Sustainability in Fashion and How Industry Knowledge is Passed on at the FCFTA 

At Fashion-Enter Ltd both the CEO, Jenny Holloway and Deputy CEO, Jackie Bertram are ex-industry and work closely together to provide the very latest information to their staff and learners. With a backdrop of working for Littlewoods, M&S, Arcadia, Asda and ASOS, the duo are determined to ensure that FCFTA is leading the way in fashion technical skills today.

This same ethos applies to staff within the company which is why Caroline Ash, Production Director, has retrained as a teacher and works alongside both Jenny and Jackie to ensure continual improvement with FTA staff’s subject knowledge and ongoing curriculum enrichment. This in turn equates to each learner knowing the very latest in industry knowledge and data.

On 29th September CEO Jenny Holloway and Production Director, Caroline Ash were invited to deliver an Environmental, Social and Governance Goals (ESG) talk to a select group of representatives from well-known brands and retailers.

The ESG roundtable discussion was organised by CEO Tim Finch of Invennt Luxe and held at the Colonel Saab restaurant in Holborne, London. Attendees included representatives from; Ted Baker, MyWalit, Nextail, Astrid & Miyu, Dunhill, Needle & Thread, Sevda London, A Force, Bad Habits London and Maes London.

Caroline Ash, right, at the Invennt Luxe roundtable

Jenny Holloway, CEO of Fashion-Enter Ltd and Caroline Ash, Production Director were both present to deliver a thorough review of what ESG is today and why it’s so important.

Consumer habits are changing. Prior to the presentation the group discussed how busy bricks and mortar retail appears to be compared to online.  With Covid lockdowns becoming a distant memory going out shopping and handling the merchandise appears to be fun. People want to be out and about with friends and loved ones and they are heading to the shops.

The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rose by 9.9% in the 12 months to August 2022, down from 10.1% in July. On a monthly basis, CPI rose by 0.5% in August 2022, compared with a rise of 0.7% in August 2021. However, judging by the forums responses shopping retail trips are definitely occurring again and we do have Christmas around the corner.

Fashion-Enter Ltd had a strong PowerPoint that covered a host of topics with data and facts showing how the fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world just after the oil industry.

Caroline Ash further added how Fashion-Enter Ltd is now being approached by major banks to provide in-depth CPD seminars on what really is ethical in fashion, and how can retailers and etailers gloss over claims of sustainability and ethics.

Throughout the discussion Tim added in extremely worthwhile comments speaking from the common sense perspective.

Questions started to circulate such as; “who exactly reviews the claims made by the retailers? How are the claims verified? Why can’t retailers do more to save the planet! Is it profit over sustainable best practices. Do all consumers care when they are going out on a Friday or Saturday night and the bank balance is low!”

Some of the conclusions identified were:

  • Sustainability relates to transparency along the supply chain. There needs to be authenticity and verification at each stage. This is actually achievable by the Galaxius System. Due to the recent wool program Fashion-Enter Ltd has now developed with Mark Randle, transparency can be traced back to the staple yarn of the sheep!
  • Certification is expensive but a necessity. Not all can be placed with the manufacturer. One of the attendees used to be an auditor and was surprised by the cost of the audit process.
  • Now is not a good time for any retailer and etailer of scale. There is pressure on margins and when there is pressure areas are cut back on and reviewed at a later date.
  • An adjudicator for the fashion industry is a good idea. The bill is currently due for its second reading in government and will work similarly to a food adjudicator.  
  • New processes such as the Kornit Digital printing systems are a necessity for a cleaner manufacturing industry allow for the micro factory concept and one-piece flow. The audience was extremely impressed with the Kornit Presto and Atlas printers.
  • Any lean processes are effective for the industry – FEL discussed Optitex and the reduction in the need for sampling and Zund for automatic cutting. Also LOOOP was reviewed as was the Novelle Wool Yarn developed from Welsh Wool, PET and SNR.
  • Relationships and trust building. The importance of working closely together to allow factories to plan and react to retailers best sellers. No one wants to be left with stock.
  • There is a host of opportunities now available to retailers and it’s time to ensure that there is buy in from the C level down so heads of, buyers, merchandisers, all have a solid approach to the sustainability policies and processes of the future.

Invennt Luxe supports R&D tax credits for the fashion industry