UK fashion has a unique spirit and energy that ignites the imagination of the world. From its cutting-edge trailblazers to the refined craftsmanship of its star designers, the originality and professionalism found in the UK make it one of the most influential fashion hubs in the world. The UK industry has also provided thought leadership on how fashion can become more sustainable and a force for positive change through initiatives such as the BFC's Institute of Positive Fashion.
The Institute celebrates best practice and encourages future business decisions in the fashion industry across three areas: sustainability, equality and diversity, and craftsmanship and community. It recognises the achievement of figures such as Dame Vivienne Westwood in these areas.
From high street to haute couture, UK fashion is international in outlook, translating trendsetting British creativity into a dynamic global industry.
Some of the most iconic brands in contemporary fashion are from the UK, with young designers understanding that in order to be successful they have to be both creative and commercial. Media coverage at London Fashion Week alone equals or exceeds major news and international sporting events, with growing figures each year. Watch this short sequence of clips from high profile events involving UK fashion designers.
The UK is home to leading designers of all types of clothing, many of them possessing the ability to take a classic style and fabric and turn it into something very different and innovative.
The UK offers world-class design expertise in menswear, womenswear, childrenswear, footwear and accessories.
The continued success of British fashion relies on future generations having the type of training and qualifications that business needs. The UK is home to strong fashion colleges with an unrivalled international reputation. The industry has rigorously assessed the best fashion design degree courses and awarded them the prestigious Creative Skillset Tick. Graduates from the UK sit at the helm of some of the world’s most famous brands.
Marching in step with the needs of the fashion industry, the UK combines fashion education and modern business practice, seeking out opportunities for success at grassroots level.
The BFC Education Foundation, a registered charity within the British Fashion Council, aims to attract and support talented young people into the British Fashion industry by offering financial support and guidance. Find out more about the BFC Education Foundation.
A major strength of the UK fashion industry is the strong link between designers and retailers. The trends and innovations on the catwalk cascade onto the British high street, creating a multi-billion pound industry.
By reflecting these trends, the British high street brings fashion sensibility to a wide audience, making retail fashion an integral part of the creative sector. UK retailers were the first in the world to bring designer collections onto the high street, democratising the high end of fashion. A quarter of a million tourists cite “shopping” as their main reason for coming to the UK annually.
The UK is a leading centre for the manufacturing of clothing and high-quality fabrics. Over half the designers showing at London Fashion Week make some of their collections in the UK.
With pockets of manufacturing excellence and experience throughout the country, the Fashion Manufacturing Alliance promotes these home-grown skills in order to reduce carbon emissions through less travel, greater production flexibility and positive brand association. (Download a report on High-end and Designer Manufacturing here.)