Brexit and the Global Fashion Industry: Discussion Questions from FASH455

skynews-brexit-westminster_4764028

#1 To which extent should globalization be responsible for Brexit? Does Brexit imply globalization is in retreat? Why or why not?

#2 Why do you think the fashion industry is a stakeholder of “Brexit”? It is said that “some of the world’s poorest countries may end up the victims of Brexit.” Why is that?

#3 The article mentioned the possibility of London losing its reputation as a global fashion capital because of Brexit. What is your evaluation?

#4 Should the UK fashion industry vote for Brexit? Why or why not?

#5 Overall, from the case of Brexit, how do you understand that textile and apparel is a global sector?

[For FASH455: 1) Please mention the question number in your comments; 2) Please address at least TWO questions in your comments]

Author: Sheng Lu

Professor @ University of Delaware

49 thoughts on “Brexit and the Global Fashion Industry: Discussion Questions from FASH455”

  1. #1) I think that globalization plays a role in the Brexit issue in the sense that going forward with Brexit means going backwards with globalization for Britain. This would in a sense, be a reverse of globalization for Britain, as they are moving to exclude themselves from Europe.

    1. good point. However, Brexit doesn’t mean UK intends to isolate itself from the rest of the world. Instead, UK wants to reduce their dependence on the EU and have more flexibility in building trade relationship with the rest of the world. (for example, establishing bilateral free trade agreements: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-47213842) What do you think?

    2. I think this is an excellent point. Brexit may benefit Great Britain as a whole, but the individuals within it, especially those in the field of fashion, will suffer tremendously.

    1. I agree that Brexit is a bad idea for the UK and the fashion industry. I believe it should be voted against all together.

  2. 1. I think Brexit is an attempt to decrease globalization in order for the UK to become more self sufficient to become a stronger country than others.

    2. The poorest countries will be victims because it will cost the UK more to import their items with Brexit in effect.

  3. #1: In my opinion, the “Brexit” does not imply that globalization is in retreat. Just because the UK may leave, doesn’t mean that other countries will follow. Globalization is made up of multiple different countries not just Britain.

    #2. I believe that some of the worlds poorest countries will suffer during the Brexit because it will increase duties and tariffs put on products. This will make it harder for already poor countries to trade with other bigger countries. A lot of these poor economies rely on these free trade agreements to make money and better their production.

  4. #2) I am curious to see how London’s reputation prevails following Brexit. While I believe their hope is that it will strengthen it and have brands bring back more of their business to Britain, I am not sure that it will do this. As we read, companies have already moved to take their businesses to other countries, and I wonder what percentage of British brands will move to do this as well, which will ultimately diminish London’s reputation.

  5. #4 Should the UK fashion industry vote for Brexit? Why or why not?
    I do not believe that the UK fashion industry should vote for Brexit due to the high clothing and footwear tariffs that Brexit could lead to. The UK fashion industry also relies highly on international trade which Brexit could hinder. Ultimately, I believe that Brexit will lead to an increase in prices; therefore, the UK fashion industry should not vote for Brexit.

  6. 1) Globalization increases inequality within countries but decreases inequality between countries. When countries like England see their former colonies rising it can feel like they are falling, especially in times of economic destress or job loss. Globalization is easy to blame and the response to this was Brexit. Brexit implies that England is attempting to retreat from globalization but not that globalization is in retreat. Globalization is too engrained in society to disappear now.

    4) The UK apparel industry should not vote for Brexit because it will raise costs and could impact their profit margins. However, the UK textile industry should likely support Brexit. The textile industry makes more if apparel is sourced from materials made by them, rather than cheaper fabrics produced globally.

  7. #3) I definitely believe London will lose it’s reputation as a global fashion retailer after Brexit, because they are literally exiting the apparel globalization arena. I think they will lose a lot of respect as a fashion leader, and might lose its status as a leader entirely.

