Impact of Brexit and COVID-19 on the UK Fashion and Textiles Technology Ecosystem
In June 2023, the Business of Fashion, Textiles and Technology (BFTT), University of the Arts London and the Future Fashion Factory (FFF), University of Leeds published a joint report, Impact of Brexit and COVID-19 on the UK Fashion and Textiles Technology Ecosystem:
The aim of this research is to explore the impacts of global challenges, such as Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic, on the UK Fashion, Textiles and Technology ecosystem (FTT). The research builds upon a previous report published in July 2021 by the BFTT Creative Research & Development Partnership, led by the University of the Arts London.
The authors of the report are:
- Dr Francesca Bonetti—Assistant Professor of Marketing, Department of Marketing, HEC Montréal
- Dr Sophie E L Bulman—Research Fellow in LITAC, School of Design, University of Leeds
- Dr Anja Connor-Crabb—Lecturer in Fashion and Digital Fashion Innovation, LITAC, School of Design, University of Leeds
- Dr Yue Guo—Research Fellow in LITAC, School of Design, University of Leeds
- Dr Caroline S Hemingray—Associate Professor in Fashion Marketing and Colour, LITAC, School of Design,
- University of Leeds Dr Emmanuel Sirimal Silva—Head of Department of Economics and Law and Reader in Applied Statistics, Glasgow School for Business and Society, Glasgow Caledonian University
- Laura Solomon—R&D Fellow in Textile Science and Technology, FTTI, UAL
- Professor Steven Toms—Professor in Accounting and Finance, Leeds University Business School, University of Leeds
- Dr Alessandra Vecchi—BFTT Co-Investigator and Reader in International Fashion Business Research, UAL
Special thanks to the BFTT and FFF directors Professor Jane Harris and Professor Stephen Russell.
We hope that this report will provide useful insight on the UK FTT sector including ongoing issues facing the industry and opportunities for growth, and will have a positive impact on your own research, practice or business.
For any enquiries, please get in touch with us.
Business of Fashion, Textiles & Technology: Mapping the UK Fashion, Textiles and Technology Ecosystem
In July 2021 BFTT published the first report, Business of Fashion, Textiles & Technology: Mapping the UK Fashion, Textiles and Technology Ecosystem:
This initial report aims to identify opportunities for investment, research and development, business growth, job creation and tackle skills gaps in the UK fashion, textiles and technology (FTT) ecosystem.
It is based on a survey consultation that engaged over 2,400 small, medium and micro businesses (SMEs) and over 100 stakeholders and intermediaries, including industry specialists, trade bodies and workspace providers. It is one of the most extensive baseline studies to date on fashion, textiles and technology SMEs and the first comprehensive insight into the UK FTT ecosystem leading up to March 2020, pre-Covid-19.
This survey has been instrumental in gaining an in-depth understanding of the polycentric nature of the sector and its geographical spread. This should strongly influence both how the sector is viewed as an economic resource of national importance and the future allocation of the R&D it needs to access in order to thrive — this research also provides initial insights for progress post-Covid.
Fashion is estimated to contribute £35 billion to the British economy every year, while £74 billion+ is spent by UK consumers on wider apparel, clothing accessories, household textiles and carpets, accounting for 890,000 people employed across the UK, and £9 billion of export.
The authors of the report are:
- Professor Jane Harris, Director of the Business of Fashion, Textiles and Technology (BFTT) Creative R&D Partnership led by the University of the Arts London (UAL), and Professor of Digital Design and Innovation
- Dr Lipi Begum, BFTT Postdoctoral Research Fellow, UAL, and Senior Lecturer in Fashion Management
- Dr Alessandra Vecchi, BFTT Co-Investigator, UAL, and Reader in International Fashion Business Research