Brands | Fashion Updates

ASOS and Fashion Minority Report launch ScaleUP to support ethnic minority-owned brands.

Published: June 2, 2023
Author: Fashion Value Chain

-By Ankita Dutta

In a bid to address the hurdles faced by ethnic minority-owned fashion brands, ScaleUP has been launched. It is a collaborative initiative aimed at doing away with the challenges imposed on these businesses that hinder their access to the fashion market and scaling up their operations. Its partners mentioned that this is to bridge the gap between the fashion industry and the said brands. For many ethnic minorities, access to funding and lack of support has resulted in their businesses’ low success rates compared to their white counterparts. A report by the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry confirms this.

ScaleUP will pave the way for ethnic minority-owned fashion brands to achieve their goals by opening up opportunities that they may have found hard to access before. The initiative will provide wholesale opportunities, including an exclusive ASOS collection, to two successful candidates. Additionally, mentorship from industry experts will be available for a year. The two businesses can pitch for up to £20,000 funding each to support their growth.

For emerging ethnic minority-owned brands in the ready-to-wear women’s or menswear, or accessories segment of the fashion industry, ScaleUP will create opportunities through talks, workshops, and participation in the February 2024 ScaleUP press and buyer’s showroom. Up to five selected brands will partake in this opportunity.

Applications for Ethnic Minority Founders of UK-based fashion brands (in ready-to-wear women’s or menswear, or accessories), which have been in operation for less than five years, are currently open. The selection process will include a review by judges from ASOS and FMR, as well as other industry insiders.

Vanessa Spence, Senior Creative Director at ASOS, made the company’s stance clear. ASOS aims to support ethnic minority-owned businesses that have a promising vision. Spence mentions that ASOS intends to dismantle the obstacles encountered by these businesses and nurture emerging talent that needs to gain a foothold in the fashion industry.

The launch of ScaleUP is an indication of the commitment by stakeholders in the fashion industry to address the barriers that hinder ethnic minority-owned fashion brands’ growth. By giving access to funding, mentorship, and valuable networking opportunities, the industry stands to grow and benefit equally from the contribution of these brands. It is clear that diversity and inclusion can only strengthen the industry and provide a platform for ethnically diverse creatives to showcase their talents.

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