    #4) The UK fashion industry would be hurting itself to vote for Brexit. I read that 90% of the fashion industry in the UK voted against Brexit, because globalization is the way of the world now. I believe voting for Brexit would mean they are going in reverse of the rest of the world.

  8. #4) I believe that the UK fashion industry should not vote for Brexit because this economic decision will not only force companies to weigh the risks of staying in Britain if it passes, but also the challenges of relocating business elsewhere. Additionally, it will cost the fashion industry contacts, trade agreements, employees, and brand loyalty from EU consumers.

    1. In addition, Brexit will greatly affect education in the UK, as noted in the assigned article. In creating a divide between EU countries, students outside of the UK will be less likely to enroll in UK schools, ultimately taking away from the UK’s education system. Not only will this have an immense effect on the retail sector, but also other areas of Britain’s culture such as health care, economics, etc.

  9. Globalization is in retreat due to multiple nations focusing on reducing imports by imposing tariffs as well as decreasing free trade agreements. Poorer countries will be victims of the reduction of globalization as they will lose sources of income.

  10. #3 The article mentioned the possibility of London losing its reputation as a global fashion capital because of Brexit. What is your evaluation?
    From my point of view, I don’t think London will lose the reputation as a global fashion capital. London is more likely to be a spirit or a symbol as a fashion capital, Brexit will have little effect because it mostly influences on the production and economy. As we know, fashion is all about attitude, but not politics.
    #4 Should the UK fashion industry vote for Brexit? Why or why not?
    However, the UK fashion industry should not vote for Brexit for the it would significantly raise the production cost and other side effects.

  11. #4: After reading through the articles, it doesn’t seem like it would make much sense for the industry to vote for Brexit. It seems as though it will cause a lot of problems for Britain. Some designers and fashion companies have already talked about moving their work to other countries. Also, it would not only negatively affect Britain, but the other, poorer countries that London outsources with could lose jobs that help with the development of their country.
    #5: Textile and apparel is a global sector because other countries will be affected from Brexit, and not just the countries in Britain.

  12. #2 I did read somewhere that a lot of small countries in and around Europe depend on exporting their goods to the UK. If Brexit does pass this would certainly hurt the income of a lot of small countries! I don’t necessarily think Brexit is a stakeholder in the fashion industry because if one source is removed from the chain, it will automatically repair itself and seek resources elsewhere. Our industry works to far in advance to take a fallback.
    #4 No. They should stay united and depend on one another for resources and services because the final products will be better if those with different things to offer come together. It would just make sourcing more difficult for both parties.

  13. (Question 4) The Fashion Sector should absolutely not vote for Brexit, and they have not in the past. It will drastically affect the bottom line of fashion companies and will most likely result in the loss of jobs and a general fleeting of fashion industry professionals from the country.

    (Question 3) I agree with this claim, as a large benefit for London is their accessibility. Brexit naturally makes the UK as a whole much less accessible, therefore reducing brand’s likeliness to continue to invest in the city.

  14. #3 The article mentioned the possibility of London losing its reputation as a global fashion capital because of Brexit. What is your evaluation?
    In my opinion, I don’t think London would lose its reputation as a global fashion capital immediately because of Brexit, but negative influences would definitely apply on to London in the long run since there are more barriers for companies and corporations to trade with UK. Although UK could build more connection with the U.S., China, and Vietnam market, it still takes a long time to create and consolidate strong and secure relationships.

    #5 Overall, from the case of Brexit, how do you understand that textile and apparel is a global sector?
    My understanding is that any change made by a country is influenced and will influence the global market. From the Brexit case, the move of UK is closely related to the European market and countries. The textile and and apparel industry is connected to the world and influences the world in many aspects.

  15. 2) The article mentioned that Britain did a lot of trade with Bangladesh. As a result of Brexit I think that it will take more money and time for these poor countries to trade with Britain and that is going to “make them victims”.
    3) I think that as a result of Brexit, London may loose a little bit of their status as a global fashion capital. England did not want to be a part of the European Union anymore so they are kind of retreating from being a part of the global community of fashion so I could see another major country, possibly Amsterdam, becoming a new fashion capital.

