London Fashion Week drew to a close yesterday and once again we’ve seen why it is such a vibrant and vital moment in the international fashion calendar – innovation still seems to flourish in London; new aesthetics spring up to challenge the status quo and London remains the only fashion week where young emerging designers with little commercial impact still have a significant voice.
Despite the recent recession the creative industries have continued to grow and are worth £71.4 billion per year to the UK economy and fashion is a vital part of this picture.
Here at CSF we recognise how important small businesses are to the fashion industry, they bring new energy, attitudes and ideas. However very often the pressures of competing in an international market and the overriding belief that rapid growth is the only measure of success force young designers to set aside their values and focus only on what sells.
At CSF we are not naïve enough to dis-regard the importance of sales, a business does of course need to generate income to survive, however we do not hold with the view that growth and scalability are all that matters. We offer mentoring and support to small businesses to help them consolidate their unique creativity and establish a values system that ensures development and profitability but also applies a variety of measures to success.
This month we have taken on our first round of businesses for one-to-one mentoring through Creative Hub (please register your interest through the Creative Hub website if you would like to be considered for the next intake). The focus will be on a long and short term business planning and modeling, developing a clear and considered brand voice and approach to sales and marketing and of course product and range development; all seen through the lens of sustainability
The programme allows us to work with a range of brands from different market levels, to test a broad spectrum of business models. We believe that it is variety and flexibility that will ensure a diverse, exciting and resilient creative economy going forward, one that can embed and communicate creative approaches to sustainability.