Union Jack British UK Flag

The British Fashion Council has signed a three-year deal with a leading London retailer in a bid to shine the spotlight on the United Kingdom’s fashion industry. The BFC is entering into an exclusive partnership with renowned high street brand Marks & Spencer, and M&S chief executive describes the move as “the start of an exciting journey to put more emphasis on British design and talent.”

Celebrating British heritage

The initiative will focus on promoting the local sourcing and production of British textiles and clothing, as well as promoting sustainable practices in the industry. The collaboration will also see the retailer producing two exclusive capsule collections for Autumn and Winter, and there will be more to follow during the next three years. It’s a move that will help inject new energy into the brand, which experienced a 3.8% slide in sales during the run-up to the festive shopping season last year. This collaboration looks set to turn all that around, and should bring long-lasting benefits to the UK fashion industry as a whole.

Flying the flag high

M&S is currently the biggest buyer of British fabric and fashion, spending approximately £120 million on these products every year. “We are delighted that they will be partnering with us to champion the very best of the UK’s manufacturing, textiles and practice” says BFC chairman Natalie Massenet.

The role of the BFC

The fashion sector is a major contributor to the economy of the UK, which means it is vital to support and promote the growth of this sector, and nurture its inherent creativity. The British Fashion Council was first established in 1983 with the aim to showcase the talent of British designers, both established and emerging, and to develop London’s role in the global fashion industry. Through the efforts of the British Fashion Council, which is a driving force behind London Fashion Week, the city of London eventually earned its place alongside Paris, New York and Milan as one of the international fashion industry’s “Big Four”. The Council also hosts the annual British Fashion Awards, a prestigious event dedicated to recognising and honouring those who have achieved excellence in their field; the icons of fashion design, modelling and branding in the UK.

The country’s fashion industry insiders will be looking on with interest in the months to come, as M&S reveals their Best of British Fashion capsule collections and works hand-in-hand with the Council to promote home-grown talent.

This post was written by Nicky Warner. Nicky is a London-based lifestyle blogger who loves and fully supports British fashion design.

Image by kiara_ via Flickr

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