The arts industry has a huge role in the health of the British economy. Oxford Economics placed £77bn as a conservative estimate as to the total economic loss closures across the industry would cause; the full picture is yet to be established.
As the economy gets going once again and industry is turned to in order to provide that impetus, there is a predictable focus falling on how those in education and training can make an impact in industries like technology. However, there is clear evidence to show that those students building experience in fashion will make huge contributions to economic and societal recovery. Weddings are a fantastic example of this.
Weddings famously pull together many different industries, and fashion is no stranger to the party. Wedding dresses are one of the clearest signals of a creative education anywhere, with the delicate and varied fabrics that go into the thousands of available designs a result of high-quality fashion education around the UK’s colleges and higher education institutions. On a less visible level, you can consider the ornamentation that adorn suits and dresses, and even the tablecloths and place-mats that define the reception. There’s a wedding boom in the UK right now: the BBC highlights the phenomenon many businesses are experiencing of a wedding a week. Pushing students away from fashion education will impact on the ability of national businesses to meet this demand: a consistent flow of new students into the world of fashion is crucial.
Fashion isn’t just about events today; it’s about artistic installations of the future too. Events like the Liverpool Biennial encompass a significant portion of fashion design, and are simply not as effective or interesting without the full range of artistic pursuits on display. Losing these sorts of events is problematic for the economy. According to Biennial figures, the event brings in £6.6m per year to the city – equivalent to nearly 200 full-time jobs.
Sustainability on the horizon
One thing that the last year has shown is the need for sustainability. Fashion is a typically progressive art, and is at the forefront of sustainability in the public vision; As a global leader in fashion research and education London College of Fashion’s Centre for Sustainable Fashion has pioneered sustainability as a core principle of fashion education and industry practice for well over a decade, and has welcomed the trend towards sustainability, held by many of the most promising of 2021’s graduate crop.
There is an economic as well as an environmental imperative to sustainable fashion – Green Alliance estimates that the UK green market already reaches £200bn in value, with a lot more to be gained. Fashion is an important area in which to find new, eco-friendly processes – clothing has had a big impact on the environment and society in the past, whether that’s through the impact of underpaid labour in the developing world, or from mass-produced cotton.
Fashion is an important part of the creative arts scene. When it comes to economic recovery and the sustainable future of the arts industry, educating a new generation of fashion students is going to be a crucial pursuit.Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in