The British Fashion Council is calling on the government for more support
While it welcomes the emergency funds the fashion industry is already receiving, it warns for a further loss of 240,000 jobs in the UK.
Photography Mitchell Sams
It is no news that the coronavirus pandemic has brought with it considerable hardship for those working in industries reliant on independent business and freelance labour. Brands are struggling and fashion designers have experienced massive financial losses from production changes, cancelled orders and rescheduled catwalk shows.
To make matters worse, today, the British Fashion Council released worrying new data from Oxford Economics. The numbers are offering us a glimpse into the stark reality that the global pandemic is going to have on the British fashion industry, claiming that the upcoming recession could hit the fashion industry twice as hard compared to the UK overall -- effectively wiping out the above-average growth achieved by the industry in the past ten years. The data shows that alongside the economic impact, an entire generation of creative talent is threatened to disappear, putting in danger the UK’s position as the creative crucible of global fashion.
To list some of those numbers: in an industry that employs 890,000 people (2019), 240,000 direct job losses are predicted, revenues are likely to drop from £118billion in 2019 to £88billion in 2020 and the level of contribution to GDP is forecasted to drop from £35billion (2019) to £26.2billion.
As we reported earlier, the British Fashion Council itself already launched a £1m coronavirus hardship fund for designers, to help support them through these trying times. But of course, that won't cover all. More elaborate schemes need to be set up in order to ensure future employment, the council explains in a press statement. It asks the UK government to consider a series of seven measures, such as giving out interest free loans to small businesses that are not eligible for proposed Government measures, but were viable pre COVID-19. The full list of recommendations can be read here.