Wednesday, 11 September 2013

UK Journalists paid by government to promote Chinese goods out of UK taxes

A government programme paid over £550 each in subsidised trips to sixty journalists & buyers every six months to report on shoes and clothes made overseas for London Fashion Week. MPs with shoe factories in their constituencies - Peter Bone in Wellingborough and Patricia Hewitt in Leicester East - did not write a single letter to protest..
Peter Bone MP is an accountant and MP for Wellingborough. His constituency has more shoe factories in it than anywhere else in the UK, but when the Sanders and Sanders factory was running-up to closure last year he showed no sign of knowing that the department for Business Innovation and Skills was subsidising the competition by sending buyers and journalists to report on glossy shows of Chinese shoes such as Terra Plana at London Fashion Week. If he did know that his constituents were paying taxes towards putting themselves out of work, he certainly didn't write a letter about it to the UK Trade and Investment, a ministerial agency which funds this joint scheme with London Development Agency. The department's only correspondence with him or the now-closed factory was a series of email tip-offs about export opportunities, such as overseas trade shows. They sent fifteen over about four years.Patricia Hewitt MP is MP for Leicester West, another shoemaking area with an unemployment rate of 13.8% . Equity Shoes was a major local employer until closure in January 2009, with a recent payroll of 200 and a 100 at closure. Like Sanders, it was a tenacious company - Sanders was a family trust and Equity was a staff co-op, so neither closed lightly. Patricia Hewitt had every reason to know about the scheme to put her constituents out of work because she had to sign for it: she was secretary of state for trade and industry (now the department for Business Innovation and Skills) between 2001 and 2005. She could have picked-up the phone during any of those years and asked

"why are we subsidising the competition?".

It is not revealed what she said in the office when she was minister, but a recent freedom of information act request that she did not write a single letter on the subject of Equity Shoes to the department between 2005 and the end of January 2010, even after being tipped-off in November that the question was going being asked.

"We have completed a search of our electronic information management systems and we do not have any record of UK Trade & Investment having received letters from the MPs for Leicester or Rushden on the subject of UK shoe manufacturers. "

Published freedom of information requests & replies on Whatdotheyknow.com describe a scheme that UK Trade and Investment call the International Buyers Programme, funded over roughly four years and still in place.

"since September 2005, UK Trade & Investment have paid British Fashion Council £215,555. This funding is for the international buyers programme for London Fashion week. The aim of the programme is to bring the most significant and influential buyers and press to London Fashion week each season."

London Development Agency quotes "£120k more than budgeted for 2008/9 was spent on LFW support as funding was allocated to support the International Guest Programme to cover reduced funding from UKTI", but it still got "UKTI support during 2008/09" of £33,000. Some of the money may be counted twice as British Fashion Council is also sponsored by the Mayfair Hotel and British Airways "The official airline of London Fashion Week", which are both likely to have catered for these expenses-paid trips: ""The LFW International Guest Programme, supported jointly by LDA and UKTI, saw 60 key, targeted international press and buyers assisted in their visits to LFW, through flight subsidies and accommodation. These visitors are given welcome packs and are accompanied through their stay as they visit the exhibition, catwalk shows and showrooms. Feedback on media coverage generated and orders placed is collected after their visits."

Did the money achieve anything good?

There are attempts to quote outputs on the projects report to the London Development Agency, but the list omits manufacturers. The only figures broken down in any detail are figures of media coverage, reported by an agency paid for by British Fashion Council. And there are anecdotal quotes. It's not often that Vogue is quoted on Indymedia but we may even add to the list of outputs by repeating this quote:

""The Season London Shone" wrote US Vogue's Sarah Mower. "Who'd have thought that London would shine at its brightest during a crisis. London's Designers squared up to the fall with an exceptional out-flowing of creativity and polish ... that made Fall 2009 this city's most dazzling performance for years."

...ends. Sources:
"Record Figures for London Fashion Week"
 http://www.londonfashionweek.co.uk/news_details.aspx?ID=86

"AGREEMENT FOR FUNDING RELATING TO CREATIVE
SECTOR SUPPORT - DESIGNER FASHION Parties: LDA / BFC
Ref: 23300 QUARTERLY REPORT 2008/9: Q3&4 [biannual update]"
 http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/london_fashion_week_biannual_upd#comment-7716

"Consultation re closed UK shoe factories" information request and reply on Whatdotheyknow.com:
 http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/consultation_re_closed_uk_shoe_f_2#comment-8530

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leicester_West

Pictures of Equity Shoes buildings post closure:
 http://www.28dayslater.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=40786
software too.

This blog is by a vegan shoe company called Veganline.com that sells vegan shoes boots & belts

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Correction: there was a debate "supported by..."

http://www.britishfashioncouncil.com/news/197/Tax-Breaks-for-Eco-Fashion-Businesses "This call for action follows this week’s RE: Fashion Summit and the recent British Fashion Council’s Estethica debate [^] on the promotion of ethical fashion and consumer engagement.  The campaign, supported by Monsoon, Vivienne Westwood, Edun, George at ASDA, From Somewhere and London College of Fashion’s Centre for Sustainable Fashion, calls on all parties to recognise that to effect change, sustainability and ethical fashion also needs to make commercial sense."

So European regional development money is not investing in my future or my region, as the label on Centre for Sustainable Development says, but on a press release by taxpayer-funded people asking for them to be exempt from tax. Along with their other sponsors, of course, who make things in other parts of the world.

