A survey published this week by The British Fashion Council found that 90% of their leading British fashion designers wanted to remain in the EU, with just 4.3% supporting the leave campaign.
Fashion retailers have also expressed fears over a possible Brexit, with a recent survey of chairmen finding that a massive 80% believed leaving the EU would have a negative impact on the UK economy.
Drapers Record, the fashion industry’s leading trade title, reported a leading eCommerce executive’s concerns about the potential impacts on his supply chain: “With any form of border tariff friction, parcels get stopped and searched more often, so there is greater potential for impact or delay in the product journey.”
The MD of a footwear supplier went further: “It would be a total bloody disaster.”
Other executives expressed their concerns, highlighting the myriad issues which may come to bear following any Brexit.
“It makes absolutely no economic sense to close the door on such a huge economic market.”
“If we leave, psychologically brands will see the UK as being harder to do business with, and the uncertainty surrounding investment in the market will be greater.”
‘The way you fix the EU is from within – not by leaving.’
There are also anecdotal suggestions that intra-European relationships may be harmed as uncertainty hits confidence.
“Brands I work with are not moving forward with a contract because of the referendum. They are now holding off until after the vote to see if we leave, as trade terms may change.”
A report by the Economic Intelligence Unit has predicted retail sales in the UK would contract by 3% in 2017 in the event of a leave vote.