§ Lord Harrison
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What is their policy towards European Union standardisation of clothing and footwear sizes by 2003 as proposed by the Cologne-based Research Centre of the Clothing Industry and shortly to be presented to CEP (European Standards Committee). [HLI608)147WA
§ Lord Sainsbury of Turville
It is primarily for industry to take forward initiatives in the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) and in national standards bodies such as the British Standards Institution. CEN is currently developing a European sizing designation system for clothing and this work enjoys the strong support of UK manufacturing and retailing interests. There are currently no prospects for developing a European sizing designation system for footwear.
The Government welcome such initiatives where they increase the competitiveness of the UK manufacturing and service sectors. Indeed, the DTI is currently providing a £4 million grant under the Foresight LINK Award scheme to a consortium of 28 partners (including four universities and a number of UK high street retailers and mail order companies) to develop three-dimensional body scanning technology in clothing retail and manufacturing.