"RE: Fashion Summit", is just the usual suspects under another name. This is Ethical Fashion Forum's web site: "Launched the RE:Fashion Awards- the official awards for ethical fashion, creating a platform for best practice across the supply chain. Held the RE:Fashion summit bringing together industry leaders and initiated the RE:Fashion manifesto, setting out sustainability parameters and targets for the UK industry." The link is to a google for "RE:Fashion manifesto", which finds two references, both on the Ethical Fashion Forum web site.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="240"]European Union - Investing in your Future Centre for Sustainable Fashion is paid for by the European Regional Development Fund 2007-13[/caption]



This blog is by a vegan shoe company called Veganline.com that sells vegan shoes boots & belts

Monsoon called for tax breaks on itself, after doing this to others...

What Monsoon said after a debate calling for tax breaks:
"We need ethical fashion to become part of the mainstream if the industry is to play its part in a more sustainable future" - Peter Simon,Chairman

What Monsoon suppliers say about being paid by Monsoon
Anonymous on Drapers' record | 27 February 2013 9:17 am
"We have worked with Monsoon in the past. The ruthlessness has always been there... unfortunately this is not a "one of a kind" example from the High Street."

Anonymous on Drapers' record | 8 June 2013 11:05 am
"Drapers should investigate Monsoon more carefully they have now asked each supplier to fill out a costing form to show how much they are making. They want a detailed breakdown of overheads and % profit! This along with their terms of payment and discount makes them one of the most unattractive retailers to work with.

I always thought it was a partnership supplying a retailer but Monsoon are incredibly ruthless and someone needs to speak up and investigate."This is a press release promoted by Monsoon.

PRESS RELEASE

Industry Calls for Tax Breaks for Eco Fashion Businesses

Harold Tillman, Chairman of the British Fashion Council is spearheading a campaign that will incentivise fashion businesses to work in a more sustainable way and to make eco fashion more affordable and accessible to consumers.

This call for action follows this week’s RE: Fashion Summit and the recent British Fashion Council’s estethica debate on the promotion of ethical fashion and consumer engagement. The campaign, supported by Monsoon, Vivienne Westwood, Edun, George at ASDA, From Somewhere and London College of Fashion’s Centre for Sustainable Fashion, calls on all parties to recognise that to effect change, sustainability and ethical fashion also needs to make commercial sense.
Maybe they want to get the money back that they donated to a political party. Everybody knows that multinationals channel payments through different countries and claim that the profit was made in the one with the lowest tax - Luxemburg for example - but Monsoon wants to save the costs of putting the money through somewhere like Luxemburg and to take the tax break right here in the UK. Oh here is a bit more about ethical fashion.

The retailer was found to have owed £104,508 to 1,438 workers - putting it at the top of a list of 115 companies published today.

Monsoon said the failure occurred between 2011 and 2013 because of its policy of offering staff discounts upwards of 50% on its clothing, which they are encouraged to wear to work.
For a proportion of its 5,000 UK store employees the discount was mistakenly deducted from their wages, bringing them below the minimum wage threshold.

The issue came to light when HM Revenue & Customs reviewed Monsoon’s payroll system.
Staff parking space outside the Monsoon office .

Socially aware fashion degree uses the "s" word for vagueness about human rights

Syllabuses for these Ethical Fashion courses tend to be written by the state-backed Centre for Sustainable Fashion which says "Ethical" in the same way that some prople say "Hullo" to open a conversation, begging the question of which ethic, immediately followed by "Sustainable", which sounds less vague next to "Ethical". Basically they want big business to be a bit greener and for everyone but big business folk to be paid starvation wages. For that bit of propaganda they get paid by us via Higher Education Funding Council and sometimes Department for International Development.
First socially aware fashion degree launches | Ms Wanda's
First socially aware fashion degree launches | Ms Wanda'shttp://www.mswandas.co.uk/2013/03/12/first-socially-aware-fashion-degree-launches/Fashion students in the UK will now get sustainability and ethics embedded in their studies thanks to Buckinghamshire New University.

Campaign by Ms Wanda's: Because they're worth it

Because they’re worth it… | Ms Wanda's
Because they’re worth it… | Ms Wanda'shttp://www.mswandas.co.uk/2013/07/22/because-theyre-worth-it/For the next two weeks we want to work with you across social media to spread the word about ethical fashion. Will you join us?

Baroness Young of Hornseas' full speech at Ethical Fashion Source Summit

Baroness Young of Hornsey of the all-party committee on fashion gave a speech, criticised in the post below. The is in favour of clearer explanations by shopkeepers, collaboration in industry internationally, and compromise. The speech was to an organisation that claims to be a forum but selects speakers from big business and related consultants.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Baroness Young of Hornsey's speech to Ethical Fashion Source Summit, July 2013 [video times in minutes and seconds from the video below]

Oh Gosh!

No. It's so refreshing. I love coming to these events because it's so different to the house of lords, as some of you might guess! It's not known for its fashion sensibility. I've had some interesting adventures there as some of you might imagine. I have to share with you, although I am not going to name names, that a colleague of mine was told , first of all, that it was against the rules to wear cropped trousers. For a woman anyway - it didn't say anything about men.
And then she was reported to one of the highest authorities in that house of lords for being dressed "flamboyantly". In the bar! [11.19] So that's part of the context in which I work. So it's refreshing to be here. Although I have to say that I have been involved in arts and culture for many years.

Although, again I would say, though, that since I started working in the fashion sector. In this bit of the fashion sector, I hasten to add, I've found a really refreshing engagement with politics with a small "p". I think that comes naturally, as it were: if you are concerned about
-the environment; if you are concerned about
-workers' rights,
-all of these different issues, how can you not be political?
So after years of having worked in a sector that kind-of wanted to distance itself from politics, for me it's very refreshing and energising to work with a group of people for whom that - that, linked with the creativity and the innovation with is at the centre of what they do.

