Positioning your company post-Brexit : The Fashion Industry And Environmental Responsibility As An Opportunity. By Eszter Kantor Fashion Roundtable's EU Expert.
Today`s world is made up of single markets and customs unions where products are traded freely and investment support is pouring in for start-ups and innovators. This is the world in which a post-Brexit UK will want to carve out a position of influence, competitiveness and growth.
This will be a time of scarcity, economic contraction and yet businesses in the UK will need to find an angle, however narrow, to make themselves visible, distinguishable and recognizable. Building on their past and heritage will not be enough when competing in a global marketplace where talents migrate on a daily basis and governments compete to lavish innovators with financial support. Will the UK remain open to welcome new talents, will the government have the financial resources to find or retain innovators? Perhaps unlikely, but definitely uncertain.
A difficult time for many enterprises, particularly SMEs, who will find business as usual scenarios just don’t work anymore. Fashion industry players have a few cards to play. Brand loyalty, style and environmental awareness are tools that remain available and will have to be used to the maximum level possible.
Combining sustainable fashion with services such as personalization, which tailors shopping experience based on previous behaviours and customization, where products are essentially added a unique style or characteristic, could be an interesting strategy to adopt. Interesting and costly. At a time when costs of production are expected to increase, markets will become less accessible in Europe which in turn will eventually force companies to reconsider their supply chains, their manufacturing operations as well as their retail practices. In order to survive, new, more flexible and adaptive commercial practices will have to be considered.
All UK brands may need to work just a bit harder to maintain their core customer groups. Adopting high(er) environmental standards during sourcing and manufacturing may ultimately lead to price increases, but can also help businesses find a new brand identity and ultimately gain better access to markets.