British Fashion Council announces growth in fashion industry since 2009

The fashion industry’s worth to the UK has risen by five billion pounds since 2009.

£26 billion was pumped into the UK economy from the fashion industry according to researchers at Oxford Economics for the British Fashion Council.

Consumer interest has risen in the past few years effectively boosting the worth of the fashion world, making it a rare growing industry in today’s unpredictable economy.

Natalie Massenet MBE British Fashion Council (BFC) Chairman said: “I know you have heard it before but don’t forget we are worth more to the economy in the UK than the car industry.”

Massenet owns luxury online outlet Net-a-Porter, now worth £350 million and is credited with changing the way designer fashion is sold online.
As consumer confidence remains at one in the UK, analysis shows that 70% of UK internet users shop online for clothing and footwear, resulting in consumers spending £10.7 billion, with analysts expecting this to increase to £19 billion by 2019.

Massenet said: “It is time for a broader range of establishment figures, politicians and global industry leaders to recognise that fashion has a crucial impact on an economy and create inspiring job opportunities as well as garnering front-page news across the world. As an entrepreneur and business leader based in the UK I can tell you from first-hand experience that fashion is a serious business.”

The fashion industry supports over 797,000 jobs in the UK. In comparison, tourism, the UK’s fifth biggest industry, supports over a million jobs and contributes £127 billion to the country’s GDP every year.

According to the Creative Industries website, a quarter of a million tourists cite shopping as their main reason for coming to the UK, proving that London has become a massive cultural hub for fashion enthusiasts worldwide.

Official statistics from the UK government website, published in January of this year, revealed that the UK’s creative industries including fashion are now worth £76.9 billion a year.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “British designers are internationally renowned for their innovative ideas and craftsmanship. There is justifiably always a huge buzz around London Fashion Week, with journalists and buyers jetting in from around the world. Over the past few years, BFC business support and mentoring programmes have had an important role in ensuring our designers can develop and thrive in a highly competitive sector, which can be a good thing for our city’s reputation for creativity and our economy.”

Twitter is important for fashion takeover. Researchers from the BFC found that 94 per-cent of its users were aware of London Fashion Week events, and 74 per-cent of Twitter users showed interest in London Fashion Week.

Fashion has made some significant digital firsts, such as Twitter’s use of the ‘buy’ button with Burberry.

Despite the industry’s green initiatives, their many digital-first and their contribution to the UK’s economy, fashion week is often accused of being shallow, frivolous and racist. I have explored the many racist facets of the fashion industry, and agree there is a lot of work to be done. Furthermore, critics state that Fashion Week creates irrelevant and expensive clothes that the average Londoner can’t afford. One piece of clothing is comparable to the average price of living frugally for one month in London (approximately £750).

Despite what people say, these figures prove that the fashion industry do deserve some credit – providing jobs in the UK and becoming a force to be reckoned with worldwide, there is clearly nothing frivolous about fashion’s contribution to the UK economy.

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