Thankfully, we can almost see the back of what has been a really difficult year for most businesses. However, my first full year as UK Fashion and Textile (UKFT) chairman has been fantastic, with an incredible response from the industry to our new trade body.
The UKFT will be entering 2010 on full throttle, with Eric Musgrave – former editorial director of Drapers – our director general designate in place and drawing on his previous experience so retailers become more directly involved with our members. This is one of the best ways to sustain a healthy fashion and textile sector in the UK.
The second is to ensure that we continue to lobby for more, and better, manufacturing and technical training, so the collections of our talented designers can be produced in this country.
While current industry training organisation Skillfast-UK will close in March 2010, we are fully behind the decision that will see the fashion and textile industry join Skillset, the Sector Skills Council
for the creative media. We are confident that within the new council there will be scope to continue popular training programmes such as Women and Work.
In addition, we are supporting the British Fashion Council’s initiative to improve the links between designers and the existing manufacturing base in the UK.
Our main social and business event next year is the UK Fashion & Textile Export Awards on May 13. UKFT will contribute a cash prize to the winner of the new exporter category. The awards will once again be presented by Princess Anne and hosted by actress Joanna Lumley.
Finally, I want to wish all Drapers readers a successful end of year’s trading.
- Peter Lucas is chairman of the UK Fashion and Textile Association