LONDON — Principals from the British Fashion Council plan to trumpet the industry’s achievements at the House of Commons today and report that the value of the U.K. fashion industry to the country’s economy is nearly 21 billion pounds, or $33 billion at current exchange.
This story first appeared in the September 16, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
On the eve of London Fashion Week, which begins Friday, the BFC will address government ministers and members of Britain’s lower house of parliament to discuss the industry’s achievements and highlight current and future challenges.
Principals plan to present the findings of “Value of the UK Fashion Industry,” a report commissioned by the BFC that says, including the “spillover effects” on other industries such as tourism, fashion’s total contribution to the U.K. economy is more than 37 billion pounds, or $57 billion.
“Fashion is a great British success story and this landmark piece of research underlines its true scope and economic impact,” said Harold Tillman, chairman of the BFC, and owner of the Aquascutum and Jaeger brands.
“This is just the first step to creating a detailed national action plan for the industry, which will help to support its future growth and success,” he added.
According to the report, the industry employs 816,000 people and is Britain’s largest employer across all the creative industries. It is the country’s 15th-largest industry out of 81 and is similar in size to the country’s telecommunications sector.
The report, which was funded in part by the BFC and companies including Marks & Spencer, House of Fraser, and the London Development Agency, said challenges include growing international competition from other fashion capitals and limited access to investment for manufacturers and designers.