Now sustainability is a word that has so much currency in so many different ways, that it has started to become, I think, a bit devalued, and perhaps over-used and mis-used. When I introduced that into the terminology of my all party parliamentary group, there were some questions about it, particularly as it was linked to fashion. And I think that, even in the three of four years in which I have been involved in this sector and working with these campaigns, there has been a change, as Tamsin [the chair] has already indicated. But even: there has been a change within the House of Lords. Because the people there that I am working with have come to understand. So actually I have got an excellent group of people who are working with me on this issue. And they come from lots of different perspectives. And that's absolutely fine. They also come from different political parties which is really great, because it means we have a common understanding of some of the key issues that we are working with.

I just want to go back a little bit and say how I cam to be involved. I have always loved clothes and fashion ever since I was a kid, in the old days, when people would make their clothes from the bits of fabric that they would get in the remnant box in John Lewis in Oxford Street, run-up something on the machine (glue it together if there wasn't time) and then go out to a party. And of course, at that time, there wasn't High Street Fashion. There wasn't that sense that you were being driven by magazines of by celebrities to go out to these shops and buy-buy-buy, because the shops weren't there. All of that has changed. I think that, while there are some good aspects to that, it's actually becoming increasingly difficult to argue that that represents a democratisation of fashion, when other people are being oppressed, and indeed loosing their lives, because of that change. So there are a lot of issues here for us to think about, whether that's as consumers, as retailers, as makers, as designers, or as educators.

Interestingly, I think that fashion still has this sense of being something that is a little bit frivolous, and something that girleys do and are interested in, and so not very important. Or, that we are all pretty stupid and dumb, and we go-out and buy things because we've been told to do that. And of course in some respects, there is a little bit of truth in that, in the pressures that are put upon - particularly - young women to conform to certain ways of wearing clothes; certain ways of being in the world. But there is also so much that is to do with stereotyping and stigmatisation of certain groups in society.

I'm very much against the idea that there are a load of young people who all like sheep and go-out and do-stuff. However, I think I do want to make it clear that consumers do have a responsibility. And interestingly, I think that young people are at the heart of that sense of responsibilty. Of course, there will always be some who say "I don't care what happens to those people over there; those people mean nothing to me, and therefore I am going to shop the way I shop", whatever that is. But I think for the most part - certainly the young people I come across when I go out to schools to do talks or have young people in the houses of parliament to do talks, there is a very keen sense of responsibility [16'00'] but a lot of it is about not knowing what to do with it. Not knowing where to go. The questions I get asked most frequently are "OK: what clothes should I wear; where should I shop, what should I do?". And those are really difficult questions to which one has to answer: "it's very complex". And that, you know, is not an easy idea to get across: "it's very complex". What kind of a response is that? It feels like you are trying to sit on the fence and not say very much. [She doesn't say: "buy from democratic welfare states if you can".]

So one of the things I want to say is that: we have got to find new fresh ways of explaining ...
very succinctly and in a way that has real impact, to the market; to consumers, what it is that we are about and why it really matters what they buy, how they buy, where they buy it, and so-on.

I'm not going to replay the statistics to you. Although I've got this one about us all having about £30bn of clothes stashed-away in our wardrobes, and I sometimes think or feel that most of that £30bn is in my wardrobe! It has overtaken my bedroom, which looks like a teenage girls' at times. But, you know, it is a serious point. There are loads of these statistics - whether it is to do with the amount of water we use; the kinds of chemicals that we use in dry-cleaning. So all this work which we have to do about post-consumer waste and over-use of water and so-on and so-forth. So again this adds to the complexity and the number of messages that we need to get across to people.

"Those people": the reason I am emphasising consumers is that in a capitalist society, it is about making money. It is about a very kind of crude sense of what it takes for an organisation to make a profit. And that needs to be linked to a sense of Consumer Action, Consumer Urgency, and indeed there is a sense in which we need to think about throwing-out that word Consumer because it does imply a certain passivity which we would not want to encourage necessarily. So I think it is very important to think about what it is that we want people to do and to think about.

In February, earlier this year, I was in Copenhagen giving a presentation to Danish MPs on our all party parliamentary group, and explaining how we structure that, and how it works, and what we were meant to do. And again that was very instructive, because this is all about an international movement. It's not something we can do or think-of, only in terms of one particular country or one particular market. It is very much about how we can collaborate with people across the world. And I know that there's a lot of initiatives going-on as a result of what happened in Rana Plaza, which hopefully will gather even more momentum. [18'56"]

It was interesting: during the horse meat scandal, horse-meat-gate, I think people became more aware of the difficulties which lie behind and industry with a highly distributed supply chain. This idea that - you see people, even when we look very carefully at a packet of whatever it is. Burgers. And we see that it is £1 for 2 burgers. There is no connection in peoples' heads about what that actually means. And again in relation to the fashion industry, I sort of thought of our horse meat scandal as being something like Uzbekistan cotton, with all of the issues and problems around that. However, all of that was overtaken by the disaster that happened at Rana Plaza. Like many others, I would say "of course we do not want that to happen again", but the issue is, how do we do that? How do we stop that happening?

I think that. Well. You know this phrase "don't let the best be the enemy of the good". [20'00"]
Personally, I'm not into beating retailers about the head. I'm not into going to Primark and saying "you've got to do this", or "you've got to do that". I'm really interested in what sort of dialogues we can set-up. So one of the pieces of work, if you like, that the all-party parliamentary group does, is to be open to every discussion, to find out how the business works, and make suggestions about who to contact and who to work with, with a view to improving that situation.

I think that government - I've been pleasantly surprised, that after Rana Plaza, the government did call on major retailers and say "look: what are you going to do about this?". And fortunately Labour Behind the Label have produced the Accord, which a number of major retailers have signed-up to, and there are other initiatives which are going on elsewhere. And I wanted to - I don't want to take up too much more of your time because I know that you are running late, and there's lots more to get in, so I am just going to summarise what I was going to say, very quickly here.

In terms of what needs to happen next.

Well obviously, you are all here because you all feel very strongly about it. Part of what it is about getting the word out to more people.

