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BFC to audit demographics of the UK fashion industry with new survey

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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The British Fashion Council is teaming up with The Outsiders Perspective and the (Fashion) Minority Report to launch a “comprehensive review of diversity, equity and inclusion in the UK fashion industry”.

This will include an industry-wide survey to audit the demographics of the UK fashion industry for the first time as part of a review of the state of play of diversity, equity and inclusion to be fed into a wider report to be published later this year, as part of a pilot programme led by the three organisations.

The ‘Fashion DEI Census’ marks the first step towards “vital measurement” in the UK fashion’ industry's progress towards the goal of fair representation, adds the BFC, and will offer tangible data to businesses for their diversity, equity and inclusion (D, E & I) practices and to evolve their strategies.

“The audit is long overdue and marks the first step towards the vital measurement of the UK fashion industry’s collective progress towards the goal of fair representation,” said the BFC in a statement. “The audit will also provide invaluable insights into whether or not the industry reflects the diverse and global communities it inspires and serves.”

Caroline Rush, chief executive of the British Fashion Council, said: “The last few years have been a wake-up call for industry to address imbalances in the workforce from Board to entry-level positions. While most organisations have taken the time for critical reflection, there is an alarming lack of industry-wide data on the demographics of the UK fashion workforce, making it exceedingly difficult to track our progress.

“By gaining invaluable data insight into the UK fashion industry’s key demographics through this audit, we can accelerate tangible change to ensure fair representation and a truly inclusive workforce.”

Jamie Gill, founder of The Outsiders Perspective, added: “In launching The Fashion DEI Census, we are issuing a serious plea for the whole industry to take part. It is a 5-minute exercise which could really help transform our industry.

“This survey is for everybody to fill in, irrespective of your background - it is our collective responsibility to step up, take part and pass it on. For too long, we have been blindly hoping for progress - now we need the data, progress needs to be tangible and measurable. We need it now!”

The audit will be conducted via an anonymous, self-declaration survey designed to snapshot demographic data across the whole UK fashion industry, across all job roles, including retail, brand, media, agency, and freelancers across all functions such as marketing, operations, HR, finance, store and all seniorities from graduate to C-suite.

Individuals will be asked to complete a short series of questions that will only take 5 minutes without giving any further detail on their place of work or any personal data.

British Fashion Council
Fashion Minority Report
The Outsiders Perspective