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BFC commissions 'Value of the UK Fashion Industry' report

Sep '10
The direct value of the UK fashion industry to the UK economy is nearly £21 billion according to a major new research study released today.

On top of this, fashion's wider contribution to the economy (known as the indirect, induced and 'spillover' effects) in influencing spending in other industries, ranging from IT to tourism, is calculated as more than £16 billion.

This means that, including direct, indirect, induced and 'spill over' effects, the fashion industry's total contribution to the UK economy is estimated to stand at over £37 billion.

The 'Value of the UK Fashion Industry' report, commissioned by the British Fashion Council,defines the industry and analyses the true breadth and economic value of the UK fashion industry for the first time.

The industry's direct economic contribution to UK GDP was collated by analysing the industry's profits and wages (known as gross value added (GVA)) across a wide range of fashion products and items – including womenswear and menswear through to handbags and shoes – plus the contribution of fashion education, fashion marketing and fashion media.

The report also highlights the pivotal role of cutting edge British design, and showcasing events such as London Fashion Week, in driving innovation and growth within the industry itself, as well as attracting millions of visitors from across the globe to the UK every year.

Factors behind the growth of the fashion industry cited in the report include:

• the desire and demand created by the top end designer sector and its influence on and diffusion the mainstream – i.e. high street retailers (including department stores) and supermarkets
• the expansion of fashion brands into other product lines beyond clothing (i.e. perfume, accessories, homeware etc.)

Economic consultants, Oxford Economics, researched and wrote the report, and it was funded by a range of cross-sector organisations including: the London Development Agency (LDA), UKTI, British Fashion Council, UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKFT), Aurora Fashions, House of Fraser, Debenhams, Land Securities, Marks & Spencer and New Look. The report follows the findings of industry wide consultation.

The research highlights the huge breadth and scope of the UK fashion industry today, highlighting how it encompasses a wide range of professions – from fashion designers, through to manufacturers, fashion retailers, magazine publishers, journalists, fashion marketeers, course lecturers and business managers.

The report shows that the modern UK fashion industry:

• directly employs 816,000 people across a wide range of jobs and is the largest employer of all the creative industries
• is the 15th largest industry (out of 81) in UK – similar in size to the food / beverage services and telecommunications industries and bigger than the wholesale and retail of automotives, sports activities, chemical manufacture and advertising/video sectors

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