NOTTINGHAM (dpa-AFX) – The British fashion and design expert Anthony Kent considers the hurdles for the fashion industry created by Brexit to be an opportunity on the way to more sustainability. “It could bring British brands to produce more at home. You have to think more about the supply chain,” the fashion researcher from Nottingham Trent University told the German press agency. This is desirable in terms of sustainability. “Maybe it will reduce the enthusiasm for fast fashion,” said Kent.
The British fashion industry is one of those who is struggling particularly hard with the new rules after Brexit: the trade pact agreed between Great Britain and the EU means that trade is in principle duty-free – but only if the products are actually largely produced in these countries and made of materials from there. In the fashion sector, which has a lot sewn in Asia and uses non-domestic raw materials, this is often not the case. When customers in the EU order clothes from a fashion label in the UK, customs duties are sometimes due – an unpleasant surprise for consumers.
The re wasn’t much discussion before Brexit actually happened.” Certainly there will be companies that will suffer badly or even go under. Others could relocate more activities to the EU – such as the sportswear manufacturer JD Sports, which is considering opening a location with around 1000 employees in the EU.
The hard cut has now been made since the beginning of this year. Although the Brexit trade pact is intended to enable largely free trade in goods, exports from the kingdom to the continent have collapsed. Many companies shy away from the complex customs formalities and necessary controls at the borders.
The trend towards online shopping meant that traditional chains in the shopping streets such as Topshop could not survive in their previous form. Online trading platforms such as Asos or Bohoo took over several brands, including Topshop, from the ailing department store group Arcadia, but do not want to keep the branches.
The London Fashion Week, usually an important event in the fashion industry’s calendar, currently has to take place exclusively online due to the pandemic./swe/DP/zb