Caribbean Fashion Industry Passes “Declaration of Kingston” at CFW Forum Just under one hundred senior members of the Caribbean fashion industry met at Caribbean Fashionweek on Sunday June 15, 2008 at the Hilton Hotel for discussion and ratification of the “Declaration of Kingston”, intended to effect the immediate advancement of the Caribbean fashion industry. The group, including both private and public sector players, came from several Caribbean islands, including Trinidad, Jamaica, Barbados, Guyana, Martinique, Guadeloupe, The Bahamas, St Lucia and The Dominican Republic, with additional observers in attendance from India, The United Kingdom, the United States, Senegal, Nigeria and Canada. The Declaration was passed without amendment, abstention or dissent. Previously circulated to a wide group of Caribbean industry members, the resolution was drafted and piloted through the approval process by Forum Convenor Kingsley Cooper, Pulse Chairman and Executive Producer of Caribbean Fashionweek. Some of the well known institutions which are now signatories to the declaration include Invest Barbados, The Fashion Association of Trinidad & Tobago, The Jamaica Fashion and Apparel Cluster, Jamaica Trade and Invest, The Barbados Investment & Development Corporation, Strategies Caribe, The Fashion Faculty of the University of Trinidad & Tobago, The Fashion Department of the Degree Programme in Entertainment Management at the University of the West Indies, Pulse Barbados, and The Jamaica Agricultural Development Foundation. Some institutions may need to effect further ratification of the Declaration, depending on their rules. Individuals present and signing included Francis Hendy, Walter Green, Claudia Pegus, Earl “Biggy” Turner, Professor Carolyn Cooper (Forum moderator), Christopher Nathan, Gregory Mills, Meiling, Sandra Kennedy, Robert Young, Kenea Linton, Catherine Balgobin, Jill McIntyre, Tonika Sealy, Arlene Martin, Richard Passley, Vitus Evans and Andrea King. Harold Davis Executive Director of the JBDC spoke on behalf of the Hon Karl Sumuda, Minister of Trade and Investment at the Forum. Industry representatives were elected to be the Steering Group for the new organization and had their first meeting on Monday June 16, at the Hilton Kingston Hotel. Key aspects of the resolution included….(see concept brief, agenda and resolution below – pull info as you think appropriate).
Concept The Caribbean Fashion Industry Forum is conceived on the fundamental notion that: 1. The Caribbean possesses tremendous talent for fashion design, fashion modelling and a number of related skills 2. The Caribbean fashion industry has demonstrated tremendous promise and some success over the years
3. The Caribbean fashion industry, while growing exponentially on the show and modeling aspects of the business, has not grown significantly in business generation, sale of fashion products, or structure in the recent past. 4. Various identified and identifiable challenges facing the industry have prevented appropriate levels of growth and development 5. The industry represents a significant business opportunity on an individual, national and regional basis 6. Efforts must be made to move the industry forward in a fundamental way. 7. Caribbean Fashionweek is a good forum for deliberation and resolution of the way forward, given the large number of key industry participants, especially designers, in attendance from around the region. 8. A decision should be taken at CFW 2008 in this regard 9. A resolution and plan of action should be the result of these deliberations and should be implemented without delay.
Resolution (Draft) â€œWHEREAS A wide cross section of the Caribbean fashion industry, including various stakeholders and senior members, industry development agencies, training institutions, Government agencies, grant funders and other industry organizations from a number of Caribbean countries met today AND WHEREAS It was recognized that the Caribbean fashion industry holds great promise for economic gain in local, Caribbean and international markets, as well as creative and cultural enhancement of the Caribbean image and product, AND WHEREAS The industry faces a number of challenges which must be overcome if this potential is to be realized, AND WHEREAS These challenges include: -
insufficient funding insufficient training inadequate access to fabrics inadequate business management inadequate manufacturing capacity inadequate marketing and distribution capabilities
AND WHEREAS Deep consideration was given to these and other challenges and solutions facing the industry during todayâ€™s discussions, BE IT RESOLVED: 1. That this resolution is called the Declaration of Kingston, made at Caribbean Fashionweek on June 15, 2008 2. That it is hereby recognized that the Caribbean Fashion industryâ€™s success will be best facilitated by a wide partnership of industry stakeholders in both the private and public sectors 3. That industry members gathered in Kingston today constitute the first members of the Caribbean Fashion industry group and signatories to the Declaration of Kingston 4. That a representative Steering Group be elected today to guide the implementation of the objectives of this resolution on behalf of industry members 5. That as soon as possible, the Caribbean fashion industry, through the Steering Group, move to address challenges facing the industry and arrive at solutions for ratification by the wider industry membership 6. That the proposed solutions for consideration by the Steering Group include: a. increased representation to Governments in order to facilitate a better understanding of the industry and its needs, so as to obtain the significantly increased levels of support required b. representation to be extended to regional and international bodies such as Caricom and the European Union particularly, given the emergence of the new Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and the Caribbean c. identification and encouragement of increased investment by the private sector in fashion houses, so as to significantly raise funding and business management within the sector d. increased collaboration with training institutions so as to enhance curriculum planning and skills delivery, from an industry perspective e. Development of a partnership with West Indies Sea Island cotton, as a means of meeting the industryâ€™s need for a reliable fabric source and in recognition of the comparative and competitive advantages that would accrue to Caribbean designers through use of this premium brand f. Encouragement of private / public sector partnerships for possible investment in Caribbean based fabric mills, including Sea Island cotton, in order to ensure availability on attractive terms g. Encouragement of private / public sector partnerships for possible investment in manufacturing facilities, set up within the Caribbean, with the possible assistance from, and management by experts from India or China h. Encouragement of export through sales of resort wear to the 13 million tourists who visit the Caribbean each year i. Enhancement and diversification of funding sources, including access to grants and venture capital
Employment of enhanced management and marketing expertise within the industry, as well as improved professionalism and business practices across the board k. Development and employment of a short term industry plan, with the expectation that the medium to long term solutions proposed, will start to come on stream within a 3 - 5 year time horizon l. Development of reasonable timelines for decision making and implementation Unanimously passed and approved by industry practitioners and support organizations present at the Caribbean Fashion Industry Forum held this 15th day June 2008, in Kingston, Jamaicaâ€?. 1.