Fostering Sustainable Practices? The case of micro and small designer fashion enterprises

Black, sandy; Williams, Dilys; Rocamora, Agnes; Burcikova, Mila; Lyon, Fergus; Werner, Andrea; Vickers, Ian; Elf, Patrick; Eckert, Claudia and Crommentuijn-Marsh, Philippa Fostering Sustainable Practices? The case of micro and small designer fashion enterprises. In: Sustainable Innovation 2021, 15-21 Mar 2021, Farnrbough.

Abstract

The UK designer fashion sector, largely made up of micro and small enterprises, is a significant part of the UK’s creative industries, and widely recognized for its fashion influence beyond the UK. This paper presents findings from the Rethinking Fashion Design Entrepreneurship: Fostering Sustainable Practices project, working with innovative fashion micro and small enterprises (MSEs) in the UK. With their strong sense of values and purpose, contributing to community alongside maintaining financial viability, these MSEs provide examples of best practice to foster sustainability. Whilst the fashion industry has been severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, our investigation revealed some fashion design entrepreneurs showing exceptional resilience, despite facing financial challenges. Such small and agile enterprises exemplify a redefinition of what fashion business is and can be in future, presenting viable pathways to recovery post-pandemic, and building towards a sustainable prosperity.

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