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How fashion fuels the UK economy

updated
February 22, 2021
Published on:
September 23, 2019
January 24, 2021

HOW FASHION FUELS THE UK ECONOMY
Source: BFC Press Release Facts & Figures, February & September 2018.
  • The direct contribution of the UK fashion industry - including fashion suppliers and retailers as well as designers - to the UK economy was estimated at £32.3bn in 2017 according to data from Oxford Economics, the consultancy, published by the British Fashion Council.
  • The source estimates that fashion supports 890,000 jobs - up 1.8 per cent on 2016.
  • Womenswear value sales grew by 2.9 per cent in 2017 to £28.1bn, are predicted to reach £28.7bn by 2021, according to Mintel. Menswear accounts for 26 per cent of the total clothing market and grew by 3.5 per cent in 2017.
  • According to a 2017 Mintel report, online fashion accounts for 24 per cent of total fashion spend.
  • Chinese tourists collectively are the biggest spenders in the UK luxury fashion market.

 

Economic Value - official statistics

In the Government's official statistics on the creative industries, published in 2019, by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the economic contribution of the fashion industry is partly accounted for in the category of "design and designer fashion".

Using the official statisticians' methodology, there were an estimated 163,000 UK jobs in design and designer fashion in 2018. Between 2011 and 2018, this employment number increased by 60 per cent.

Judged by Gross Value Added (GVA), the design and designer fashion category, generated an estimated GVA of £3.94bn. This measure grew by 7.7 per cent year on year, and had increased by 100 per cent between 2010 and 2017.

There were also an estimated 23,400 UK businesses in the category in 2017, increasing by almost 3 per cent year on year.

Source: DCMS Sectors Economic Estimates, Employment, June 2019; DCMS Sectors Economic Estimates, GVA, January 2019

Source: Creative Industries Economic Estimates - Business Demographics, DCMS, January 2019.

Exports of Services

According to data published by the DCMS, exports of services from the design and designer fashion category were worth £461m in 2017. (Note: these figures are likely to under-estimate the value of exports in this category and conflict with other estimates of the value of exports from UK design and fashion businesses).

Source: DCMS Sectors Economic Estimates, Trade, DCMS, September 2019

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