And some of the proposals that are coming forth. I think that some of them are really good. But what we need to do is to try and formulate them into a kind of global strategy, if that is not much of a world domination type of speech! But it is about being strategic in what we do. Otherwise we will all be running-around, using lots of energy in what we do, and duplicating, and not being as effective as we might be [by letting Ethical Fashion Forum ignore human rights or the need for new tariff conditions against Bangladesh forcing Bangladesh to introduce a welfare state. She didn't say that].

So post Rana Plaza, the situation has changed. One would hope that it would be impossible for it not to change. So there is a momentum. It is up to us all to keep up the momentum, and as Tamsin has already said, "it can't happen again". But, you know, it is really easy to say that. [22'00'] But I don't, at the moment, without being particularly pessimistic, I can't have the confidence to say that there isn't another Rana Plaza waiting to happen, whether that is in Bangladesh or in India or in Burma, where new factories are being built to - kind-of - cope with the fallout from what has happened in Bangladesh. We can't be confident about that.

So that work which we have to do. We have to keep on doing it and we have to collaborate. I would be very much in favour of some kind of coalition being formed. [It has in the EU parliament. She didn't say that.] But that kind of thing has to be organic. It has to have people to drive it forward. But if it isn't to happen again; if there is anything we can do to stop that happening again, then obviously we need very much to be involved with that and make sure that we have some kind of global campaign that has clout, and nous, and intelligence, and is formed from all the different parts of the sector that we really like. Thank you.Baroness Young of Hornsea, All Party Committee Ethical Fashion, stooge

Not sure if Baroness Young called activists a hinderence - it might have been in a discussion that wasn't on video

I watched the free video of her speech: glad I'm not the only one to think it weird!

  • No mention of a welfare state as a way of reducing poverty.

  • No mention of American tariffs on a token amount of Bangladeshi products being raised.

  • No mention of an EU parliamentary motion reminding the Bangladeshi government of its commitments.


I had used Writetothem.com to tip her off about Ethical Fashion Forum's position, and to urge her to mention the political world outside.

Sadly, Ethical Fashon Forum isn't just for the big business insiders who appear as "experts" and run "masterclass" events. It's a pop-up lobby that has only existed for a few years, and sprang-up at the same time as some taxpayer-funded lobby groups, Esthetica at London Fashion Week, The Centre for Sustainability in Fashion at London College of Fashion, Own-It, and the one that sponsored "making it Ethically in China", Creative Connexions. Creative Connexions closed after swallowing millions of pounds of higher education funding council money, but the others are influential lobby groups and highly selective in what they choose not to say. They would be pleased with Baroness Young's speech.
Baroness Young calls activists a hinderance | Ms Wanda's
Baroness Young calls activists a hinderance | Ms Wanda'shttp://www.mswandas.co.uk/2013/07/19/baroness-young-calls-activists-a-hinderance/At The Source Summit last week Baroness Young called “puritanical activists” a “hinderance”. Fashion Mob founder, Esther Freeman, thinks she’s…

Ethical Fashion Source Summit - Future etc etc...

SOURCE Summit Speakers 2013 | Future Business Panel
SOURCE Summit Speakers 2013 | Future Business Panelhttp://source.ethicalfashionforum.com/article/source-summit-speakers-2013"On the Future Business Panel - Daliah Simble ... previous ... Production Manager at Monsoon. Daliah is a dedicated advocate for sustainable sourcing & best practice in the industry." like paying 60 days late? Other people rate Monsoon one of the worst buyers. Not this person's fault personally, I guess, but how can something not being your fault personally make you a pundit?

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Disambiguation: Monsoon Accesorize PLC is real

Whoops! page needs sorting.
It was just a line to say that Eddie Monsoon of Absolutely Fabulous is fiction, while Monsoon sponsors of the Estethica room at London Fashion Week, members of the Ethical Trade Initiative who have had their corporate responsibilility statements rejected by the organisation, Conservative Party donors who got a plug for their Indian-made garments for sale in Indonesia at the UK embassy in Indonesia, and occasional platform speakers at Ethical Fashion Forum alongside Futerra the advertising agency - that Monsoon is real. I think that was the gist.


Here are some other disambiguation aids for telling fact from fiction

Downing Street reception for the fashion industry
You see much better dress sense on the tube going home from London Fashion Week than you do at the event. The first photo is fact: a downing street reception for fashionistas. The second photo is fact. Better dressed people on the tube. The third photo is fiction but quite similar to the first one.



Fictional people from Dallas


Disambiguation: Eddy Monsoon of Absolutely Fabulous is fiction; Monsoon is fact


Absolutely Fabulous - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Absolutely Fabulous - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Absolutely_FabulousAbsolutely Fabulous, also known as Ab Fab, is a British sitcom created by Jennifer Saunders, based on an original idea by her and Dawn French, and written by Saunders, who plays…

We pay taxes for Etsethica at London Fashion Week



We pay taxes to organisations that tell us what to think, such as Esthetica. In doing so we publicise Monsoon, who get a big credit as co-sponsors. There was something about Monsoon in the news which I shall look-up and post here.





British Fashion Council - Homehttp://www.britishfashioncouncil.co.uk/ British Fashion Council We are committed to developing excellence and growth in a sector that is a significant contributor to the British economy. We nurture, support and…

Nothing changes except the outfits (2) - why no social insurance in Bangladesh / Bengal?

Talking of imperious Bangladeshis, I asked a historian why National Insurance was not introduced in Bengal about 1911 when it started in the UK. My post below about Charles Hardinge (pictured) is wrong; he was the Viceroy.

