Etail giant eBay has underlined its fashion credentials with a new partnership with the British Fashion Council to sponsor its Fashion Forward initiative, which supports emerging British designers.

Unveiling details of the sponsorship, which will launch at London Fashion Week in September, eBay’s head of fashion brands Melanie Smallwood said the deal reflected the etailer’s renewed focus on fashion.

“We feel we can now shout about what we at eBay are doing in fashion – we’re proud of it,” she said. “Partnering with the BFC provides an opportunity to show our support to emerging British talent, helping them to develop the long-term success of their business.”

Mobile was key to growing fashion sales, she added, with the business aiming to hit an ambitious target of $10bn-worth of annual sales through the channel.

Fashion Forward is in its sixth year and encompasses both menswear and womenswear designers, supporting a total of seven each year. The current crop includes names like Henry Holland, Louise Gray and Mary Katrantzou.

BFC chief executive Caroline Rush said: “Fashion Forward is one of the BFC’s talent support initiatives, designed to help emerging British designers show and develop their businesses in London. Ebay’s sales statistics are overwhelming and we hope they will help bring opportunities to the designers they support.”

Alongside the sponsorship, eBay and the BFC have also linked up with Save the Children to run an online charity auction on the etailers’ site that will sell some unique designer pieces including the teal Burberry dress worn by the prime minister’s wife Samantha Cameron to the royal wedding last year.

The initiative, called Born to Shop, has the support of supermodel Erin O’Connor, and will run for 10 days around the time of London Fashion Week raising funds for the charity’s lifesaving child survival work across the globe.