We are in the business of fashion & textiles. We are the UK voice and meeting place for suppliers of fashion & textiles providing: practical support, export advice, information exchange and a voice - to government - to retailers.
UKFT believes in positive long-term engagement with Government to ensure that the UK Fashion and Textile industry is represented and that the key messages of the industry are understood by legislators and asks Government for:
A commitment from Ministers to engage with UKFT on a regular basis on behalf of the fashion and textile industry and to ensure that the industry as a whole remains high on the political agenda.
UKFT believes that a level economic and business playing field with Europe and Internationally is vital to the future success of the UK. To help achieve, this UKFT wants the government to make:
A commitment to make it simpler for UK companies to bid for UK Government contracts.
A commitment to stop the steady "creep" of Government activity which impacts on the trade association sector’s ability to support their industry.
A commitment to reinforce the Climate Change Levy scheme (CCL) and for it to continue to be administered by industry associations, who will ensure that the scheme remains an effective tool for businesses to reduce their impact on the environment.
A simplification of policies within different devolved regions and administrations which can cause confusion overseas and resentment between the regions.
UKFT is a passionate believer in the importance of skills and training and asks the Government to help UKFT deliver:
A campaign to ensure that fashion and textile graduates have a basic understanding of running a business. UKFT is prepared to present to final year students throughout the country.
A programme of industry mentors to support start up designer companies.
A programme to ensure that accurate information outlining the range of opportunities in the sector be made available to schools, and that teachers and lecturers become familiar with the sector and provide quality careers advice.
UKFT believes that Export is the life blood of the fashion and textile sector and, to help to improve the role of Export, in this vibrant sector UKFT calls for:
A closer working relationship with UKTI, especially in the areas of preparing companies for export and the allocation of budgets.
A new programme of supported Trade Missions for established exporters to the BRICs markets.
Increased funding for the Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP) which helps small exporters break into new export markets.
Greater flexibility to channel the existing budgets to the best investment potential for the taxpayer.
A commitment for trade associations to be reconnected directly with Commercial Officers in overseas Embassies and Consulates, for these to be reinforced and act as a free conduit of active business opportunities for UK exporters.
A swift conclusion to FTA negotiations with key markets including Japan and the USA.
The 2012 UKFT Manifesto was launched at the House of Commons. A full copy is available below.
The UKFT supported the creation in 2010 of the All Party Parliamentary Fashion and Textile Group to promote a better understanding within parliamentarians of the industry and the issues that are important to members up and down the country. The group has organised meetings in the Houses of Parliament to enable the UKFT and the industry to raise issues and educate parliamentarians. Site visits are also organised to enable parliamentarians to see the industry in operation.
The Group is open to all members of the House of Commons and House of Lords and has members from all the main political parties. The members of the Group elected Damian Collins MP to be their Chairman and he engages with John Miln, Chief Executive, UKFT on an on-going basis to understand issues that members are keen to promote.
Members of the All Party Parliamentary Fashion and Textile Group
Damian Collins MP, Chair
Nadhim Zahawi MP, Treasurer
Tessa Munt MP, Secretary
Richard Fuller MP
Louise Mensch MP
Jake Berry MP
Chris Pincher MP
Esther McVey MP
Lorraine Fullbrook MP
Nicky Morgan MP
Rt Hon Tom Clarke MP
Lord Davies of Coity, Vice-Chair
John Mann MP
Ben Bradshaw MP
Frank Doran MP
John Spellar MP
Michael Connarty MP
Stella Creasy MP
Tom Harris MP
The Sponsors Alliance is a national grouping of independent Trade Associations and Chambers of Industry, representing all areas of British industry. It monitors and reports on Government policy, particularly with regard to UK Trade & Investment, the Government organisation set up to provide help and support to UK exporters. The Sponsors Alliance is an active campaigner for additional support to be given to UK exporters to help them to reach new markets and compete with other European and international businesses on a level playing-field.
Most famously, the Sponsors Alliance led the national campaign in 1997 to save the Trade Fair Support Scheme which had been cancelled by ministers as part of a series of budget cuts. With the support of the Alliance, the incoming Government reversed this decision. The Alliance has continued to face off other threats to these budgets to the Tradeshow Access Programme which followed it. Fashion, Accessories, Footwear and Textiles companies are now the single biggest beneficiaries of this scheme, accounting for over 15% of the total national budget.
The members of the Sponsors Alliance are all actively involved in the UK’s export promotions for their industry. All are passionate defenders of their industries and work together, through the Sponsors Alliance, to effect positive change to Government and regional policy and get the best deal for UK companies. The Alliance works closely with UK Trade & Investment to improve the TAP scheme and believes that national Export Promotion should continue to be available for UK companies on a level closer to that seen in most of the rest of Europe, that the support should be channelled through national trade associations rather than civil servants and organisations paid for by the taxpayer and that there should be an ever-closer and mutually beneficial relationship between the trade bodies who represent industry and UKTI who represent the Government.
The Sponsors Alliance is an active supporter of the new All Party Parliamentary Group for Trade and Investment which is being very ably chaired by Margot James MP.
UKFT is represented on the Sponsors Alliance Committee and at the APPG by Paul Alger, Director of International Affairs.
We bring together designers, manufacturers, agents and retailers to promote their businesses and our industry throughout the UK and internationally but we are also the voice of the industry. We talk to the UK Government and to the Commission in Brussels, keeping them informed on the key issues facing the industry.
In April 2016 UKFT’s CEO Adam Mansell addressed the Westminster Media Forum, delivering the keynote speech on policy priorities at ‘The UK fashion industry - digital strategies, IP, international competitiveness and policy priorities’ seminar, chaired by Lord Purvis of Tweed, Secretary, All-Party Parliamentary Group for Fashion and Textiles.
Adam spoke of the four key policy priorities for the UK fashion industry: Manufacturing, Exports, Skills and Innovation.