Wikipedia tells me that Bengal had a former district officer as temporary governor 1911, Edward Duke, who became deputy in 1912 to an ex-governor of Australia, Thomas Gibson-Carmichael. Then as now, failed MPs sometimes happen to get well-paid government jobs and this one had tried being a UK MP for the party that brought-in National Insurance. So he knew what it was. Unusual for the people who worked for the Indian Civil Service who had been toughened-up with a ten-year stretch of boarding school before being "posted" to India. Most of them learned about the UK from surface-mail copies of The Times, arriving in bundles.

The historian usually does West-Indies, but said that if there was a Bengali assembly, discussion of national insurance would show-up in its records. He told me that the experience of empire diverged between white colonies and others from the 1860s to 1914. This surprised people in India, who had been lead to expect something different. Colonies like New Zealand could be the first part of the empire to have women voters. So why not Bengal? It's one of history's un-answered questions, and a reason for poverty in Bangladesh and clothes manufacturing today.

Fair access to subsidies

PlanB4fashion wants fair access to subsidies. London Fashion Week offered subsidised stallls for 3 shows starting February 2008 to Ethical Fashion Forum, who's first archived web page of October 2007 shows connections with other exibitors. EFF were also keen to turn-down members who might be troublesome.

London Fashion Week is funded by the Greater London Assembly (London Development Agency in 2007-8) out of European Regional Development Grant. In other countries like Portugal it is used to help local manufacturers co-operate, train and export.

UK government spends the money in a different way. Centre back at London Fashion Week is Gallahad Clark selling his "arguably more democratic" shoes made in China and centre forward is probably Elizabeth Laskar of Ethical Fashion Forum turning-down awkward members. The money is syphoned-off to promote Chinese factories rather than develop any region of Europe.

How to reduce poverty

PlanB4fashion wants government to realease more tax data to help people who produce trade directories in the UK; at the moment, you could have a factory a bus-ride away and not be able to find out what they make or the minimum order. There are plenty of wholesalers and consultants willing to help you get stuff from Bangladesh because the margin allows more people to be involved, but if you want to buy from the UK you have to do a lot of homework.
Fashion Capital | Ethical Manufacturing - Right Here in the UK - Ethical Manufacturing - Right Here in the UK ?... | Manufactur
Fashion Capital | Ethical Manufacturing - Right Here in the UK - Ethical Manufacturing - Right Here in the UK ?... | Manufacturhttp://www.fashioncapital.co.uk/News/25974-ethical-manufacturing-right-here-in-the-uk.html Leading the way is our very own FashionCapital factory based in North London. Due to increased demand in production the factory recently moved from 4,500 square foot which…

Redundancies and food poverty encouraged by fashion pundits

Last night on telly was a programme about food poverty in the UK and the difficulty of many people in the UK to afford meals from our run-down welfare benefits in a run-down manufacturing economy, broken down by unfair exchange rates, neglect, and lack of respect for the extra costs involved in making something in the fairer working conditions of the UK.

It would be easy to estimate the number of jobs lost in Leicester directly as a result of people like Ethical Fashion Forum and London Fashion Week and Estethica - often job lossses that they have engineered on money paid to them by Greater London Authority, Defra, or Department for Business, out of taxes paid for those who are being put out of work. One of the worst offenders Orsulanda de Castro is speaking at the moment to I am typing this rather than listen!

I just saw a slight glimpse of the world that I recognise overlapping with Ethical Fashion Forum's world when a guest speaker about closed-loop polyesters needing a larger investment than UK textiles mills could afford; about the way production management has usually been removed from college corriculums in favour of design or "fashion"; prioduction people are scarce at large company head offices. There was a great quote "production people are the brokers of fair relationships" in industry.

Ethical Fashion Source Summit

Has anyone spotted any mention of welfare states as ways of reducing poverty in any of the videos from Ethical Fashion Source Summit?

Just posted under the video of political speakers: "Call to Action responses said a lot about what the Bangladeshi and similar governments should have to do. Has there been any mention of a welfare state as a way of reducing poverty for garment workers - in the UK or Bangladesh or anywhere? Or is there some reason not to mention it?

Ethical Fashion Source Summit

source.ethicalfashionforum.com/article/live-stream-registration-source-summit-2013

It was possible to register for live viewing of some of the ethical fashion source summit. I just be watched bits. One surprise is that their 300 "Call to Action" results so far are generally polite calls to government, mainly calls to western governments to pressure Bangladeshi government, followed by calls to trade and consumers.

They still have not got specific in what they publish about trade block's ability to influence third world countries through tariff conditions. Nor do they mention any kind of welfare state - either in publicising the benefits of welfare states and using them as a sales point for goods made in them, nor in using tariffs to allow third world governments to introduce something like a national insurance scheme without loosing great market share as the price of their goods rise.

For example it was mentioned that Kenya is likely to get its 0% tariff with the EU renewed without any benefits to people who want affordable schools healthcare and pensions, and not to be undercut in the labour market by people who go without.

http://source.ethicalfashionforum.com/digital/bangladesh-240413-never-again-join-the-industry-in-a-constructive-response is where to give your own response, if Ethical Fashion Forum accept it

The difference between us is... (reply to Ethical Fashion Forum)

09.07.2013 18:06
Dear Tamsin Lejeune
the difference between us is on the "issues ... made in britain" page of your web site, at the bottom.
Made in Britain | Ethical Fashion Forum
Made in Britain | Ethical Fashion Forumhttp://www.ethicalfashionforum.com/the-issues/made-in-britainIt is only by raising standards and wages outside of the UK that the UK garment production sector will again be in a position to compete on equal terms with production in what are currently low wage economies.


"trade in garments and textiles has created a springboard for industrial development all over the world- with Britain and America being amongst the first to benefit followed by the “Asian Tiger” economies of Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea, and more recently, China and India. Producing garments or components of garments outside of the UK to sustainable standards can assist development in some of the poorest communities in the world, create sustainable livelihoods and reduce poverty for thousands of people."

