The garment the British Empire wore for centuries is about to be made obsolete, with a government report predicting it will lose its status as “the most hated” garment by 2030.
The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) has identified “defective” garments as the most prevalent cause of the country’s “fashion faux pas”, in its latest Global Fashion Trends Report.
“We believe that the garment will not survive,” a spokesperson for DFID told The Independent.
It’s not just the fashion faux pas that’s at risk.
Dress code laws and the threat of violence and terrorism are also expected to take their toll on the fabric, according to DFID.
Defective garments are defined as garments that do not meet the high standards set out by the UK’s clothing industry.
According to the report, the “most commonly identified garment” is the “sweater”, which has been seen in the UK in various shapes and sizes for at least two centuries.
As it turns out, there’s also a “jeans” variant of the garment.
A pair of jeans with a “slimming” front and back can be considered a “defective” garment, but the problem is not limited to jeans.
“[It] is also seen in a wide range of footwear including sandals, boots, shoes and gloves,” the report says.
In addition, a “stomach pouch” is also a garment that can be deemed a “distinctively defective garment”.
A stomach pouch is a garment worn by “the poor, the elderly, the infirm and the disabled” as well as by those who are “particularly vulnerable to infectious diseases”.
As a result, the DFID has proposed a code of conduct for the garment industry, which it says will be enforced in “clothing shops, garment factories and public places”.
According the report: “There is a risk that consumers will feel more comfortable using [the garment] than they would if they were to wear clothing made by [the] UK or any other global brand.”
They may feel less confident in wearing it and feel that it is not appropriate for public places.
“The use of the term ‘defective’ will be used more often than the term, ‘unfashionable’ and ‘fashionable’.”
The report also warns that “fashion malfunctions and/or poor quality workmanship could lead to social and environmental consequences”.
“The potential for the [defective] garment to become a fashion faux-pas can be mitigated by making it fit for the consumer,” the DFI spokesperson said.
However, a spokesperson from the UK-based charity Shelter, which is campaigning for better dress codes for British-made clothing, said it was “disappointing” that the government was planning to “ban” the garment as it did not consider the issue “very serious”.
The spokesperson added that the “disproportionately high number of defections is a major problem” and the “faux pas” of wearing clothes that were “deficient in quality” was a “huge concern”.
But, despite the dire warnings, the Government’s plans to ban the garment are not expected to be put into effect until the end of 2020.
Shelter has warned that the clothing industry is “struggling to make ends meet” and that the UK has a “lack of clothing standards”.
In a statement, Shelter said: “Despite the Government being clear that a ban on the garment is necessary, we are concerned that the Government is failing to enforce the code of behaviour and that it has not set out how it plans to address the issue.
We have called on the Government to introduce a dress code for the garments it will be making obsolete.”
The Dorset-based Campaign for Better Dresses also said the ban would “only exacerbate” the problem, calling it “fantastic that the British Government is proposing to ban an essential British product that is part of our daily lives.”
Campaign for Better Dressings CEO, Rachel Horsfall, said: “A ban on this garment is not going to solve the problem of poor quality in the fashion industry, but it is a welcome step in the right direction.”
But it is crucial that the ban is enforced, as the Government has failed to tackle the problem and the country has a lack of standards in the industry.”
What’s your take on the proposed ban on British-designed clothing?
Do you think it will prevent the garment from being “fashion faux pas” in the first place?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.