  16. 2. With Brexit the UK will no longer be apart of the EU’s free trade agreements that they have with several countries including small poor countries. Since the UK will be it’s own entity they can set their own trade agreements and tariff’s and to increase domestic spending and consumption they will most likely set high import tariff’s on any country that wants to sell to the UK. This can harm the small countries that relied on selling to one of the biggest fashion capitals of the world.

    4. The UK fashion industry should not vote for Brexit. The loss of free trade agreements and even skilled workers will greatly harm the industry. If the UK tries to focus on creating and producing mostly in the UK they will lose the skills of workers from other countries, and even the cheap manufacturing and production prices from countries like China and Vietnam. Prices will rise and consumers will struggle to keep up with rising prices and the fashion market could really suffer.

    1. 4. I agree with Aliza– As the UK moves closer to Brexit, they imply that they are willing to sacrifice skilled workers in not only the retail industry but also in hospitals, law firms, etc. I believe that the introduction of Brexit in the UK will initially result in more harm than good as losing their EU work force will result in raised prices and unhappy consumers.

  17. #1. I feel that globalization is very responsible for Brexit. I feel that people are intimidated and feel that they need to be superior to everyone else. This causes competition and fear in other countries but it also does not mean that other countries will follow.

    #5. Overall, I feel that textile and apparel will always be a global sector and that it relies on other countries to keep it strong. Without globalization, many countries will struggle with the supplies they do not have and need from other countries.

  18. The article mentioned the possibility of London losing its reputation as a global fashion capital because of Brexit. What is your evaluation?

    London is a risk for losing its name as a global fashion capital because a bunch of brands are leaving London to be able to still keep their customers. If there are no high-end or luxury brands in London, how can it be a fashion capital? If there is a new central location where designers are moving that will be the new capital.

    Why do you think the fashion industry is a stakeholder of “Brexit”? It is said that “some of the world’s poorest countries may end up the victims of Brexit.” Why is that?
    Many immigrants come to the UK on a work visa which allows them to be a citizen if they work for a UK brand. If a hard Brexit is approved immigration will be halted and designers won’t be able to fulfill orders. On top of that immigrants will not be able to support the economy in there home country and in UK.

  19. 3) I doubt that London will lose face as fashion capital. Most cities or countries with that kind of status aren’t usually fashion capitals based on their mass produced goods, but their more niche high fashion and luxury presence. Markets like these tend to be pretty immune to change and are more stable, capable of weathering economic, political, and social events. As a result London will probably remain a fashion capital because it’s led by various storied fashion houses and companies.

    1) While Brexit may have been a reaction to globalization, it certainly doesn’t mean that globalization is in retreat. Brexit is a knee jerk reaction to an expanding marketplace and an attempt to preserve and cultivate Britains domestic economy. Globalization is an unstoppable force and as technology advances further and furthers, the worlds marketplaces and resources will become more and more interconnected.

  20. 5.) In the case of Brexit, textile and apparel is a global sector because Brexit not only affects Britain, but it also affects the other nations of the EU as well as less developed nations. As a result of Brexit, imports to Britain from less developed countries fell tremendously. Fortunately, Britain said in June 2017 that it would maintain duty-free access for goods from dozens of developing countries. However, there is still a large risk that Britain will eventually eliminate the trade deals from the EU that no longer benefit them, including duty-free access from the world’s poorest countries.

  21. #3 The article mentioned the possibility of London losing its reputation as a global fashion capital because of Brexit. What is your evaluation?
    I do think that London faces the possibility of losing it’s reputation as a global fashion capital because of Brexit. Without input, creativity and ideas from people all over the world, London may have difficulty keeping up with other countries that are focused on embracing globalization.

