There are still so many unknowns surrounding Brexit, and we are asked daily about its potential impact from manufacturers. We do know that the drop in the value of the pound had a major impact on some brands, and that its impact on importing fabrics and yarns is continuing. Coupled with changes in consumer buying patterns means that the ‘traditional’ sourcing cycle is having to change. Fast fashion and the ‘buy it now’ culture has meant that sourcing professionals have had to adapt to respond to this changing nature, and that margins are still very much under pressure.
However, the movement from consumers demanding more ethical fashion is another consideration, and whilst it may be easier for brands to cut corners to preserve margins – it is a mistake to ignore the conscious consumer. With fantastic work by the likes of Tamsin Lejeune and the Ethical Fashion Group, the industry is slowly changing.
We predict there will be a balance found somewhere, between those who want cheap garments and those who want to know where their clothes have come from. The answer? Building solid relationships between brands and manufacturers. Only then can brands have a deeper understanding of capabilities, and on the flip side, the manufacturers will adapt and listen to the brand’s demands. The best thing? We don’t need to wait until Brexit to start this process, great communication can begin right away.
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