Push is honoured to have joined forces with Fashion Roundtable; a new initiative pioneering the importance of integrating the concerns and requirements of the fashion industry into mainstream UK and EU politics.
Fashion Roundtable seamlessly communicates and shares political insight and access with partners in the current, and most challenging, period in modern British political history. It’s about creating a new dialogue during this time of uncertainty so that there is a clear channel of communication that affects positive change.
“I am launching Fashion Roundtable to ensure that all of our voices are heard by those who will be shaping the political landscape, which will affect all of us: from the educational pathways to a great UK creative education, to prices we pay for products, or the ease of travel to and from a job overseas,” says Tamara Cincik, Fashion Roundtable Founder.
To mark the launch, Fashion Roundtable has collaborated with London-based fashion label Ashish to design a limited edition #dontmakefashionhistory t-shirt that champions the need to support creative and sustainable growth. Absolutely a slogan to be donning, no?
We spoke to Tamara to drill down on the ongoing campaign, the current state of the fashion industry and find out what we as consumers can do to drum up awareness.
What is Fashion Roundtable?
It’s what our Fashion Retail Panel Expert, Bev Malik, termed “a laboratory of ideas”.
We are a non profit organisation that offer events and talks for the fashion industry and consumers in London as well as regionally around the UK. Our aim is to create clear communication with policy makers, to better pathway policies which support the sustainable growth of the business, from fashion start up to big business, from multi-platform to hyper-local retail spaces.
We have the EU Bill in Westminster the 21st November, trade deals are being negotiated, our political landscape is changing and we as a sector need to ensure that our needs are understood by those making those decisions. The fashion industry in the UK is a global powerhouse, we have almost one million employees, we make over £28 billion for the UK, our growth was at 6% annually pre EU Referendum, that’s down to 1.2%. UK fashion leads on both exciting retail spaces, as well as digital and we need to ensure that those markets, plus all our exciting start ups, and our domicile and international talent and brands, are nurtured through these negotiations.
Talk us through the #dontmakefashionhistory campaign and the Ashish collaboration
Ashish was an early supporter of Fashion Roundtable, he encouraged me to launch.
I asked him to attend the second parliamentary Roundtable that I organised with the British Fashion Council for Matt Hancock MP, Minister for Digital and Culture at the House of Commons, as I felt his voice – that of a successful and innovative UK brand – was one which needed to be heard. Ashish and Amy from his team, worked with Stacey Duguid, the Editor at Large and Mademoiselle columnist at ELLE magazine, to create the logo and slogan #dontmakefashionhistory which is the theme of our launch campaign. The t-shirts are printed on eco cotton, designed and tailored in the UK.
How do you see Fashion Roundtable reshaping the dialogue between fashion and politics?
We are living in very uncertain times, the UK voted to leave the EU 52:48 and the fashion industry voted 95% to remain.
Now, over a year later we still don’t know what this will mean to our industry and all our international partners, colleagues and our global reputation. The industry is based upon interaction on a hugely international scale: our teams, our talent, the way we dress, the way we think. We are a fluid and a dynamic force for change and for creative talent. Our needs and the changing landscapes of both markets, as digital links in with high street retail, need to factor in what happens once the UK leaves the EU.
If that wasn’t concerning enough, we have a looming potential creative industry crisis, as the unintended consequence of the EBACC is a 16% decline in two years to art and design GCSE uptake. I took Sarah Mower MBE to an event at Westminster last month to learn more about the decline in arts education and her awareness, she in turn is communicating that with her audience, which helps to shift the narrative.
What is the biggest change you, and the initiative, are driving first and foremost?
We have to normalise dialogue between our industry and the policy makers. The music industry lobbies coherently and as a result the messaging about a £4.4bn industry is far more embedded in the popular political discourse, than that of an industry worth over £28 billion.
We want our industry to be a part of the mainstream conversation. Our talents make the UK a fantastic place to live, travel to and do business with, and we want to nurture that talent to ensure that our world leading talents continue to thrive and enhance the global fashion economy, support our heritage, as well as always being the best in innovation,
How can people (consumers, small businesses, brands, policy makers) get involved and show ongoing support?
Please sign up to our mailing list, please take our survey in order to have your thoughts heard in our white papers and please get in touch about becoming one of our partners for future events and Roundtable talks.