To support young fashion companies and craft fashion companies, the Ministry of Culture has put in place for five years an original mechanism that focuses on digital and ethical projects. Next call for fashion projects: February 6.

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Five years after its first edition, the device Designed by the Ministry of Culture to support the fashion industry, it is an undeniable success. Spearhead of a policy resolutely geared towards support for young creation and the influence of French fashion », according to Aude Vuillier, in charge of design and fashion at the Artistic Creation Directorate of the Ministry of Culture, it provides financial support for the economic and creative development of companies in the sector through a grant of investment in projects digital and ethical ". " The winners, most of whom already meet the criteria of a sustainable fashion, will be able to develop digital projects: for example, making their website more efficient or scheduling photo sessions to have images of optimal quality; others will make video campaigns and promote their know-how. Many of them have great stories to tell. I am thinking in particular of family businesses that are taken over by the younger generation ” says Aude Vuillier.

The ambition of the system? Supporting digital and sustainable projects

Know-how: the other key word of the call for projects. It is indeed central in the choice that was made to extend in 2021 the device to the crafts of fashion (more than 40 trades of fashion referenced). « With the creation of the Creative Industries Office in 2021, more visible links have been forged between public policies for crafts, design and fashion: hence the recent inclusion of crafts in the call for projectscontinues Aude Vuillier. These young brands indeed need moulders and subcontractors whose know-how is extraordinary but who often remain behind the scenes. Making them beneficiaries of the call for projects is one way of recognizing them Know-how is, with the creation, at the heart of the Ministry of Culture’s support for fashion. “ For the younger generation, fashion is fashion shows, it’s being a stylist, explains Aude Vuillier, however, the fashion industry is also a wide variety of professions ». The Fashion Forum, which the Ministry of Culture funds every year alongside the Ministry of Economy and Finance, is another way to put all the unknown trades of fashion in the spotlight. « Last year, as part of a fully digital format, we have produced seven videos on new fashion professions, which are not only new professions but also evolving professions. The aim is to try to create vocations ».  

Awareness, sales, relocation… the effects of the scheme are very positive

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At the end of the first five editions, the Ministry of Culture a progress report of the scheme, based on a questionnaire sent to all the winners. As a result, the support – €400,000 per year in total allocated by the Ministry, i.e. €20,000 for each winner, accompanied by mentoring provided by a member of the jury – was judged “ decisive » for the development of their company. Note: in 2018, 5% of the companies supported were located in the region, today they are 65%. According to the beneficiaries, this support has had four major effects: improving awareness, increasing sales, increasing production and relocation in France, and implementing more responsible measures.

A real requirement to produce locally and source materials

Another encouraging trend: 90% of companies and brands supported by the call for projects still exist today. « Very few have closed, which is a good sign, especially after the years we have just known. This means that they have found solutions to stay open despite the closing of shops. Selling on e-commerce has helped them a lot, and we are helping them precisely on digital », says Aude Vuillier. And 85% manufacture their products entirely in France. « Some begin a real scientific process around matter and submit it to a series of tests to ensure its compliance. Others recover stocks from large houses and create collections from these stocks. All, in any case, go and get the materials as close as possible.” For the others, the grant was mainly used for digital development with an investment in tools and content – website, video, photography…– increased brand awareness and sales. Suffice to say that the call for fashion and crafts projects is a device of the future. Publication of the next call for projects on February 6.