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NCWA NEWS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S COMMENT We may be weeks away from a deal on Brexit, or not as the case may be. Whilst arguments rage about what Brexit should mean – hard Brexit, soft Brexit, in or out of the Single Market and the Customs Union – and what the dangers or opportunities of a no deal Brexit might be, one thing is surely certain, that it is the lack of certainty which is making life difficult for everyone. The clothing and textile industry has a long supply chain. We are not unique in this, but the influence of fashion complicates matters as yarn moves to fabric (both knitted and woven) and finally to garment design and manufacture. With so much of that supply chain being imported and exported and with so much subject to forward ordering, we need to know what tariff regime is going to apply both for trade with the EU and with the rest of the World. If we are to be faced with “WTO rules”, meaning the duties that the EU and other countries apply to imports when there are no special trade treaties, we need to know as soon as possible and from when this is going to happen. One word of comfort I can offer is that I know from colleagues in other Member States that they are desperate to know what the situation is going to be because of the importance of the UK to them, both for exporting and for importing. I know also that they have been lobbying their respective Governments to tell the EU Commission to get on with it. Let us hope that we shall soon have an answer to the tariff situation. We can then move on to consider other matters of importance to the childrenswear industry. Some of them will fall to HM Government to decide, for example, the retention of the current zero-rating of children’s clothing and footwear for VAT purposes. The date of the next Budget has not yet been announced, but we shall have to keep up pressure on the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Other matters will be part of the Brexit negotiations, such as the ability to recruit appropriately skilled staff, particularly in manufacturing. On Standards, where the UK wishes to remain through BSI (the British Standards Institution) a member of the European Standards Organisation (CEN), this should be sorted out within CEN itself, although I have a suspicion that some Member States might try to use this as part of the Brexit bargaining process. Some members have asked me about agency legislation, as the UK Regulations were introduced because of the relevant EU Directive. I have heard of no plans to review this legislation in the short term and suspect that in any event there are far more pressing concerns for both Government and Parliament. Be assured that NCWA will be doing all it can to make its views known to Government. We shall also be working closely with the UK Fashion and Textile Association, which represents the whole of the UK supply chain. In the meantime, do let me know your concerns and your views. You can contact me at NCWA, telephone 020 7843 9488, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are not an NCWA member, do look at our website, www.ncwa.co.uk. There is so much that NCWA membership can offer and you can easily join online. Elizabeth P Fox Executive director
NCWA COUNCIL: Chairman: MARK BARNETT, Barnett Agencies Imm. Past Chairman: SHARON BEARDSWORTH, RSB Associates Treasurer: DAVID BURGESS, David Luke Ltd — COUNCIL MEMBERS: NUALA MCKENNA Nuala McKenna Agencies Agent, DIANE SHAW Agent SARAH TAYLOR Agent, DANIELE SISMONDI Brand Stable Agent RACHEL RILEY Rachel Riley Manufacturer, EMMA-JANE ADAM Love My Smalls Ltd Manufacturer DAVID PARKER Baby Melanie Retailer President: KEN SCATES Marketing consultant Vice Presidents: LESLEY FALLON Retail consultant JACKIE COOK Retail consultant Executive Director: ELIZABETH FOX
08 - SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018
RED URCHIN LAUNCHES SNOOZEPACK Organic kids’ brand Red Urchin is launching an all-in-one portable napping sack and travel pillow called the SnoozePack. Part of the new a/w 18-19 collection, the SnoozePack is designed for nursery naps, travelling and kids on the go. The SnoozePack is designed to be easily and quickly unzipped into a napping sack. Once finished with, it takes just three folds to pack away and zip back into itself. The result is a compact carry case with handles, which also doubles as a travel pillow. Suitable for children aged 3 to 6 years, the SnoozePack comes in three different prints in soft, 100 per cent organic cotton jersey and is also machine washable.
JOHN LEWIS REBRANDS TO JOHN LEWIS & PARTNERS The 83,000 Partners who work for the John Lewis Partnership are now included in the businesses’ names, with both John Lewis and Waitrose adding ‘& Partners’. The rebrand aims to highlight what differentiates the company from its competitors; its Partnership business model and culture. The full identity change to all 348 Waitrose and 50 John Lewis shop facades, plus the combined fleet of 3,500 lorries and vans, is being phased over a number of years to tie in with refurbishment plans. Both retailers will continue investing in their Partners to enhance their skills and product knowledge. This includes the creation of Customer Service Ambassadors and investment in technology to improve customer service.
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THE NATIONAL CHILDRENSWEAR ASSOCIATION OF GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND Membership is open to everyone involved in the British childrenswear industry. Associate membership, open to non-British organisations, is now available. Membership costs from £100.