I think that national insurance, secondary schools, hospitals, accesss to justice, and votes should happen before or during an industrial revolution and be forced to happen.

Votes, for example, happen in Taiwan and Hong Kong but not in China. People in China have been waiting rather a long time, I think, and are unlikely to get universal pensions or healthcare until they have votes. It's an odd country because the single child policy has forced wealth to spread a bit - there is not the population explosion that's happened in Bangladesh.

Thinking of other ways to reduce a population explosion, I think that pensions, healthcare and health education, contraception, and girls' secondary schools all help; if girls are more assertive and there is less pressure to have children to look after you in old age, then the population might not explode so rapidly. People in Bangladesh have been waiting rather a long time national insurance, given that the UK had a National Insurance Act in 102 years ago in 1911. The prime minister of the UK could simply have telegrammed the Viceroy of Inda, Lord Hardinge, (pictured if the upload works) and floated then idea but apparently it didn't work like that. I don't think that Bangladesh or Pakistan are going to change any time soon while some people in the country do very well out of their neighbours being poor. There is even enough money in government for an export subsidy, but not enough for a heath service. There is a risk that Bangladesh could loose market share if other countries do not introduce a national insurance system too. Cheap labour, and the flow of aid, both happen when there are a lot of poor people.

"It is only by raising standards and wages outside of the UK that the UK garment production sector will again be in a position to compete on equal terms with production in what are currently low wage economies."

If you are convinced that there should be national insurance or high tariffs built-in to the prices of clothes from Bangladesh, then we can agree on this last paragraph. And such a large change of position would prompt you to re-write the first part of the page as well,

  1. stating that goods made in welfare states are more expensive for good reason, offering better conditions for their workers than a fairtrade scheme. You might become interested in

  2. how people who live in welfare states can seek-out goods made in them, which will probably be by mail-order rather than high street chainstores. An example is the one that your "made in Britain" swing tag logo came from, which has since had to lay-off its staff. You will want to

  3. criticsise London Fashion week for the way it puts UK factory workers out of work by offering free PR to companies like Terra Plana which made its shoes in China and made rediculous claims. You would

  4. explain how companies in South Europe now, or the UK in 1979-2009, were devistated by whimsical changes of exchange rate dictated by central banks rather than the goods market. That's why their designs are mainstream and their sales methods geared to particular markets.

  5. mention how the UK needs a rebalanced economy to pay the taxes that pay for a welfare state, now that payments from financial services have dropped by billions.


I'm sure you would want to do some of those things if we agreed with each other.

Meanwhile, I'll type another draft of your "issues/made-in-britain" page in case you can use it for the moment as you're busy with a trade show, and Bangladesh is the hot topic at the moment rather than Middleton or Rushden or Rossendale or Nottingham or Hinckley or Northampton.
regards
John Robertson

John Robetson, blogging as planB4fashion
mail e-mail: brittaniabuckle@yahoo.co.uk
- Homepage: https://www.facebook.com/planB4fashion

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This was written in answer to a post to indymedia and to planB4fashion on 08.07.13
No reply has been recieved 05.09.13. The original post is quoted below
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Response from the Ethical Fashion Forum


08.07.2013 19:13
Dear Indymedia,I am a fan of what you do and what you stand for. As Managing Director of the Ethical Fashion Forum, I am writing to give our side of the story on the Ethical fashion Forum and the SOURCE Summit.

We are a small not for profit organisation, absolutely committed and dedicated to better practices in the fashion industry. You quote £225 as the price of attending the SOURCE Summit- in fact our prices started at £65, and we are also live streaming the event - free for people to attend from anywhere online. However, we are determined to be heard with this event- and that means running it in a higher profile way. You can't do that without any money- even if you run an event at cost, which is what we are doing.

As a forum for collaboration in the industry, we have always been inclusive- by bringing together individuals and businesses from every part of the industry , we are able to get constructive debate going, and this has catalysed some very effective partnerships and initiatives. There is no question that the majority of the industry is not doing enough to address the appalling conditions for workers that remain endemic in many parts of the world. There are organisations whose remit it is to campaign against this and expose the companies that are not doing enough about it- this is important, and it needs to continue.

Our remit is to work with companies, offering them the tools, access to information, inspiring and motivating their staff, building connections and fostering collaboration across the sector, in order to meaningfully improve standards and conditions.

We recently launched a Call to Action on Bangladesh, and it has had a very wide response from the professional fashion sector:  http://source.ethicalfashionforum.com/article/bangladesh-240413-never-again-join-the-industry-in-a-constructive-response

We would be very interested to work with you, PlanB4fashion, and take on board your ideas.

We would also absolutely welcome speakers from the European Parliament to this and other events. Panel speakers do not pay to attend- they do normally ask for expenses if travelling though- so, as a social enterprise, we do need a business model for our events! Which means charging a fee to attend. Our fees are a fraction of the event fees of other mainstream industry events. If anyone has bright ideas on how we can run an event like this without charging fees to delegates, they are most welcome!

Finally, we really welcome the voices of the readers of Indymedia at SOURCE Summit- attend online, FREE of charge, by registering here -  http://source.ethicalfashionforum.com/article/live-stream-registration-source-summit-2013

Hoping to connect with you there, and welcoming you to join the debate,

Tamsin Lejeune
Managing Director
Ethical Fashion Forum and SOURCE


Tamsin Lejeune
mail e-mail:
- Homepage: www.ethicalfashionforum.com

Nothing changes except the outfits - no national insurance in Bangladesh

Charles Hardinge, diplomat to Russia and then Viceroy of India did not introduce national insurance in 1911. Maybe people like him were not much aware of it, or there was no pressure on them to do anything. Maybe the UK government rather liked the benefits of cheap labour. Nothing changes except the outfits!

