British Fashion Council Partners with BBC 50:50 Diversity Project

The British Fashion Council (BFC) has formed a new partnership with the BBC 50:50 The Equality Project, an initiative created by the BBC in 2019, for the media industry, as a voluntary monitoring system, with the target of creating content that fairly represents the diversity of its audiences.

Photo/Styling by Elena Iv-Skaya Model Oulimata Gallet

Launching during London Fashion Week (LFW) in September, 2021, The partnership between the organisations aims to help monitor the UK fashion industry's diversity output, and will ask designers and fashion houses presenting at LFW to map and collect diversity data from their production teams represented at the event. This includes all roles involved in the fashion design production teams, ranging from hair and make-up, models, production, communications, social media, transport, set up and breakdown, catering and much 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.

Designers taking part who have signed up so for include; 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.

The BFC intends to add plans to be a permanent part of its output with the expectation that diversity data collection will take place each season, and not a one-time occurrence. And we certainly hope so.

The importance of diversity with the fashion industry has been a long and hard battle, with many seeing the industry dragging its heels on the issue, however due to consumer awareness and the realisation that all money flows without prejudice, progress is being made, mainly driven by conscious consumer demand and commerce.

Results of the project's findings 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 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 Caroline Rush and her team at the BFC for championing equity and inclusion within the fashion industry.”

The partnership is an essential part of the BFC’s long-term plan 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. It sits as a part of the BFC Institute of Positive Fashion.

To find out more about the BBC 50:50 project and the BFC’s Diversity & Inclusion strategy, click here.