BFC Foundation Fashion Fund for the Covid Crisis

BFC Foundation Fashion Fund for the Covid Crisis has been established to support creative fashion businesses and individuals to survive the Coronavirus crisis. The BFC, through its charity the BFC Foundation, is supporting the industry through emergency funding with the majority supporting designer businesses and with a portion of funds also allocated to students, underpinning the future generation of creative talent.

Applications for Round 2 of the Fashion Fund for the Covid Crisis are now open! The deadline for applications is 5pm on Friday 7th August 2020.

The BFC would like to thank Alexander McQueen, Amazon Fashion, Browns, Cadogan, Clearpay, Coach Foundation and John Lewis & Partners for their generous donations to enable this round of grants. Profits from the sales of  the Great British Designers Face Coverings project in collaboration with Bags of Ethics also contributed to reaching the first milestone. Retailers for the project include ASOS, Boots, John Lewis & Partners, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose. 

In May the BFC announced the first round of recipients of the BFC Foundation Fashion Fund, with financial support given to 37 British designer businesses, with grants taken from the £1,000,000 emergency funds available, allocated to viable businesses depending on their urgency and capability to come through and thrive post crisis. 

Recipients of the first round of the Fund were:

Alighieri (VDFF 2020), 16Arlington, Ahluwalia, Aries, ART SCHOOL, Bethany Williams, BIANCA SAUNDERS, Chalayan, Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY (VDFF 2020), Chopova Lowena, CRAIG GREEN, David Koma (VDFF 2020), E. Tautz, E.L.V. DENIM, Edeline Lee, EFTYCHIA, Halpern (VDFF 2020), King & Tuckfield, Kwaidan Editions, Liam Hodges, Matty Bovan, Metier (VDFF 2020), Nabil Nayal, NEOUS, Nicholas Daley, palmer//harding, PAPER LONDON, paria /FARZANEH, PER GOTESSON, Phoebe English, RAEBURN, Rejina Pyo (VDFF 2020), Richard Malone, RICHARD QUINN, ROKSANDA, Stefan Cooke, Toogood. 

Caroline Rush, Chief Executive BFC said:

“We have seen an astonishing amount of applications come through from British designer businesses all over the country, asking for help to survive the crisis. The need for support is immense. Our hope is to re-open the fund for future rounds, to help as many businesses as possible, and ensure the future growth and success of the British fashion industry.”

Round 1 funding was made possible through pooling the BFC talent support grants that would have traditionally been awarded for either early stage showcasing support or business growth and promotion. BFC would like to thank all of those that made the first round possible and our partners in the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund, BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund supported by JD.COM,INC, BFC Fashion Trust and BFC NEWGEN.

BFC would also like to thank all of those that have made the funds for the initial first round possible and our partners in the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund, BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund supported by JD.COM,INC, BFC Fashion Trust and BFC NEWGEN: ARCH & HOOK, BFC Fashion Trust Supporters, British GQ, British Vogue, Browns, Burberry, depop, European Regional Development Fund, HSBC, JD.COM,INC, Label/Mix, Mayor of London, Paul Smith, Revlon Professional, Rodial and The Bicester Village Shopping Collection.

As fundraising continues, the BFC has called on both Government to step in to work with them on significant industry stimulus, and on the industry and individuals to support the BFC Foundation Fashion Fund for the Covid Crisis through donations, so that more businesses can be supported at this time.

With thanks to our Partners:

ARCH & HOOK, British Vogue, Browns, Burberry, Clearpay, depop, British GQ, JD.COM,INC, Label/Mix, Paul Smith, Rodial and The Bicester Village Shopping Collection

 

Make a donation to the BFC Foundation Fashion Fund for the Covid Crisis

 

Applicants can apply for a maximum of £50,000, clearly setting out the need for the funding against the criteria and how this funding will be used (see application form). Applications can be made by companies who meet the eligibility criteria and will be assessed as set out below. 

There will be a webinar held on Monday 3rd August at 3pm to outline the application process, to join the webinar please click here and enter the passcode: 522511

Companies that are successful will be able to access BFC business support and mentoring. All applicants will be added to the BFC database to receive information on new rounds of funding, government support schemes and webinars to help businesses in these challenging times. 

Our aim is to get grants to businesses as soon as possible, however please note that timelines can be subject to change.

      
Eligibility Criteria

In order to be considered for the BFC Foundation Covid Crisis Fund applicants should meet the following criteria:

  • Applicants should have a designer fashion business
  • The applicant's collection should consist primarily of womenswear, menswear, accessories, millinery or fine jewellery, NOT bridalwear or childrenswear
  • The applicant’s company should: be based in the United Kingdom; be registered with Companies House; with the majority of the team based in the UK
  • The applicant's company should be majority-owned by the Creative Director/Designer
  • Grant money requested should relate to a clear purpose to support the business through the current crisis  

Assessment Criteria

Applications that meet the eligibility criteria will then undergo assessment and will be reviewed against the following:

  1. Financial situation
    Applicants should demonstrate long-term viability of the business based on: historic financial performance and forecasts before the onset of COVID-19 and the change in market conditions; re-profiled financial estimates based on the impact of COVID-19; and future strategy and viability as a business.
  2. Need for funds
    Takes into consideration whether business can access government support measures; other grants and financial prizes and/or awards received and/or applied for and how these have been used; and current and historical investments. Applicants should outline all other avenues of finance explored to contribute to the business survival plan: the grants awarded are aimed at businesses that require support to survive. Before applying, please consider whether your businesses can survive without support?  Is there an absolute need, are charitable funds essential for you to continue trading?
  3. Use of the funds
    Planned use of funds that are focused on retaining employment and future needs rather than repaying debts held before the crisis. Note that applicants must provide evidence that loans and debts could have been met by the business before the crisis and that need is based on these unique current circumstances.
  4. Future business model
    Applicants have demonstrated and have plans to evolve their business model to new ways of operating, thinking about new distribution, move to online, sustainable practices that align to the Institute of Positive Fashion and new ways to think about the fashion industry post-COVID-19.
  5. Contributing to the overall fashion ecosystem
    Businesses must have a strong creative point of view, demonstrating a clear aesthetic point of difference; can demonstrate level and quality of media recognition, stockists and/or proven direct to consumer sales channels; and have contributed to the voice of UK fashion and have given back with their time to further the ecosystem.
  6. Quality and completeness of application form

Application Process

Applications for Round 2 of funding are now closed.
Applications must be received by 5pm on Friday 7 August 2020. If your application is late it will not be considered.

Applicants must ensure that they have the following information available before starting the application process:

  • Company Information
  • Lookbook /Portfolio (JPEG or PDF)
  • Latest press book
  • Financial Information
  • Most Recent End of Year Accounts (PDF)
  • Details of their request for funding including other sources of finance that have been investigated/sourced.

Failure to complete the form correctly and supply all requested information will invalidate the application.

The equal opportunities section must be completed, this will be kept on file for information only and will not affect the applicant’s entry

Applications will only be accepted via the online application. Please download here a copy of the application form for reference purposes only.

If you have any questions please email fashionfundapplications@britishfashioncouncil.com