  22. 2) I think some of the worlds poorest countries will become victims of Brexit due to the fact that existing trade deals would disappear. This indicates that there will be a loss of jobs in the poorer countries in which the cost of labor is cheaper. In addition, they will be hit with a huge monetary loss due to the elimination of exports and business with one of the fashion capitals of the world.

    5) Brexit makes me understand that T&A is a global sector due to the fact that Brexit affects far more countries than just those in Britain. As we spoke about in class today, this industry has many suppliers and is a very competitive market. The overall market, including most countries, will be affect in one way or another – some more than others.

    1. I agree and fully support your answer to question number 2. Although, a part of me wants to believe that poorer companies won’t lose jobs because their labor is cheaper so even though Brexit might poorly affect them; there is still a chance they can form their own relationships with the UK.

  23. 4.) The fashion industry should not vote for Brexit because it will most likely make business much more difficult to do. Prices will inevitably rise due to increased tariffs on imported goods, which will likely reduce profits because consumers will not being willing to pay for more expensive goods. Brexit will also make the steps of production like sourcing fabrics and transportation of goods much more complex and time-consuming. These steps will be much more difficult to execute because exchange rates are bound to fluctuate and companies do not know how to anticipate these changes.

  24. #1 To which extent should globalization be responsible for Brexit? Does Brexit imply globalization is in retreat? Why or why not?
    In my opinion, globalization is partially responsible for Brexit. As Britain embraced the idea of globalization for many years, welcoming other people and ideas from other countries may have caused an “over-flow”, ultimately resulting in Brexit. I do not think that Brexit implies that globalization is in retreat; I believe that Brexit is a tactic for Britain to re-adjust their own retail industry as they feel it is necessary to take a step back and re-evaluate.

  25. #4 I believe the UK fashion industry should not vote for Brexit, there are a lot more negative outcomes coming from this law. I do not think they are looking at the bigger picture when deciding if this law should be passed or not.
    # 5 Textile and apparel is a global sector because, if Brexit is pass, this law will affect everyone, not only the UK and Britain. Once one country is effected, it only becomes a chain of effect.

  26. #3 I don’t believe that London will altogether lose its reputation as being a global fashion capital because of Brexit since London is already so well known for fashion. With this being said, I do believe that Brexit will increase the amount of tariffs on the apparel industry which could affect the image of London’s overall fashion reputation.

    1. I appreciate your point and fully agree with the fact that London won’t overall lose its reputation. However I do believe it can cause a negative affect on London and maybe affect them in a way in which they begin to falter.

  27. #2: Fashion makes up a huge part of imports/exports worldwide. The fact that the retail and fashion industry did not have a vote in “Brexit” is shocking to me since the fashion industry makes up a huge part of Europe’s business. Poor countries already are at a disadvantage because of their lack of resources and poor wages so more taxes and fees will further push those countries out of the fashion industry altogether.
    #5: Textile and Apparel are a global industry because, for example,a simple sweater you may have could start out as an idea in the US, sourced fabrics from Vietnam, assembled in China, and then sold in Britain. Countries must be open to working together or else business will not get done. If there are disagreements between countries that have to work together to achieve a common goal, it will negatively effect multiple entities of the business they are working for and the employees. Communication and mutual agreements must be made to ensure successful business.

  28. #1: I believe that globalization should be responsible for Brexit in a half and half way. While it has partially affected the outcome and the positioning of arriving at the decision for Brexit it is also an extreme benefit to the UK. I firmly believe that globalization has an equal amount of pros and cons in terms of Brexit. In order to differentiate you would have to decide which side you stand on but I can also tell that globalization is being negatively affected by Brexit.

    #4: The fashion industry should vote against Brexit because it is straining relationships in an unnecessary way and placing a wedge in situations. It is also bringing up situations that seem very over the top and ones that could be avoided. There was and is many ways around and ways to handle the dissatisfaction of what is occurring in the EU.

