In a historical joint manifesto, the British Fashion Council (BFC) and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) have called for a reset of the fashion industry in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis.
This comes after a slew of designers, including Dries Van Noten and Erdem wrote an open letter to the industry asking for a slower pace and more sustainable approach to fashion.
In their statement, the BFC and CFDA said, ‘We are united in our steadfast belief that the fashion system must change, and it must happen at every level. We are listening to many conversations taking place. These changes have been overdue for a while, and the fallout from coronavirus has forced us all to prioritise the process of rethinking how our industry should function.’
They are asking designers and brands to slow down, and be more mindful of how much stock they create, and when, ‘For a long time, there have been too many deliveries and too much merchandise generated. 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.’
They also called for clothes to land in store when the customer needs them, ie closer to the season rather than having coats in stores in July.
As for fashion weeks, they recommend designers only showing two collections a year, and in only one of the fashion capitals (New York, London, Milan or Paris) to lower the carbon footprint of journalists travelling to see the show.
‘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 travelling constantly. This too has placed tremendous stress on the industry and significantly increased each individual’s carbon footprint,’ they wrote.
They signed off by promising, ‘The need to align as a global industry during these times has become more apparent. We will continue to work side-by-side, while each city will develop its own local initiatives. Fashion is a business of creativity and new ideas and difficult times are also ones for innovation. We will work to our industry’s benefit as we reimagine and create, with our members and partners, a successful future.’