The pilot project, called ReBurberry Fabric, will see the brand donate leftover fabrics to fashion students “most in need” across the U.K. as part of a commitment to supporting creative communities.
Burberry and the BFC said they are creating a process whereby logistics for donations will be centralized, facilitating access to materials.
Following the pilot, the intention is to roll out an industrywide program and provide a blueprint for other brands and colleges to work together to provide practical support to future talent.
Through its Institute of Positive Fashion and Colleges Council, the BFC, with support from writers Charlie Porter and Sarah Mower, will oversee the logistics of the fabric donations, with shipments going to students across the country.
Pam Batty, Burberry’s vice president of corporate responsibility, said the pilot was about “meaningfully supporting the next generation of diverse voices across the country. Providing resources for these communities in a sustainable way will enable them to bring their creativity to life, and continue through their programs with the tools they need. We look forward to seeing how donations can positively impact these academic institutions, and students, and hope this is the beginning of a wider industry initiative to support these communities, now and in the future.”
Caroline Rush, chief executive officer of the BFC, said one of the organization’s priorities is to encourage the industry “to move toward a circular fashion economy while supporting excellence in fashion design. We are delighted to work with Burberry, helping ensure students across the country have access to the best quality fabrics.”
Porter said the aim is to find “a new, efficient model that will make it easy for brands to donate fabric, both helping students in need pushing for greater sustainability. I hope this is the beginning of a new conversation about how brands can take more responsibility for supporting future generations of designers.”
The project comes in the wake of other community-focused and sustainability initiatives from Burberry and the BFC.
As reported last month, Burberry is working with Marcus Rashford, the lead striker for Manchester United, and an anti-child poverty advocate, to help charities that support young people in the U.K. and across the world.
In the U.K., Burberry has been donating to FareShare, which is funding hundreds of thousands of meals being distributed across 11,000 charities and community groups.
Burberry has also pledged to support U.K. youth organizations in Manchester, London and charities globally. The programs go beyond providing free meals, and range from education to supporting young creatives and artists, and helping entrepreneurs.
In addition to raising money for designers impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, the BFC has been building up its Institute of Positive Fashion. The IPF’s mission is to assist the British fashion industry in becoming more “resilient and circular through global collaboration and local action.”
Leveraging global expertise and resources, the IPF plans to adopt standards, and develop and establish frameworks “to reset and create a new blueprint for the industry.”
The IPF is also looking to highlight the powerful influence of Black fashion and culture in Britain with a new, long-term project known as “The Missing Thread.” It will examine British Black fashion and culture from 1975 to the current day through a series of events, culminating in a major exhibition in the summer of 2022.