The BFC Raises an Additional £500,000 to Help UK Designers

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Richard Malone Autumn/Winter 2020 AW20 London Fashion Week
Richard Malone Autumn/Winter 2020Photography by Paul Phung

Following the £1,000,000 lifeline distributed to 37 designers in May, the British Fashion Council’s emergency fund has re-opened for applications after raising an additional £500,000

The coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating effect on businesses both big and small, threatening the livelihoods of many fashion industry workers. In April – mere weeks into the government-imposed lockdowns – research from the British Fashion Council suggested that, without help, 35 per cent of emerging designers in Britain would not make it past three months and that over half could be wiped out by the end of the year. 

In response, the BFC launched its Foundation Fashion Fund, which saw £1,000,000 split between 37 of UK designers including Alighieri, Ahluwalia, Bethany Williams, Bianca Saunders, Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY, Chopova Lowena, Richard Malone, Stefan Cooke, and Craig Green, among others. A portion of funds was also allocated to fashion students, giving a vital boost to the next generation of creative talent in this difficult time. Now, the BFC is opening applications for its lifeline fund once more, after accruing an additional £500,000 through generous donations from Alexander McQueen, Amazon Fashion, Browns, Cadogan, Clearpay, The Coach Foundation and John Lewis & Partners. 

Applications for the BFC’s second round of emergency funding are open until August 7, after which the chosen recipients will each receive a grant of £50,000. The organisation has also announced plans to continually fundraise – with no end date in mind – and reopen applications each time the £500,000 milestone is reached. Though the fund will be a lifeline to many, the BFC says that much more needs to be done, estimating that £100 million will be needed over the next 12 to 18 months in order to keep the British fashion industry afloat. “The need for support is immense,” said Caroline Rush, chief executive of the BFC, back in May. “Our hope is to help as many businesses as possible, and ensure the future growth and success of the British fashion industry.”

To apply for the BFC Foundation Fashion Fund click here. Deadline to submit applications is August 7, 2020.