Brexit impacted the Fashion Industry in many ways – from supply chain disruption to logistical difficulties, brands and businesses were facing a huge amount of uncertainty since the UK left the European union.
In our podcast episode about the impact that Brexit had on the UK fashion industry, we spoke to Tamara Cincik (Founder and CEO of Fashion Roundtable), Kate Hills (Founder of Make it British) and Toyin Laktu (Founder of Onwards and Up and lecturer at UAL).
Here some of the key take-aways from this episode:
Importing and exporting from and to Europe became increasingly difficult since Brexit and is now connected to a lot of bureaucracy. Some companies even decided to stop exporting to Europe due to the complications attached to it. Particularly for smaller businesses who don’t have access to the same resources as bigger companies, it has been a challenge to navigate through the new regulations. Although there have been a few organisations trying to offer support, most businesses were mainly left to deal with everything on their own.
A huge loss has been the lack of workers and skilled people coming to the UK due to visa regulations, which means the fashion industry is missing out on a lot of people from Eastern Europe. Since a lot of the required skills such as sewing and handcraft are being taught much more in these parts of the world compared to the UK, it is a lot harder to find local workers who are able to fulfil these tasks. Needless to say, this is heavily affecting the manufacturing area of the fashion industry as prices for outsourcing this work from abroad have also increased due to higher import/export costs.
One upside to all the struggles that came with Brexit, has been the fact that a lot more businesses are wanting to produce their goods in the UK now as it simplifies the process. It could be argued that this is due to Brexit but also potentially because more brands would like to have more sustainable and transparent supply chains. Not only do they avoid having to fly products all over the world, but they also avoid high tax and customs prices as these kept increasing over the past years.
The future will definitely bring a lot more challenges. In the end it comes down to how we deal with those challenges to make sure that the fashion industry in the UK will be able to adapt to the new rules and make the best out of what is available to us.
To find out more about how Brexit impacted the fashion industry in the UK, make sure you listen to the new episode of our podcast ‘Consciousness Beyond The Product’.
As well as find out more on our Instagram account @sabinna_com