Industry body the UK Fashion and Textile Association has secured future funding for UK fashion, textile and footwear businesses looking to expand in key markets, with funds to allow them to exhibit at international trade shows. Working closely with government body the UK Trade and Investment, UKFT will receive further funding through the Trade Show Access Programme, which is vital for small businesses who want to expand into international markets by paying for their stands at trade shows in cities including New York, Paris and Milan.
In the last 10 years alone, UKFT has taken more than 5,000 businesses to shows using the TAP scheme, including designer Jenny Packham, who was able to launch her first eveningwear collection to the international stage at Paris-Sur-Mode in 1989. Since then Packham has also used TAP funding to show in New York and Los Angeles at the Fashion Coterie, and the funding has helped the company to sell to more than 50 countries and gain worldwide recognition.
Matthew Anderson, CEO of Jenny Packham, said: “TAP funding quite simply allowed our company to take the first steps to export our collection. Without it, we would not have progressed as quickly. We continue to benefit now from the funding and support to help push our accessories collection which we are hoping will become a very successful part of our business.”
Currently UKFT is supporting and promoting over 300 UK designers at Paris Fashion Week, more than at any other fashion week throughout the year, many of which are showcasing through TAP funding.
UKFT chairman Peter Lucas commented: “We are delighted that UKTI has agreed to continued support for UKFT efforts to promote first time exporters in all markets. These first steps in export are an absolute lifeline for many businesses. This is where many UK businesses make their first mark on the global fashion stage.”
He added: “We continue a close dialogue with UKTI to fulfil the needs of the whole industry, including looking at new ways to help more established companies whose requirements for the next level of support in both traditional and emerging markets will be key to growth and success.”
Image: Jenny Packham