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CFDA and BFC call for "Fashion Industry Reset"

Tom Shearsmith
21 May 2020

The Council for Fashion Designers of America and British Fashion Council have released a joint statement, backing recently assembled groups of industry players calling for large changes to how the fashion industry operates.

In a group statement, the organisations said the COVID-19 pandemic has created an opportunity to “rethink and reset”.

Dubbed “The Fashion Industry’s Reset,” the letter highlights the need to align as a global industry during these times. It asks those in the industry to "continue to work side-by-side, while each city will develop its own local initiatives."

The statement recommends the industry slow down its pace and produces fewer collections that arrive in stores “closer to the season for which it is intended.”

The statement also suggests that brands prioritise two main collections per year and cease hosting traveling shows between the main fashion week seasons, encouraging brands to instead show more at fashion shows to reduce the need for travel.

The BFC and CFDA's statement details their shared vision, including:

  • “We encourage our brands, designers and retailers, who are used to fashion’s fast, unforgiving pace, to slow down. With existing inventory stacking up, designers and retailers must also look at the collections cycle and be very strategic about their products and how and when they intend to sell them.
  • “There is a clear disconnect from when things arrive in-store to when the customer actually needs them. The delivery cadence should shift closer to the season to which it is intended.
  • “Through the creation of less product, with higher levels of creativity and quality, products will be valued and their shelf life will increase. The focus on creativity and quality of products, reduction in travel and focus on sustainability will increase the consumer’s respect and ultimately their greater enjoyment in the products that we create.
  • “We understand the commercial need for pre-collections and the need to fulfil the delivery windows of the current pre-collections. However, we recommend that these return to their original intended purpose.
  • “Once this crisis is over and non-virtual events can resume, we also recommend that brands attempt to show during the regular fashion calendar and in one of the global fashion capitals in order to avoid the strain on buyers and journalists traveling constantly.
  • “While physical in-person presentations are likely impossible, the fashion councils will nevertheless focus on creating fashion calendars and other formats that will highlight and help to organise the virtual presentations for the Spring/Summer collections.”

As momentum is building around some of the shared suggestions of reducing fast fashion, protecting the environment and creating sustainable materials - the statement is a clear push for focus in the industry, as we are forced to adapt to a new world.

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