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Boris Johnson pledges £80m funding for green fashion program

Jeremy Lim
10 June 2022

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged £80 million to help the UK fashion industry, addressing a crowd of government and trade officials and industry figures at 10 Downing Street.

Talking to a crowd including Anya Hindmarch, Holli Rogers, Jonathan Akeroyd and Stephen Jones, Johnson said: "I am delighted to support this brilliant industry as it moves forward with a 10-year program bringing opportunities across the U.K. to meet our Government Climate Action Plan of environmental and societal change."

The BFC said the funding caps years of talks between British officials, and will be used to set up a 10-year Fashion Industry Sustainable Change Program. The aim is to create a "world-leading, circular fashion ecosystem with innovation and creativity front and centre to deliver local ecosystems focused on recycling, innovation and new, circular business models."

The Sustainable Change Program will include the first, industry-led Centre of Excellence, which will be housed within the BFC’s Institute of Positive Fashion.

The Centre of Excellence will convene industry leaders such as designers, retailers, manufacturers, academics and trade organisations including U.K. Fashion and Textiles and the British Retail Consortium.

Stephanie Phair, outgoing Chair of the British Fashion Council said: "Imagine, 10 years from now, a city like Leeds retaining its role as a key part of the fashion and textiles industry and an example of a circular city with reprocessing plants, and energized high streets with takeback schemes where product is broken down, re-spun and made to create new fabrics."

Phair added that 4 billion items of clothing were purchased in the UK alone in 2019, with at least 60% never being recycled. "The fashion industry is a big part of the problem, so we must be a big part of the solution. We need to address how we design, source, produce, ship, market product, shop and deal with waste that currently goes to landfill", she said.

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