Sunday, 1 March 2015

You are invited to a masterclass in fashion PR for big business

    Say the meaningless "ethical" word and then the quite vague "sustainable" word very quickly afterwards. That way you sound agreeable but can avoid talking about organic, vegan, or fairtrade fashion, and if you want you can avoid talking about the politics of China or Bangladesh and importing goods from those countries on a 0% tariff. Example:
    "I am particularly grateful to colleagues on the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Ethics and Sustainability in Fashion for their hard work".
    Pretend that all apparel manufacturing is done in the third world, so that you can compare conditions between one bad place and another rather than with conditions in the UK and other democratic countries with welfare states and good human rights records. This rules-out any mention of local jobs being lost as clothes are imported from China, and makes discussion of whether a welfare state paid for by garment factories seem rather distant and irrelevant.
    "Fashion today is both global and local, and even much of the produce of many of our high-profile "heritage" British brands, such as Burberry, Aquascutum and Crombie, is often all or mostly made outside the UK. The global nature of the fashion industry means that it is imperative that we work with colleagues internationally"
    Make up some figures suggesting that the fashion import company which runs a chain-store and imports the clothes is the real beneficiary to the UK economy, helping money circulate right around the UK to create jobs growth and taxes.
    "Despite the high level of garment manufacture carried out overseas, the estimated value of UK-manufactured clothing and textiles in the UK was £8.1 billion in 2011, and the overall estimated export value of UK clothing and textiles was £7.3 billion" (source probably The Value of Fashion report commissioned by British Fashion Council from Oxford Economics)
    Start talking about UK manufacturing very broadly, without mentioning recession, jobs, defecit between tax and spending, poverty, voters, food-banks, factory closures, and then suddenly introduce ethics-sorry-I-meant-other-issues and divert discussion to the other issues. So fashion is "within the BIS [Department for Business] agenda because of the manufacturing element [...] in November last year, Business Secretary Vince Cable promised government support to breathe new life into UK textile manufacturing as a study revealed that the cost gap with Asia is narrowing. Can the Minister tell the House how far such plans have gone and the extent to which sustainability and ethics in fashion is a priority consideration?"
    Try to get another department to handle fashion than the Department for Business. Defra will do.
    "Will the Minister undertake to set up a meeting with me and other Members of both Houses on the APPG to discuss how we can best help to support the development of this part of the fashion sector? We need to get a commitment to develop practical, effective strategies across the different departments for realising the potential of rethinking how we "do" fashion. Because of its experience with the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan, Defra is perfectly placed to broker and animate the necessary discussions."
    "the British Fashion Council's Esthetica Showcase at London Fashion Week", sponsored by Monsoon. So if their lordships think that debating is dull and irrelevant to anything, it sounds as though real people believe all this stuff. Ask anyone about Esthetica Showcase sponsored by Monsoon, and maybe thay'll say "you politicians aren't popular, but now I know that you're helping Esthetica Showcase sponsored by Monsoon instead of talking about tax and jobs and the welfare state, I know you're one of the good ones". (made-up quote).
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planB4fashion In their words:"SOURCE MASTERCLASS: Communicating Sustainability
Contributor Ethical Fashion Forum
We introduce SOURCE market research including global market developments. Plus an exclusive presentation and workshop by Futerra, the global leaders in Sustainability Communications on how to touch hearts, minds, and change behaviours."
Like · Reply · 31 July 2013 at 19:17 · Edited

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Inquiry into All Party Groups - News from Parliament
The new Committee on Standards launches an inquiry... unfortunately I missed the deadline for trying to think of something to say about all party committees. I don't know what I would have said. Volunteer juries to monitor videos and report what they believe to be claptrap?

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