During the last 12 months, we have now labored arduous on the BFA to proceed to signify and help the most effective of the British footwear sector. Consequently, we have now seen a major enhance in Members and Companions who all see the advantages of being a part of a robust and engaged group of footwear professionals. Right here, we’d prefer to share our newest press launch with you. If you happen to’d like to debate BFA Membership, please get in contact with our Enterprise Growth Supervisor, Polly Lythall.
PRESS RELEASE | January 2023: The British Footwear Affiliation (BFA) is reflecting on double-digit development in membership over the past 12 months because it prepares to toast its one hundred and twenty fifth anniversary with a sequence of particular occasions in 2023.
Since January 2022, the BFA has welcomed 63 new member companies, together with company entities, small-to-medium-sized enterprises, and unbiased manufacturers and retailers. That is in comparison with 17 new member companies in 2021. Latest additions to the Affiliation embrace Clarks, Ecco, Shoe Zone, Marks & Spencer, Le Chameau, and The Boot Restore Co., who’ve all joined or re-joined within the final 12 months.
Gerald Forbes, Industrial Director at The Boot Restore Co., says: “The footwear trade is quickly altering. Individuals count on extra from their manufacturers to sort out environmental points our world faces. Particularly in our trade, one main objective is to scale back the movement of footwear going to landfill. We presently work with a small group of different pioneering corporations which can be getting forward out there and making an announcement. We’re very excited to be becoming a member of the BFA. The help the Affiliation presents covers all features of right this moment’s trendy fast paced footwear trade.”
Sacha Spencer, Senior Purchaser of Girls’s Footwear at Marks & Spencer, feedback: “We’re very excited at M&S to be a part of the BFA. Constructing our data and experience within the footwear market is an actual focus for the enterprise in 2023. We’re wanting ahead to the help, workforce improvement and perception that the BFA and its Members will be capable of supply us.”
Charles Smith, Chairman of Shoe Zone, provides: “Shoe Zone grew to become a member of the British Footwear Affiliation in November 2022. Our membership was primarily pushed by the need for sustainability to be on the prime of each our and the BFA’s agenda for 2023. It is usually essential to us as a enterprise to be a part of this rising group of footwear manufacturers, suppliers, producers, and unbiased professionals. With 360 shops nationwide, we’re happy to convey our affect and expertise to the BFA and share our personal insights for the betterment of the complete footwear commerce. We stay up for seeing what 2023 could convey.”
The BFA additionally seeks to nurture new expertise and supply a welcoming group for rising manufacturers, micro-businesses and unbiased designer-makers. Within the final 12 months, Calla Footwear, Magnus Footwear, Youngsters Shoe Membership, Ration.L, side local weather tasks, Trash Planet, Shuda Dwelling, Zig+Star, DP James, and Helen Kirkum Studio have discovered a spot inside the BFA group.
Amongst them is specialist shoe repairer, Yorkshire Sole, led by Dean Westmoreland, who has featured as an Skilled on the BBC One tv sequence The Restore Store since 2021. He says: “I really feel that being part of the BFA group is important for the survival, development and preservation of the way forward for the UK shoe trade and its extremely expert workforce. Shoe restore isn’t at all times seen in essentially the most beneficial mild, and Yorkshire Sole has labored arduous to vary that notion in our personal small method. Being accepted as a BFA Member vindicates this ethos and permits a more in-depth relationship with the trade.”
He provides: “Shoemaking, manufacturing, repairing and designing holds a wealth of artistic expertise within the UK, and this needs to be celebrated, protected and inspired to develop. Being a BFA Member is one of the best ways to assist this occur.”
As of January 2023, the BFA Membership represents sector-leading a number of and unbiased retailers, e-commerce giants, footwear producers, wholesalers, suppliers, manufacturers and designers. Its Members signify the most effective and the brightest within the commerce, together with New Stability, schuh, Dr Martens (Airwair Worldwide), The Dune Group, Pentland Manufacturers, Vivobarefoot, Gina Footwear, Begin-Ceremony and T&A Footwear.
It additionally helps a major group of Northamptonshire-based bespoke shoemakers persevering with centuries of British custom, together with Crockett & Jones., Cheaney, Loake, Grenson, Sanders, Tricker’s and Edward Inexperienced.
“We’re proud to convey all areas of the footwear sector collectively, from consumer-facing manufacturers and retailers to restore specialists, producers, and part specialists, like one in every of our latest Members, GH Frecknall. Our broad scope and skill to make connections throughout the complete commerce are driving the BFA into 2023.”
Polly Lythall, Enterprise Growth Supervisor, BFA.
Along with its rising base of Members, the BFA has strengthened its portfolio of Companions in 2022, taking the overall variety of third-party companies as much as 32. All have been rigorously chosen to assist and help Members with European commerce, VAT considerations, delivery, haulage, e-commerce, omni-channel retailing, HR and recruitment, and sustainable improvement, amongst different specialisms. Notable new additions embrace ShoeAI, Kleene, Clover, All Axis Studio, Micro-Contemporary, RT7 Digital, and Innovation Tax.
This enhance in BFA Membership coincides with a pointy rise within the prominence of the BFA amongst varied Authorities working teams and initiatives. In 2022, the BFA continued its month-to-month check-ins with the incumbent Parliamentary Underneath-Secretary of State for Small Enterprise whereas guaranteeing its voice was heard as a key associate of the Division for Worldwide Commerce (DIT) in Free Commerce Settlement negotiations. The Affiliation has additionally lobbied the Authorities on the continued challenges of Brexit, enterprise charges, delivery, staffing shortages and extra by means of taking part within the Commerce Advisory Group, the Luxurious Steering Group and by being a member of the European Footwear Confederation.
“It is a massively essential yr for the British Footwear Affiliation as we’re celebrating our one hundred and twenty fifth anniversary. We’re additionally getting ready to host our inaugural Sustainability Summit, which can permit footwear professionals to speak overtly and actually concerning the challenges they’re going through and be taught extra about sustainable supplies and processes. The expansion we achieved in 2022 has laid the proper foundations for such a milestone second within the Affiliation’s historical past.”
Lucy Reece Raybould, CEO, BFA.
Elsewhere, the Affiliation has revamped its Quarterly Footwear Studies, launched its debut bi-annual Footwear Pattern Studies, and hosted a number of profitable occasions, together with a trio of well-attended networking events in partnership with the MICAM and Expo Riva Schuh commerce occasions and its BFA Footwear50 initiative in December 2022.
Trying forward, the BFA is getting ready to have a good time its one hundred and twenty fifth yr with an formidable program of occasions which can be resulting from be introduced shortly.