What Can Brexit Mean for Fashion?

As we’ve said before, the fashion industry is one that needs the attention and support of professionals spanning several fields, including lawyers and politicians. One example of this is the impact that Brexit can have on the fashion industry.

Over the past few months, we have all read up on possible strategies in relation to Brexit and the impending consequences, whether positive or negative. But, we think that the results for the fashion industry need particular attention.

There are two main concerns that we’d like to flag, though there are many important aspects of this matter.

First, globalization has pushed the fashion industry forward, due to the need for an international supply chain to keep the industry running. The United Kingdom remains the largest importer in the EU and fashion and apparel exports to Europe are worth £1.8 billion ($2.3 billion) annually. As such, if a Brexit deal fails, the UK fashion industry would collapse, which may also mean the end of “entire supply chains, from Bulgaria to Bangladesh, for products like thread, fabric and buttons“.  According to Business of Fashion, keeping tariffs at zero is a possible solution and one which is deemed viable by Labour Party’s Keir Starmer and the Conservative Party’s Matt Hancock. However, the ultimate consequences of the decisions in relation to Brexit remain unclear at the moment.

Our second concern is in relation to intellectual property. If the UK does leave the EU, we would require recognition of intellectual property rights and trademarks, transferrable mutual recognition between UK and EU trademarks, and protection of unregistered designs. Otherwise, infringement would become a major problem, as it is not possible to trademark in both zones at the moment.

These are just two of the concerns for the fashion industry in relation to Brexit – there is an abundance of other issues. However, being aware of such concerns, and thinking of proactive solutions is the responsible thing to do.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this issue, too!



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