UCRF Constitution

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UCRF is constituted as a small, unincorporated association.

This document was last updated on 16 December 2020.

1. Name of organisation

Union of Concerned Researchers in Fashion (UCRF)

2. Aims

The aims of UCRF, articulated more fully in the Manifesto, (http://concernedresearchers.org/our-manifesto/) are to:

  1. Foster an ‘activist knowledge ecology’ and direct such a system purposefully towards fostering change;
  2. Advocate for whole systems and paradigm change in global fashion systems, beyond current norms and business-as-usual;
  3. Diversify the voices within fashion and sustainability discourse, to reflect multiple perspectives beyond the dominant business approaches;
  4. Draw attention to and articulate strong critique of ill-advised and destructive fashion projects;
  5. Insist on accountability of research, practice and education;
  6. Formulate visions—and corresponding research practices—that allow for the possibility of enacting new relationships between humans and Earth in the context of fashion;
  7. Take a leadership role in debating existing and new ideas and creating action around fashion-sustainability themes;
  8. Devise means for turning research applications towards the underlying root causes of pressing environmental and social problems, including but not limited to climate change, wealth inequality, biodiversity loss, and plastic pollution;
  9. Organise fashion researchers to translate radical step change into effective political, and other, action.

3. Members

Membership is open to individuals who can stand by and choose to sign up to the manifesto. A list of all members, which are the manifesto signatories, is published on the UCRF website: concernedresearchers.org/manifesto-signatories/

Membership will begin as soon as a signatory signs the manifesto. An annual membership fee is to be agreed at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) and will be payable by all members.

Members may resign their membership at any time without prejudice by writing to the board, who will remove their name from the list of members within one week of withdrawal. Membership fees for the remainder of the membership period will not be refunded. The member’s name will remain on versions of the Union’s statements and publications published while they were a signatory. 

Any member who has not paid their membership fee for one year will be contacted by the board, who will then decide whether that member is deemed to have resigned.

Any offensive behaviour, including racist, sexist or inflammatory remarks, will not be permitted. Anyone behaving in an offensive way or breaking the equal opportunities policy may be asked not to attend further meetings or to resign from the group.

4. Equal Opportunities

UCRF will not discriminate on the grounds of gender, race, colour, ethnic or national origin, sexuality, ability, religious or political belief, marital status or age. 

5. Board and officers

The business of UCRF will be carried out by a board consisting of up to 14 members. An additional two members may be co-opted onto the board at its discretion.

The officers’ roles are as follows:

  • Chair, who shall chair both general and board meetings
  • Secretary, who shall be responsible for the taking of minutes and the distribution of all papers
  • Membership secretary, who shall be responsible for keeping records of members
  • Treasurer, who shall be responsible for maintaining accounts

The board will meet as necessary and not less than four times a year.

To select a new board member, a recommendation may be made by a board member or a candidate proposed by a member of UCRF. The board will review a resume and application letter and vote to approve or reject the new member. A majority is required for a new board member to be approved.

Board members may stand down at any time. Any board member not attending a meeting without notice or apology for three months will be contacted by the board and asked if they wish to resign.

6. AGM and other meetings

6.1 Annual General Meetings

An Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held within fifteen months of the previous AGM, and will rotate between different time zones.

All members will be notified in writing at least 3 weeks before the date of the meeting, giving the online platform, date and time.

The quorum for the AGM will be 5% of the membership or 10 members, whichever is the greater number.

At the AGM:-

  • The board will present a report of the work of UCRF over the year.
  • The board will present the accounts of UCRF for the previous year.
  • The officers for the next year will be confirmed.
  • Any proposals given to the Secretary at least 7 days in advance of the meeting will be discussed.

6.2 Special General Meetings

The Secretary will call a Special General Meeting at the request of the majority of the board or at least eight other members giving a written request to the Chair or Secretary stating the reason for their request.

The meeting will take place within 3 weeks of the request.

All members will be given 2 weeks notice of such a meeting, giving the online platform, date, time and agenda.

The quorum for the Special General Meeting will be 5% of the membership or 10 members, whichever is the greater number.

7. Rules of procedure

All questions that arise at any meeting will be discussed openly and the meeting will seek to find general agreement that everyone present can agree to.

If a consensus cannot be reached, a vote will be taken and a decision will be made by a simple majority of members present. If the number of votes cast on each side is equal, the chair of the meeting shall have an additional casting vote. A quorum of board members must be present to make a decision on an issue viable. The quorum for UCRF requires more than 50% of the board to participate in the meeting.

Terms of governance, as documented in the constitution, are revisited on a yearly basis. 

8. Finances

An account will be maintained on behalf of the UCRF at a bank agreed by the board, along with an online payment service account (e.g. Paypal). Three payment signatories will be nominated by the board (one to be the Treasurer). The signatories must not be related nor members of the same household.

All payments will be authorised by two of the signatories. 

  • For cheque payments, two signatories are required to both sign the cheque.
  • For internet banking payments (such as BACS payments), the signatories will both authorise the payment.
  • For other payments (such as debit card payments), a requisition note will be signed by two signatories, and held by the Treasurer.

Any funds received via the online payment account will be withdrawn to the bank account once a month.

Records of income and expenditure will be maintained by the Treasurer and a financial statement given at each meeting.

All money raised by or on behalf of UCRF is only to be used to further the aims of the group, as specified in item 2 of this constitution.

9. Changes to the constitution

Amendments to the constitution may only be made at the Annual General Meeting or a Special General Meeting.

Any proposal to amend the constitution must be given to the Secretary in writing. The proposal must then be circulated with the notice of meeting.

Any proposal to amend the constitution will require a two thirds majority of those present and entitled to vote.

10. Dissolution

If a meeting, by simple majority, decides that it is necessary to close down UCRF it may call a Special General Meeting to do so. The sole business of this meeting will be to dissolve the group.

If it is agreed to dissolve the group, all remaining money and other assets, once outstanding debts have been paid, will be donated to a local charitable organisation or will be put to a cause that the board agrees upon by a two thirds majority. The organisation will be agreed at the meeting which agrees the dissolution.

This constitution was approved at the meeting of the board of the Union of Concerned Researchers in Fashion on 5th September 2019.