Ethical Fashion Forum funding application and criteria

John Robertson made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Department for International Development

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Roedd y cais yn llwyddiannus.

Dear Sir or Madam,

Please provide copies of all recent applications for Development Awareness Mini Grant by Ethical Fashion Forum that have been approved or are likely to be. Please provide copies of feedback and monitoring mechanisms, if any.

Yours

John Robertson

As this email is public, I should explain that I don't mean to discourage training in fair trade imports of shoes & clothes. I do question how trainers are equipped to advise on other ethical suppliers of clothes based in the UK and Europe; it is a harder job to advise on T shirts than Tea, on a product made all over the world than a product only grown on third world farms.

I am concerned that there are some factories making clothes in Tower Hamlets which suffer from cheap imported competition, increasing poverty, reducing attractive work for the younger generation, increasing disparities in the labour market. Business is so bad that richer people are setting up wine bars and quangos in the empty factories. One of your other grants to the area notes "Disadvantaged Young People in Tower Hamlets, London: The direct beneficiaries will be 2,000 disadvantaged youths, 18-25 years old, who are not in education, employment or training" partly to help "their friends and relatives... Project work in the target community has identified that young people are often disconnected from their communities and have a lack of awareness of the broader global context and situation of others in the world".

It strikes me that taxpayer-funded training to the fashion trade about how to import should only be about fair trade fashion or products made in European working conditions, and it should be balanced by training about how to buy fashion made in the UK and Europe, potentially by some of the 2,000 unemployed people who are the subject of one of your other grants and disconnected from their communities.

I am concerned that another project chaired, badged, and advertised by Ethical Fashion Forum called "making it ethically in China", which is not about fair trade, received complaints from me and questions or concern from two main parties on the London Assembly. Despite this, Ethical Fashion staged a repeat performance at their own offices in Tower Hamlets, yards away from clothing factories. I am also concerned that the Forum's advice to British Fashion Council about what "Ethical" means does not sufficiently favour UK or European producers or even fair trade ones.

foi, Department for International Development

Dear Mr Robertson

Thank you for your request for information which we received today.
We're handling it under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000
and will respond to you as soon as possible and within 20 working days.
In the meantime, if you have any queries, please contact me quoting
reference F2009-273.

Yours sincerely

Helen Kennedy
DFID Openness Unit

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Gadawodd Tamsin Lejeune anodiad ()

In response to this post:

Please see below for the description of the project that has received a minigrant through DFID's Development Awareness Fund.

The Ethical Fashion Forum brings together experts and our aim is to offer a balanced view. Our goal is not to promote production in one place over another, but rather to set out the facts so that fashion businesses can make informed decisions in relation to sourcing practices.

In relation to sourcing from China, we are keen to make sure that the negative as well as the positive aspects of sourcing are clear. Fashion businesses source from allover the world, and through this there are opportunities to improve livelihoods and support communities at the site of production. Through practical examples of best practices we aim to support businesses to do this.

Description of project submitted for funding:

Fashion + aims to reduce poverty and create sustainable livelihoods in the supply chains to the UK fashion industry.

The project will do this through:

1. Increasing understanding of development issues amongst fashion professionals, in particular the opportunities for poverty reduction
2. Providing the tools and resources fashion professionals need to make informed choices in their working roles

The project aims to integrate training on development, poverty reduction and sustainable livelihood creation as a core part of fashion business training in the UK.

John McGinn, Department for International Development

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr Robertson

Unfortunately DFID are not yet in a position to respond to your Freedom of
Information request of 14 November. The attached letter gives specific
details of our reason for extending the deadline for response.

regards

John McGinn
Openness Unit
DFID, the Department for International Development: leading the UK
Government's fight against world poverty. Find out more at
http://www.dfid.gov.uk.

The road to Copenhagen: the UK Government's ambition for a global deal on
climate change. Find out more at http://www.actoncopenhagen.gov.uk and
about DFID's work at http://www.dfid.gov.uk/climate.

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear John McGinn,
Ethical Fashion Forum have contacted me directly with all the information, to save costs to you. They tell me that they want to be transparent, open, and are happy to answer questions directly.
Thanks for passing the request to them.
John Robertson

Helen Kennedy, Department for International Development

2 Atodiad

<<F2009-273 Response _P1.doc>> D <<F2009-273 Annex 1.pdf>> ear Mr
Robertson

Please see the attached response to your FOI request reference
F2009-273.

Yours sincerely

Helen Kennedy
DFID Openness Unit

DFID, the Department for International Development: leading the UK Government's fight against world poverty. Find out more at http://www.dfid.gov.uk.

The road to Copenhagen: the UK Government's ambition for a global deal on climate change. Find out more at http://www.actoncopenhagen.gov.uk and about DFID's work at http://www.dfid.gov.uk/climate.

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Gadawodd candyedith anodiad ()

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Gadawodd John Robertson anodiad ()

https://facebook.com/planB4fashion is an attempt to broaden debade within the ethical fashion PR industry. It is a blog that suggests European Union action through tariffs to force change on the Bangladeshi government, and suggests a fairer deal for people making clothing in the UK through provision of trade directories and fair access to London Fashion Week.

The blog has mentioned some of the odd things that Ethical Fashion Forum directors do, such as comparing UK workers conditions to workers in China and saying there is no difference, or inviting a company to exibit at London Fashion Week that produces in China and says that country is "arguably more democratic" than the UK

Gadawodd John Robertson anodiad ()

Anyone reading this may be interested in
http://veganline.com/fashion-fair.htm
which lists some of the other funders of Ethical Fashion Forum, and this Indymedia article
http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2013/07/5... headed
"You are invited to a masterclass in fashion PR for big business"