The British Fashion Council, The Outsiders Perspective and the (Fashion) Minority Report Launch a Comprehensive Review of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the UK Fashion Industry and Call for Urgent Collective Action

21 August 2023

The British Fashion Council, The Outsiders Perspective and the (Fashion Minority) Report are thrilled to announce the launch of ‘The Fashion DEI Census’, an industry-wide survey, which will audit the demographics of the UK fashion industry. The audit is the first of its kind and calls for the urgent participation of all individuals working across the breadth of the UK fashion industry today.

In response to multiple global social justice movements, businesses are increasingly being held accountable for their diversity, equity and inclusion (D, E & I) practices and are expected to evolve their commitments and strategies accordingly. However, due to the lack of data reporting available, the status of progress is impossible to evidence. In order to achieve tangible progress towards our D, E & I goals, data insight into the UK fashion industry's key demographics is both vital and urgent.

The audit is long overdue and marks the first step towards the vital measurement of the UK fashion industry’s collective progress towards the goal of fair representation. The audit will also provide invaluable insights into whether or not the industry reflects the diverse and global communities it inspires and serves.

“The last few years have been a wake-up call for industry to address imbalances in the workforce from Board to entry level positions. While most organisations have taken the time for critical reflection, there is an alarming lack of industry-wide data on the demographics of the UK fashion workforce, making it exceedingly difficult to track our progress. By gaining invaluable data insight into the UK fashion industry’s key demographics through this audit, we can accelerate tangible change to ensure fair representation and a truly inclusive workforce.” - Caroline Rush, Chief Executive, British Fashion Council.

“In launching The Fashion DEI Census, we are issuing a serious plea for the whole industry to take part. It is a 5-minute exercise which could really help transform our industry. This survey is for everybody to fill in, irrespective of your background - it is our collective responsibility to step up, take part and pass it on. For too long, we have been blindly hoping for progress - now we need the data, progress needs to be tangible and measurable. We need it now!”  -  Jamie Gill, Founder, The Outsiders Perspective.

“From retail to the runway, we endeavour for this survey to reinforce a collaborative dialogue across the British fashion industry, about the importance of embedding progressive DEI practices in the workplace. It is imperative that we gain this insight from across all levels of seniority, roles and identities, allowing us to build a broad understanding of the identities of our workforce, and the ways that we can collectively drive impactful change for those who remain underrepresented” - Daniel Peters, Founder, The (Fashion) Minority Report

The audit will be conducted via an anonymous, self-declaration survey designed to snapshot demographic data across the whole UK fashion industry, across all job roles (retail, brand, media, agency, freelancers etc), all functions (marketing, operations, HR, finance, store etc) and all seniorities (from graduate to C-suite). Individuals will be asked to complete a short series of questions, taking only 5 minutes, without giving any further detail on their place of work or any personal data - with the intention being to review the industry as a collective, rather than to index progress across different organisations.

The audit forms the first part of a comprehensive review of the state of play of diversity, equity and inclusion in the UK fashion industry, and will feed into a wider report to be published later this year, as part of a pilot programme led by the three organisations. The report will provide much needed data and analysis on the status of D, E & I in the industry today, as well as inform a best practice playbook - ensuring that future progress can be real and measurable. 

Click here to complete The Fashion DEI Census, which closes on the 18th of September.

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