Shima Seiki
Knitting Industry

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Industry Talk

Building back better

Adam Mansell, CEO of UKFT, outlines five priorities for the UK’s fashion and textiles industry in 2021.

17th May 2021

Knitting Industry
 |  London

Knitwear, Knitted Outerwear

The impact of Brexit and Covid-19, combined with environmental concerns and changing consumer behaviour, means there has never been a better time for reshoring UK fashion and textile manufacturing at scale.

For many businesses 2020 was a year of survival. For a lucky few it, turned out to be extremely profitable but sadly for others the twin pressures of Brexit and Covid-19 proved too much. These circumstances exposed significant weaknesses in the fashion and textile supply chain – weaknesses that many of us already knew were there but with an industry built on endless consumption, most of us chose to ignore.

The immediate impact of Brexit has been to negatively impact the supply of goods and talent, while Covid-19 crippled demand. The full extent of the two events is still unravelling, however research commissioned last summer showed that the combined effect could be twice as hard on the fashion and textile sector as compared to the UK overall.

To put that into context, the research predicted:

-240,000 direct job losses

-GDP of the sector falling by almost £9 billion

-Lost revenues likely to exceed £100 billion

Pre Brexit, the EU accounted for 76% of the industry’s exports and the EU supplied over 30% of imports.

Read the full interview on Innovation in Textiles

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