In another sign of the times, the British Fashion Council and Bags of Ethics have launched a campaign dubbed Great British Designer Face Coverings: Reusable, for People and Planet, to manufacture and retail sustainable and reusable non-medical face coverings designed by Halpern, Julien Macdonald, Liam Hodges, Mulberry, Raeburn, and Rixo.
The project aims to raise £1 million, with all profits going to charity, split between NHS Charities Together COVID-19 Urgent Appeal, BFC Foundation Fashion Fund, and Wings of Hope Children’s Charity.
Bags of Ethics’ partner factories will manufacture the coverings. A pack of three, with two protective pouches, will retail for £15. They will be sold through the BFC website at britishfashioncouncil.com and partner retailers including ASOS, Boots, John Lewis & Partners, and Sainsbury’s (in Tu Clothing sections in selected superstores, convenience stores and online at tu.co.uk and argos.co.uk).
Caroline Rush, the BFC’s chief executive, said in a release, ‘Fashion is a unifying force and now, more than ever, it is essential that we collaborate and come together to support each other through difficult times. Our ambition is to contribute to the fight against COVID-19, while protecting vital PPE supplies reserved for the NHS. Through this project, we will not only celebrate British designers but also champion sustainability in a time of crisis.’
Dr R. Sri Ram, chairman, Bags of Ethics added, ‘We have always been at the forefront of supporting the public through mass behavioural changes in positive and useful ways. Since the early 2000s we helped supermarkets, and retailers reduce their single-use plastic bag consumption by five-plus billion units through sustainable and reusable bags. A new challenge arises with the coronavirus pandemic. Our aim is to manufacture high-quality reusable non-medical face coverings for the public which reduces stigma through great British design, in line with advice from our scientific community, whilst having a positive effect on both people and planet.’
Money raised for the BFC Foundation Fashion Fund will support the next round of funding for designer businesses. The BFC has already distributed £1 million of emergency funding to 37 designers as its first round to help the industry during the COVID-19 crisis.