Will Brexit Destroy the British Fashion Industry?


Yesterday Britain triggered it’s exit from the European Union, Prime Minister Teresa May will negotiate with the leaders of the bloc over the next two years to determine a trade agreement with twenty-seven remaining member states. There are basically two possible outcomes. The first, and most ideal, would be the “Norway Model.” In this scenario Britain would maintain access to the E.U.’s integrated economy called the “single market.” The other is a complete separation from the E.U., where the island nation would have no special trade agreement with their neighbors on the continent.

There has been widespread speculation about the impact that this will have on the British fashion industry, and most of the predictions have thus far been apocalyptic. Some think that along with the rest of the economy, the industry will collapse. Though Brexit is in its infancy, it has been business as usual thus far for British fashion.

Popular e-commerce site Asos had a blockbuster sales day in the immediate aftermath of the referendum. The value of the pound fell sharply in relation to the dollar, euro, and yuan. This led bargain hunters to swarm to the site, which derives two thirds of its sales from abroad. London has become somewhat of an ecommerce capital, it’s also where Net-A-Porter and Boohoo are headquartered. Iconic London department store Harrod’s says it expects a major influx of foreign customers this summer, flocking to Britain for lower prices as a result of the exchange rate.

The weaker pound may also lead to a boom in fashion production, it will become less costly for companies to have factories in the U.K. and to invest in burgeoning businesses. In a climate where production is increasingly outsourced to the developing world, “Made In Britain” may come to have a new cache. Not to mention that British designers intellectual property rights and patents will continue to be protected, as those protections are derived from international agreements not affiliated with the E.U.

While it has been less than 24 hours since Brexit negotiations began, early indicators don’t point to the end of British fashion.


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createdAt:Tue, 04 Apr 2017 15:24:03 +0000
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