: “The [Fashion] industry must take this time to focus on a re-set, and reinvent the status quo with collaboration, compassion and eco-innovation.”
The aim of the IPF is to become the “engine room for change,” explains the BFC, offering help to bring stakeholders together to support one another and address these significant challenges as a collective.
The launch of the website “is just a start” explained the BFC and that by sharing it with the fashion community, government, academia and non-government organisations openly, it will be able to “identifying further resources that can develop the content” while also leveraging global expertise, research, innovation and industry initiatives to address “systemic change”.
Caroline Rush, chief executive of the British Fashion Council and Chair of IPF steering committee said: “The UK’s creativity leads not just in design, but business thinking and there are no better businesses to now focus on what the industry should look like, who our workforces are, how they should be treated and the impact innovation can have on our national communities.
“We are proud to announce on World Oceans Day, but also to share a platform where we can pool global resources and unite in action. There is so much more our industry can do, in so many ways. It has a powerful voice that influences many and it should be used to confront issues from environment to tackling racism and prejudice.”
Image: screenshot of the Institute of Positive Fashion website