Lola Young, Baroness Young of Hornsey visits Fashion Enter

On 2nd November Lola Young, Baroness Young of Hornsey visited the Factory and Fashion Technology Academy.

With an active interest in ethical issues particularly in the garment industry Baroness Young is a Trustee of the Aid of Trade Association and her Assistant Alice who also joined the visit is a keen advocate of human rights so they were both particularly excited and inspired by their insight into our fully compliant factory and training provision.

Baroness Young was instrumental in campaigning for legislation around the supply chains in the garment industry and this ran closely alongside the creation of the Modern Slavery Act which became law in 2015. We explained how the factory has 130 policies in place with a dedicated Compliance Officer Nigel Rust ensuring all workers had RTW documentation, were paid above minimum wage and all of the correct health and safety polices were in place and implemented.

On a tour of the Factory we demonstrated the complete garment life cycle so both Lola and Alice could understand the skills it takes to create a garment. We explained how the machinists were on performance related pay and in fact most earnt above their basic pay due to our online system Galaxius that documents the whole journey of the garment – all the way from sampling to delivery. Galaxius gives the Factory real time information about the machinists. The machinists scan a code for each garment and it will say what the garment is, what they are working to, what the rate is – allowing for complete transparency.

Lola and Alice continued their tour meeting with Factory Manager Chris who explained his role, then Trainee Manager Zac who demonstrated his skills in lay planning on the computer where all the pattern pieces have to be laid in a way to achieve optimal efficiency and reduced costs. Zac explained how he was really enjoying the training and was pleased he had chosen this over university.

Following this we moved in the Fashion Technology Academy where we introduced Lola and Alice to the education team including Senior Lecturer Jo who teaches Level 3 apprentices and then continued into the Stitching Academy and Perfect Pattern courses where an overview of each course and the skills students walked away with was explained.

It was an absolute pleasure to show Baroness Young and Alice our compliant factory and training provision and to introduce them to all of our highly skilled workers, tutors and learners.  

Following the visit Lola commented:

‘As soon as we entered your building, it was apparent that your staff are very committed to what they do: the atmosphere was warm and inviting, with smiling people, proud to talk about what they do. Jenni and Caroline are excellent advocates and great examples of the enthusiasm we need to make the changes necessary in the fashion industry.’

We look forward to working with Baroness Young to continue making small changes the garment industry in this country and globally desperately needs.