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Time to stand up for the creative industries

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Fashion, drama, art, music, TV, publishing… What do they have in common? Yes, they are all creative industries, they all make a valuable contribution to the economy, and provide jobs. But this sector is one that is often not taken seriously enough – it’s labelled fluffy, airy-fairy and arty-farty.

In education the arts are often considered a ‘soft’ option. It was no surprise that a recent survey found that more than a third of schools have made cuts to arts education in the past five years.

But what had our MD Debbie springing out of bed in outrage this week was Radio 4’s Today programme presenter John Humphrys’ observing: “Sciences are going to get you a job, doing art is probably not going to get you a job.”

This could not be further than the truth.

Let’s look at the recent figures from The Creative Industries Federation, an independent UK-wide organisation that represents creative businesses:

  • There are nearly 1.96 million jobs in the creative industries – 25% more than in 2011.
  • The sector is growing at four times the rate of the wider UK workforce. It now provides 6% of all UK jobs.
  • It contributes £91.8bn to the UK economy.
  • Since 2010, its contribution has increased by a massive 44.8% and the sector now makes up 5.3% of the UK economy.

The stats are one thing, but Fashionizer has the benefit of being immersed in an artistic industry ourselves. Our staff include people with qualifications in fashion, textiles, communications and marketing, and all of them celebrate the fact that they are working in a constantly changing and relevant environment.

“The pleasure is in your designs coming to life – seeing someone wearing what you have created,” says uniform designer Nihal. “At the same time, there are technical challenges when you are making uniforms – your designs have to work with people of different sizes and body shapes.”

Lisa is Fashionizer’s Product Development Manager, with a particular passion for fabrics. “It is a dynamic, energetic and youthful business to work in. Nothing stands still for long. There are always changes in trends and technology, and you have to move fast. It is also a very cosmopolitan environment – a global business.”

Head pattern cutter Baharak adds: “I love the technical side – the fact that a different cut or change to a curve can transform a garment. It’s a different way of working too – more relaxed and less structured than a corporate environment – but that’s important because creativity needs space.”

Technology is an integral part of our work at Fashionizer, and all our team know it. They work with it every day – whether that’s creating patterns on a CAD system or using integrated databases to manage our processes. Just look at the processes that are involved in developing our spa fabrics, or our project on recyclable and biodegradable fabrics. The reality is that the creative arts don’t sit in their own furrow, untouched by maths, engineering and chemistry.  If they did, they would not be as successful as they so clearly are.

Time to think again, Mr Humphrys?

  • Watch out for more blogs on creative businesses, education and how women fit into all of it. It’s got our creative juices flowing…




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