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British Fashion Council joins the BBC's 50:50 The Equality Project

Lauretta Roberts
03 September 2021

The British Fashion Council (BFC) has entered into a long-term partnership with 50:50 The Equality Project – a voluntary monitoring initiative initially created by the BBC for the media industry – with the aim of ensuring fashion fairly represents the market it serves.

To be officially launched during London Fashion Week (which takes place from 16-21 September), the overall purpose of the project is to help benchmark not only individual teams, but the fashion industry as a whole, using data to positively impact representation.

Designer businesses taking part in London Fashion Week will be asked to participate by collecting diversity data from their teams represented at the event, ranging from design teams to hair and make-up, models, production, communications and more.

The collected data will be used to benchmark and track progress in terms of reflecting the audiences, consumers and communities they serve and employ. The BFC will also be collecting, benchmarking, and tracking its own progress.

The designer businesses who have signed up to take part in the first round of the project are Anciela, Anna Mason, Carlota Barrera, Edward Crutchley, Eirinn Hayhow, Ester Kubisz, Helen Kirkum, Joao Maraschin, Jordan Luca, Kaushik Valendra, Labrum, Matty Bovan, OSMAN, palmer//harding, POA, Ray Chu, Richard Malone, Roksanda, Saul Nash and Tiger of Sweden, with more designers expected to join in the near future.

Moving forward, the plan is for data collection to take place each season. The findings of the project will begin to be published after 18 months from the start which will be used for continued benchmarking and monitoring purposes.

June Sarpong, Director of Creative Diversity BBC and Board Director at the BFC commented: We look forward to seeing the success we have seen of 50:50 within the BBC, positively impact London Fashion Week. 50:50 will encourage all businesses to make more conscious choices around the teams they employ from full time employees to the freelancers employed at shows, from models, to stylists, hair and make-up artists, communications and production teams. I would like to commend [BFC CEO] Caroline Rush and her team at the BFC for championing equity and inclusion within the fashion industry.”

The BRC said the initiative formed part of its wider work to "fight prejudice and galvanise the industry into action with a key long-term objective of the project being to encourage and empower cultural change across industry."

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