Well, there is no avoiding the result. Brexit has well and truly happened.
If the EU referendum stats are on point, it is estimated that more than 75% of young people, and 50% of those 24-45 who braved the downpours of rain on the day to vote crossed the ‘Remain’ box on the ballot with a larger proportion of the 45+ age profile voting to leave.
It is striking and unfortunate that the victorious camp managed to win largely using the rhetoric of fear over hope, with many of the realities of those fears finally (a little too late) becoming clearer. That fear has made it undoubtedly more difficult for the public (especially those who voted to Remain) to see hope, stability and unity for Britain and it’s relationship with Europe. However, it is important to see that there will be many opportunities that will come from Brexit. As a country this is what we must strive for and believe in now. Since the vote, discussion, debate and better rounded views from a kaleidoscope of industries, people and professions have laid out their arguments and hope for a new Britain. One that fights it’s own battles and paddles it’s own canoe.
It is worth noting the fashion industry as a whole did remain relatively quiet during the whole debate. The British Fashion Council (a week before voting day) conducted a survey. It revealed that 90% of British Fashion Designers were voting to stay in the EU. Needless to say, the vast majority were left reeling after the vote. In 2014, the British fashion industry contributed more than £26billion to the economy and is one of the UK’s most important export industries.
With the devaluation of the pound, most fashion design businesses that outsource their production and source fabrics abroad will now face soaring costs that will inevitably be passed on to the consumer. What’s more Britain is a hotbed of International talent, fuelled by some of the best fashion design schools in the world. Our EU borderless educational system allowed the likes of Mary Katrantzou (Greek) and Marta Marques (Portuguese) to study and start businesses in the UK. The future, although it may not be as bad as we fear, is uncertain and all leading economic opinion will confirm that business does not like uncertainty.
Finally, it is important as an industry we face up to the future, look positively ahead at the opportunities Brexit WILL create.
We have collected some of our favourite clippings that we think are worth reading from a fashion industry perspective:
Onwards and upwards to a new hopefully inclusive, forward looking and prosperous Britain as we now navigate Brexit in all our businesses.