The Association of Suppliers to the British Clothing Industry (ASBCI) has announced the launch of its new ‘Survival of the Smartest’ webinar series focused on the future of the fashion industry.

The first webinar in the event series, ‘Smart Skills Beyond 2020: the new learning mentality’, will take place at 10.30am on 2 December 2020 and will focus on the essential skills that can take the fashion industry forward beyond 2020.

Organised with event partner Motif, the online debate will open with a presentation by Jackie Lewis from Motif on the findings of its ‘State of Skills in the Apparel Industry 2020’ report. Featuring input from 900 professionals and 19 industry associations, the report provides “a vital insight into the skills and training trends within the sector, and reflects on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on professional learning to inform business and talent development strategies,” explained the ASBCI.

“As Covid-19 continues to cause disruption around the globe amid a worsening climate crisis, smartification has become the watchword of a new era. This is not just about adopting the latest technologies and accelerating the digitalisation of the whole supply chain, it’s also about adopting a new mindset and a reassessment of traditional ways of working.

“The businesses that survive and thrive in the post-Covid era will be those that can adapt to the rapidly changing ‘new normal’, but it goes beyond the immediate pandemic response. Smartification requires businesses to adopt more agile ways of working, to be prepared to try new things, quickly, and to invest in the people, skills and technologies that will deliver long-term business resilience.”

The webinar will also host a debate between a panel of industry experts, including Jenny Holloway from Fashion Enter, a social enterprise specialising in training and manufacturing excellence, as well as Kate Hills from Make it British and specialist recruitment consultant Lindsay Clarke from Planet Personnel.

The panel discussion will consider how best to identify essential skills, the importance of upskilling and investing in existing staff and key recruitment strategies; it will be moderated by ASBCI event director Dr Julie King, and is free to attend. To book your place, visit

The ASBCI’s ‘Beyond 2020: Survival of the Smartest’ digital conference will take place in May 2021.