Exporting in Style: UK fashion exports top £10.7 billion

The Department for International Trade collaborates with the British Fashion Council to help UK designers export this London Fashion Week.

As major fashion buyers from the across the world descend on the capital for London Fashion Week, latest trade figures show exports of fashion goods rose to £10.7 billion in 2016.

The figure is the highest on record and represents an 8 per cent increase on exports of footwear, clothing and textiles since 2015.**

There is clear global demand for British goods, with the USA, Hong Kong and Australia snapping up more than £1 billion worth of exports in 2016. The countries account for the top three buyers of home grown brands including Burberry, Mulberry and Temperley London, outside of the EU.

To build on this export success, the Department for International Trade (DIT) has collaborated with the British Fashion Council (BFC) to give British designers access to high profile buyers from developed markets. Through the BFC’s ‘International Guest Programme’, up and coming designers will be linked to key markets including the USA, China and South Korea.

International Trade Minister Mark Garnier said:

From street style to haute couture, it’s no surprise that our prestigious fashion industry is in vogue with more than £10 billion worth of goods heading overseas last year.

Our best brands will display their talent this London Fashion Week and as an international economic department, we are committed to supporting them make the most of their exporting potential.

That’s why we’re connecting home grown designers to international fashion buyers through bespoke fashion programmes and events.

Supporting the best of British style

Working with DIT, the BFC are also promoting leading British fashion designers on the world stage by taking 15-20 designers on a trade mission to Paris Fashion Week. Emerging new UK fashion designers will be able to showcase to international press and buyers at a dedicated pop-up showroom as part of Paris Fashion Week.

One company showcasing at London Fashion Week this year with help from DIT is Baia Bags. Susy Brown began the company from her bedroom five years ago in Yorkshire. Since then, she has slowly built the business with every item designed and handmade herself – using only British sourced products and materials.

Baia Bags was picked up by Fortnum and Mason and has exhibited at LFW four times. Ms Brown is now exploring other international markets including Italy, and already exports to the USA. DIT has helped to secure her a place at London Fashion Week this year and show in Paris next season.

London Fashion Week runs from Friday 15th to Tuesday 19th September and will welcome guests including press and buyers from over 59 countries.

Notes

  • **The latest figures from HMRC: Fashion includes textiles (SITC 65), apparel (SITC 84) and footwear (SITC 85). £10.7bn is the highest value in the HMRC data, which is available from 1996.
  • DIT partner with BFC on eight of their fashion events.
  • Priority markets for the ‘International Guest Programme’ include: USA, China, South Korea, Italy and Germany
  • The programme involves targeting international buyers and understanding their budgets and styles and matching them with appropriate British designers.
  • The International Guest Programme is hosted by the British Fashion Council’s International team and provides a tailored and targeted schedule for that ensures that they meet the most relevant brands with the highest international potential.