  29. For #4, i think that the Fashion industry should absolutely not vote for Brexit. The biggest impact of Brexit is the tariff issue, and the price of clothes will rise. I don’t think that consumers are willing to pay the rise foreign manufacturing cost. In fact, many fashion companies are all objected to the Brexit. They are having trouble with the sourcing, how can these companies get their materials of apparel , when there are so many employees and resources in the EU, even in other countries?
    For #5.
    Brexit affects not only the UK and Europe, but also other countries, such as Bangladesh, which mentioned in our reading 1. A clothing requires assistances in a chain from different countries, from materials to production to sale to consumption. When one of the part is affected by the price, it may cause another country to reduce its export rate, which will lead to decrease its employment in the factory. Then it may affect social stability. Globalization will impact everyone.

    1. Hi Ruixue929,

      Thanks for sharing your views on Brexit leaving the EU. I am in complete agreement with you. Leaving the EU will be a complete disaster for the fashion industry.

      I was reading this article
      https://www.highsnobiety.com/p/brexit-uk-designers/

      and found that in 2016 a survey was posted by the BFC and it showed statistics of 90% of British designers want to have Britain remain apart of the EU. This is a shocking statistic for me because it seems that if 9 out 0f 10 designers want to stay apart of the EU that they would make their voices heard and start to put an end to Brexit. It is crazy to me that Brexit has been in motion for so long especially after reading about how unwanted it is by the majority of the fashion industry in Britain.

  30. #2 I think that some poorer countries may be victims of Brexit because it seems as though with the UK wanting to leave the EU then they are no longer interested in globalization. Therefore, the UK is no longer interested in supporting the economy of these poorer countries through the garment industry.

    #4 I think the UK should not vote for Brexit because it will only raise the prices of their exports and clothing they make. This will end up hurting their economy because no one will be able to afford or at least want to pay for their exports.

  31. #3 London is known as a renowned fashion capital in the world. The likelihood of its losing its reputation due to Brexit is slim. However, Brexit may increase the duties and tariffs placed on materials crucial to the garment industry and make it difficult for the country to access crucial items key to this creative industry.
    #4 The UK should note vote for Brexit due to the inevitable tariff increase that will come with the vote. Clothing prices will rise and negatively impact the country as a whole. This law will jeopardize the apparel industry and reap havoc on the increasing tariffs associated with it.

  32. #1
    Personally I think that Brexit is a step back in Globalization for Britain. It will seclude them from trade with the rest of the world as well as hurt their existing business that require imports and exports. I do not think that Brexit implies that globalization is in retreat. I think it is 100% a step for Britain towards retreating but not the whole world. The rest of the world sees this change in trade and increase in tariffs as an inconvenience as well as many companies in Britain.

    1. I also wanted to add this article about how Brexit is rejecting globalization is an idea that many people especially those in the UK feel strongly towards.
      https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/jun/26/brexit-is-the-rejection-of-globalisation
      The UK was strong in terms of peace and their ability to trade together. Over the past few years the peace deficit has now dropped 7%. This is a very bad statistic for those who are leaning towards supporting Brexit.

  33. #4
    I think that the UK fashion Industry should definitely vote against Brexit. It is just going to hurt the economy and increase difficulty to trade on their continent with Britain. It will make trade more expensive with a country that they already do large amounts of trade with. I think voting against Brexit will be better for the fashion industry in the UK.

  34. #3) London will most certainly lose its credibility and leadership as one of the most prominent fashion capitals of the world. Unfortunately, it is not as a result of their own mistakes or actions. Brexit is serving as a crutch to the fashion industry forcing it to place reliance and support on other locations outside of London as a result of the Brexit departure. Factories, trade workers, shipping and distribution, manufacturing processes, etc. will all be compromised. It is a shame that not only will fashion companies in London suffer from this economic decision made by the government, but the youth of fashion which includes students and the internships, rich culture and incomparable first-hand learning experiences that London had to offer, will cease to exist.

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