Christopher Raeburn, along with many other British designers, was an ardent supporter of Britain remaining part of the European Union. So he is still processing the Brexit outcome with a mixture of disappointment and disbelief — but he is also trying to be optimistic.

“The reality is, this isn’t going to change. So we must also look at the opportunity because I’m sure there will be some,” said Raeburn, who came to Hong Kong to judge the Woolmark Asia awards on Tuesday and is staying on in the city to meet with sustainable textile suppliers and retailers.

The Remain campaign supporter said he was in Paris meeting with retailers when the Brexit results emerged in the early hours of June 24. The designer said he was shocked and embarrassed to take them in just as he was meeting with so many people who have supported his brand.

“I think it’s a backward step. And I think — more than ever — it’s an example of individuals thinking locally as opposed to thinking individually, and this is the result,” he said. “If you run campaigns essentially on a backbone of fear, it can’t be the future.”

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