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Brands donate fabric to students as part of BFC's Student Fabric Initiative

Lauretta Roberts
08 April 2021

Some 24 brands, from Burberry to Paul Smith and Victoria Beckham, have donated materials, including deadstock and unwanted fabric, to fashion students at 33 colleges in need across the UK.

The British Fashion Council co-ordinated the Student Fabric Initiative with the support of writer Charlie Porter and additional help from MATCHESFASHION, workspace provider Fora and connector and brand ambassador Cozette McCreery.

Brands taking part in the Student Fabric Initiative include: ASICS, Barbour, Begg x Co, Bianca Saunders, Charlotte Knowles, Craig Green, David Koma, Gabriela Hearst, Halpern, Hamilton and Hare, Knitster LDN, Mackintosh, Natasha Zinko, Orlebar Brown, Paul Smith, Per Gotesson, Phoebe English, PREEN by Thornton Bregazzi, Qasimi, River Island, ROKSANDA, Simone Rocha, Sunspel and Victoria Beckham.

The BFC, through its Institute of Positive Fashion and Colleges Council, oversees the logistics of the fabric donation to students across the UK. The scheme was initially piloted with Burberry earlier this year, who through ReBurberry Fabric made their own donation of fabric to colleges, allowing for the development of a centralised logistics process for donations and the creation of a blueprint for other brands and colleges to work together to provide practical support for future talent.

BFC CEO Caroline Rush: “We are delighted to work with some fantastic brands to meaningfully support the pipeline of creative talent here in the UK with the support of our incredible colleges network. One of the BFC‘s priorities is to encourage the industry to move towards a circular fashion economy while supporting excellence in fashion design. Being able to help students in need while managing to offset waste is an important example of the power of industry-wide collaboration.”

Charlie Porter added: “It’s incredible to see the fashion community come together to help students across the country by donating fabrics. This collective action is in response to the pandemic but will hopefully become a model for how designers and brands can give back in the years ahead, placing sustainability at the heart of UK fashion education.”

The initiative will support students as they complete their BA Fashion degrees, while also helping colleges bring sustainability even closer to the heart of fashion education in the UK.  The scheme’s ultimate ambition is to create a simple and efficient way for brands and colleges to work together to provide practical support for future talent.

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