Everything you need to know about #dontmakefashionhistory

We all know Brexit is going to affect many industries in the UK. But have you thought of how it is going to impact the fashion industry? Fashion Roundtable, the leading think-tank for the fashion industry has launched the campaign ‘don’t make fashion history’ to urge the government to take action and save British fashion.

Here is everything you need to know about the campaign and what you can do to help.

Fashion Roundtable’s Brexit and the Impact on the Fashion Industry paper, 2018.

What does the fashion industry bring to the UK?

The fashion, textile and retail industry contributes on average £35 billion to the UK every year, a significant portion of the countries economy. It contributes more to the UK economy financially than the car industry, the film industry, the music industry and the fishing industry combined yet the government is completely ignoring the threat to its future. The industry employs almost one million people, making it the UK’s largest creative sector. From high street to haute couture trends it is unique, making it one of the most influential fashion hubs in the world.

What impact is Brexit going to have on the fashion industry?

Fashion Roundtable state that Brexit threatens the immediate and long-term future of the fashion industry.

  • The British fashion industry heavily relies on the current trade arrangements in place. It is predicted that due to rising tariffs, the industry could lose £900 million in just one year. This is because clothing would increase in price and would affect both luxury fashion and high street stores. In addition to a loss of revenue, many jobs would be at risk.
  • British consumers will find it more challenging to buy clothing from EU countries as the price will increase. This can threaten the presence of European fashion labels in the UK as their sales will decrease.
  • Currently, there are over 10,000 Europeans working in the UK’s fashion industry who rely on ‘free movement’. This is the ability to travel quickly wherever work is available. If ‘free movement’ ends due to restrictions on travel, it would become much harder for Europeans to stay in the UK and contribute to the industry.
How Could Brexit Affect the British Fashion Industry? | Eco-Age
  • Ending tax free shopping will result in the UK’s luxury fashion sector being disadvantaged due to the EU27 offering tax-free shopping to international visitors.
  • Everyone working in the EU, will now need costly work permits and paperwork for products and equipment. This is a step backwards for the industry and does not fit with how the sector works.
  • Retailers are considering burning returns from the EU to avoid fees that are being imposed on them. This impacts sustainability of the fashion industry and would have detrimental results on the environment such as releasing plastic microfibres into the atmosphere.
Burberry, H&M, and Nike destroy unsold merch. An expert explains why. - Vox

How can you help the fashion industry?

It is vital for the industry that the government listens to Fashion Roundtable and acknowledges the detrimental effects of the Brexit trade deal. Everyone in all aspects of fashion is facing these consequences and it is crucial we work hard to make our voices heard and save the industry. This is what you can do to help:

By Charlotte Brooks