Good luck with the people power speech

Source Summit from the Ethical Fashion Forum | Ms Wanda's
Source Summit from the Ethical Fashion Forum | Ms Wanda'shttp://www.mswandas.co.uk/2012/07/23/the-summit-from-the-ethical-fashion-forum/The first event of it’s kind, the Ethical Fashion Forum’s Source Summit 2012 brings together people from around the world. Be there to be inspired.


Good luck with your people power speech!

I hope you urge delegates to thank their euro MPs (via writetothem.com) for their non-legislative motion on Bangladesh, with its threat of changing the 0% tariff if the Bangladeshi government doesn't meet human rights targets. I'm no expert on what they are, but I think that recognition of legal trades unions is one of the areas where they need to change the law - there's a lot of detail quoted in the motion.

I hope your urge delegates to ask their Euro MPs to go further, and require some kind of national insurance scheme in every country that gets 0% tariff access to the European market. I think this is what reduced poverty in the UK over 100 years ago (along with health education and secondary schools for girls), and in parts of Germany 169 years ago. So governments in Bangladesh have kept the people waiting 169 years for a national insurance system and I don't think we can expect it to happen any time soon, just because there is a bit more trade nowadays, unless European governments pressure them to change.

John Robertson
https://facebook.com/planB4fashion

https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2013/07/511228.html

https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2013/07/511228.html

£225 buys an exclusive view of ethical fashion

in their own words... slideshow for the summit


07.07.2013 17:45




























Ethical Fashion Forum's slideshow to promote the £225 event

planB4fashion
mail e-mail: brittaniabuckle@yahoo.co.uk

In their own words... Ethical Fashion Forum


07.07.2013 17:50



In their own words... Ethical Fashon Forum's Source Summit
In their own words... Ethical Fashon Forum's Source Summit


In their own words... Ethical Fashion Forum

facebook.com/planB4fashion
mail e-mail: brittaniabuckle@yahoo.co.uk
- Homepage: http://planb4fashion.blogspot.co.uk/



there was a link from sustainable-fashion.com but it's down just now


08.07.2013 07:42
There was a link from sustainable-fashion.com but it's not online just now. The Centre for Sustainable Fashion at Dray Walk in London was part of University of the Arts' London College of Fashion. It worked within the industry and so was constrained in talking about tariffs or governments, but did have an influence in training fashion students and offering consultancy. To see the story in their own words click below

 http://web.archive.org/web/20120625170857/http://www.sustainable-fashion.com/about-csf/team-profile/our-story/

http://www.sustainable-fashion.com/
- Homepage: http://www.sustainable-fashion.com/



tweets will use the hashtag #sourcesummit


08.07.2013 14:05
tweets will use the hashtag #sourcesummit

planB4fashion #sourcesummit
- Homepage: https://www.facebook.com/planB4fashion



Response from the Ethical Fashion Forum


08.07.2013 19:13
Dear Indymedia,

I am a fan of what you do and what you stand for. As Managing Director of the Ethical Fashion Forum, I am writing to give our side of the story on the Ethical fashion Forum and the SOURCE Summit.

We are a small not for profit organisation, absolutely committed and dedicated to better practices in the fashion industry. You quote £225 as the price of attending the SOURCE Summit- in fact our prices started at £65, and we are also live streaming the event - free for people to attend from anywhere online. However, we are determined to be heard with this event- and that means running it in a higher profile way. You can't do that without any money- even if you run an event at cost, which is what we are doing.

As a forum for collaboration in the industry, we have always been inclusive- by bringing together individuals and businesses from every part of the industry , we are able to get constructive debate going, and this has catalysed some very effective partnerships and initiatives. There is no question that the majority of the industry is not doing enough to address the appalling conditions for workers that remain endemic in many parts of the world. There are organisations whose remit it is to campaign against this and expose the companies that are not doing enough about it- this is important, and it needs to continue.

Our remit is to work with companies, offering them the tools, access to information, inspiring and motivating their staff, building connections and fostering collaboration across the sector, in order to meaningfully improve standards and conditions.

We recently launched a Call to Action on Bangladesh, and it has had a very wide response from the professional fashion sector:  http://source.ethicalfashionforum.com/article/bangladesh-240413-never-again-join-the-industry-in-a-constructive-response

We would be very interested to work with you, PlanB4fashion, and take on board your ideas.

We would also absolutely welcome speakers from the European Parliament to this and other events. Panel speakers do not pay to attend- they do normally ask for expenses if travelling though- so, as a social enterprise, we do need a business model for our events! Which means charging a fee to attend. Our fees are a fraction of the event fees of other mainstream industry events. If anyone has bright ideas on how we can run an event like this without charging fees to delegates, they are most welcome!

Finally, we really welcome the voices of the readers of Indymedia at SOURCE Summit- attend online, FREE of charge, by registering here -  http://source.ethicalfashionforum.com/article/live-stream-registration-source-summit-2013

Hoping to connect with you there, and welcoming you to join the debate,

Tamsin Lejeune
Managing Director
Ethical Fashion Forum and SOURCE
 events@ethicalfashionforum.com





Tamsin Lejeune
mail e-mail: events@ethicalfashionforum.com
- Homepage: www.ethicalfashionforum.com



The difference between us is on your "made in england" page


09.07.2013 18:06
Dear Tamson Lejeune
the difference between us is on the "issues ... made in britain" page of your web site, at the bottom.
 http://www.ethicalfashionforum.com/the-issues/made-in-britain

"trade in garments and textiles has created a springboard for industrial development all over the world- with Britain and America being amongst the first to benefit followed by the “Asian Tiger” economies of Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea, and more recently, China and India. Producing garments or components of garments outside of the UK to sustainable standards can assist development in some of the poorest communities in the world, create sustainable livelihoods and reduce poverty for thousands of people."

