Whether you agree with the decision in the first place, Brexit has happened and has in turn greatly impacted the fashion industry in Britain and beyond. Both luxury and small brands have seen how these new regulations have transformed their production processes, from greater transport and tax costs to potential opportunities to grow in the industry
So how has Brexit influenced luxury fashion and what do you need to know as a consumer? Continue reading as we deep dive into this topic...
Trade rules have changed and are continually doing so, meaning the transport of any and all goods traded between the UK and the EU have additional costs. Whichever way the goods are moving, there will be taxes of up to 25% whereas previously they had been able to move freely within EU countries without any of these imposed charges.
This means that distribution of luxury fashion from the UK becomes much more cost worthy. Businesses which may thrive on European exports may struggle to replicate the numbers they did before if they are unable to transport their goods into these other countries at a low cost. So consumers may see an increase in delivery costs as a result.
Paperwork, Paperwork & more Paperwork!
Even something as simple as the change in paperwork can cause delays for both small and big brands alike. There have been lots of reports or imports and exports getting delayed as businesses adjust to the new laws. They either don’t realise what has changed or they are simply still trying to get their hands on or get their head around the new paperwork which they have to process to transport materials into and out of the EU.
Essentially, before Brexit, the borders between the UK and other EU countries would assume that all of this paperwork was compliant with EU regulations as they would have no reason to suggest otherwise. Now, this is something that companies need to prove when making these exports. So as a consumer, patience is key as we navigate these difficult times together.
A plea to the UK government
Despite the potential opportunities it could create, the drawbacks certainly outweigh the benefits in this particular case for the big luxury brands. An option which some have elected to try, is to alter these restrictions in some way shape or form by asking the government to do what they can to make some sort of compromise with the EU.
In February Fashion Roundtable spoke out on behalf of the UK fashion industry in an open letter to the government asking for support. In this letter they claim that without any help, the fashion industry in the UK has a risk of collapsing with the added costs caused by Brexit creating strain on these businesses. They provide a range of statistical proof that the fashion industry is vital to the UK, adding that other industries that the government has helped actually have less of an impact on the economy than british fashion.
It has been several months since this letter was published, but with a number of smaller businesses within the industry yet to adapt to the changes, it is, on the whole, suffering because of Brexit. Fashion Roundtable have since published a follow-up report with more key data backing this up, with one stand-out statistic from Oxford Economics claiming that the fashion industry’s UK GDP contribution has the potential to drop by almost £10 billion.
A range of survey’s reiterate this nation-wide concern and further information comparing fashion to film, automotive and fishing show just how important it is to the UK economy, not to mention how many jobs could be at risk.
We stand in support for everyone trying to survive during these unforeseen circumstances and truly hope this sector can continue to thrive with the support it needs from the government.
More opportunities for small boutiques
Some large companies have even elected to stop distributing their brand to the UK all together, which potentially opens up a space for another within the UK to take its place, providing new opportunities for small boutiques who are able to produce quality products but at lower running costs. With the right sourcing of materials, designs and marketing, the absence of certain brands like Top Shop, could become a possibility for others.
As an brand born in 2015, we’ve recently transformed into an ecommerce experience and have witnessed first hand how small companies can thrive even during such difficult times, but dedication & positivity are the key ingredients to make anything happen, so we would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that’s supported our brand journey so far and we can’t wait to continue growing our amazing indo-western inspire collection with you all.