CHAIR: LISA CAMERON MP
SECRETARIAT : FASHION ROUNDTABLE
The All Party Parliamentary Group is truly a cross-party endeavour with wide representation from five political parties in the current parliament. We are delighted to have Dr. Lisa Cameron MP take up the role of Chairing the newly formed Textile and Fashion All Party Parliamentary Group.
One of the main tasks of the Textile and Fashion All Party Parliamentary Group going forward is to delineate the challenge of Brexit alongside supporting and championing new design, business development, manufacturing, and trade. It is widely recognised that the industry reaches much further than itself into many other creative industries including the service industry, transportation, innovation, and technology spheres. Any retrograde steps will have a knock-on effect for the UK’s full economy. It is crucial to ensure diversity and we will be looking at who is making that happen in the textile and fashion world. We will be looking at it in terms of inclusion for disabled people, ethnicity, fashion across the lifespan and healthy body image. Importantly, we also want to champion regional developments and will shortly be launching a challenge to MPs to meet with local textile and fashion companies and to nominate them for a ‘Best in the UK’ award. Fundamentally, we will be working to promote the industry’s progression and ensure that its’ future contribution, of which we all are proud, remains sustainable, successful and world leading.
Why is what we do is important?
The UK Textile and Fashion Industry is one of our largest, worth over £28bn annually and is now reported to be the UK’s second – third largest employer.
The industry is crucial to our economy and Government must have a clear understanding of the policies needed to ensure jobs and livelihoods, sustainability and to maintain best practice. We must consider ethical design, diversity within the industry, support regional growth alongside international trade and of course, navigate the impact of Brexit.
Whilst it is true that the strength of the textile and fashion sector has meant record increased sales since the Brexit vote, this is believed to be attributable largely to the weakness of UK sterling.
Many crucial issues remain unanswered that may have significant bearing on the future of the industry including the arrangement for EU students within our fashion colleges, visa requirements for our graduates who seek employment in major EU design houses, the impact of restrictions on freedom of movement for work placements/internships not to mention its impact upon manufacturing costs, trade and movement of our goods. It is critical therefore that policy negotiations work with industry to ensure long term sustainability of jobs, livelihoods and this significant contribution to our economy.