I think that national insurance, secondary schools, hospitals, accesss to justice, and votes should happen before or during an industrial revolution and be forced to happen.

Votes, for example, happen in Taiwan and Hong Kong but not in China. People in China have been waiting rather a long time, I think, and are unlikely to get universal pensions or healthcare until they have votes. It's an odd country because the single child policy has forced wealth to spread a bit - there is not the population explosion that's happened in Bangladesh.

Thinking of other ways to reduce a population explosion, I think that pensions, healthcare and health education, contraception, and girls' secondary schools all help; if girls are more assertive and there is less pressure to have children to look after you in old age, then the population might not explode so rapidly. People in Bangladesh have been waiting rather a long time national insurance, given that the UK had a National Insurance Act in 102 years ago in 1911. The prime minister of the UK could simply have telegrammed the Viceroy of Inda, Lord Hardinge, (pictured if the upload works) and floated then idea but apparently it didn't work like that. I don't think that Bangladesh or Pakistan are going to change any time soon while some people in the country do very well out of their neighbours being poor. There is even enough money in government for an export subsidy, but not enough for a heath service. There is a risk that Bangladesh could loose market share if other countries do not introduce a national insurance system too. Cheap labour, and the flow of aid, both happen when there are a lot of poor people.

"It is only by raising standards and wages outside of the UK that the UK garment production sector will again be in a position to compete on equal terms with production in what are currently low wage economies."

If you are convinced that there should be national insurance or high tariffs built-in to the prices of clothes from Bangladesh, then we can agree on this last paragraph. And such a large change of position would prompt you to re-write the first part of the page as well,

- stating that goods made in welfare states are more expensive for good reason, offering better conditions for their workers than a fairtrade scheme. You might become interested in
- how people who live in welfare states can seek-out goods made in them, which will probably be by mail-order rather than high street chainstores. An example is the one that your "made in Britain" swing tag logo came from, which has since had to lay-off its staff. You will want to
- criticsise London Fashion week for the way it puts UK factory workers out of work by offering free PR to companies like Terra Plana which made its shoes in China and made rediculous claims. You would
- explain how companies in South Europe now, or the UK in 1979-2009, were devistated by whimsical changes of exchange rate dictated by central banks rather than the goods market. That's why their designs are mainstream and their sales methods geared to particular markets.
- mention how the UK needs a rebalanced economy to pay the taxes that pay for a welfare state, now that payments from financial services have dropped by billions.

I'm sure you would want to do some of those things if we agreed with each other.

Meanwhile, I'll type another draft of your "issues/made-in-britain" page in case you can use it for the moment as you're busy with a trade show, and Bangladesh is the hot topic at the moment rather than Middleton or Rushden or Rossendale or Nottingham or Hinckley or Northampton.
regards
John Robertson

John Robetson, blogging as planB4fashion
mail e-mail: brittaniabuckle@yahoo.co.uk
- Homepage: https://www.facebook.com/planB4fashion



dear indymedia?


09.07.2013 22:59
Oh dear, you claim to be a "fan of indymedia" but start your comment "dear indymedia" as if addressing a single organisation, without understanding that indymedia is a platform.. rofl

anonymous



China "arguably more democratic" than the UK: who approved that?


10.07.2013 14:29
From Ethical Fashion Forum's "founding members" page...
 http://web.archive.org/web/20130116191704/http://www.ethicalfashionforum.com/about-eff/founding-members

"Terra plana is a shoe company focused upon innovative, sustainable shoe design.Terra Plana uses a variety of eco friendly materials ... ... ..."

From Ethical Fashion Forum's "business leaders" page ...
 http://newentrepreneurs.ethicalfashionforum.com/business-leaders/foundation-agency

"Jules went on to set up Inside Out agency working with hemp pioneers THTC along with a variety of other innovative brands.

Jules has been joined at Foundation by ethical fashion consultant Rosie Budhani, who will head up the PR and marketing division of Foundation, Rosie also has extensive experience in mainstream and ethical fashion and most recently ran the PR department for award winning ethical shoe brand Terra Plana."

From Ethical Fashion Forum's "founding members" page...
 http://web.archive.org/web/20130116191704/http://www.ethicalfashionforum.com/about-eff/founding-members

"From Somewhere

From Somewhere is a designer womenswear brand. From Somewhere collections are made from left-over fabric from garment factories which would otherwise be discarded."

"Filippo Ricci and Orsola De Castro, founders of From Somewhere, are dedicated to promoting and facilitating sustainable practices in fashion, and were responsible for initiating the Estethica exhibition which is now an established part of London Fashion Week, as well as a number of other projects in the sector."

------------------------
Conclusion: the claim about China "arguably more democratic" was made on Terra Plana's web site from 2008, while they were getting taxpayer-funded PR from part of London Fashion Week, called Estethica. Both the Terra Plana company and the company of the person who manages Estethica, Orsola De Castro's "From Somewhere", were founder members of Ethical Fashion Forum. Orsola De Castro also worked for a year or so as a Director of Ethical Fashion Forum. And the PR agent for Terra Plana, Rosie Budhani, gets a promoted on the Ethical Fashion Forum's site amongst "New Entrepreneurs". So the editor who allowed this brand to be shown, the brand itself as a company, and the PR agent they had at the time, all get promotions on the Ethical Fashion Forum web site.

planB4fashion
- Homepage: https://www.facebook.com/planB4fashion



You are invited to an ethical fashion PR masterclass


27.07.2013 16:52
 https://www.facebook.com/planB4fashion/posts/399762653463491 is a link to a fake checklist of techniques to make Chinese and Bangladeshi imports sound more ethical and UK-made clothing harder to talk about. Well the list is fake, but the quotes are real.

Ethical Fashion PR Masterclass
- Homepage: https://www.facebook.com/planB4fashion/posts/399762653463491