Harper’s Bazaar online

Katharine Hamnett: “Human actions are threatening the very existence of life on earth”

Fashion’s original eco-warrior has been fighting for sustainability for 30 years; she writes for us about her journey – and what needs to change

Link to feature https://www.harpersbazaar.com/uk/fashion/a27191483/katharine-hamnett-interview-sustainability/

Twin Magazine’s 10 Year Anniversary Edition

The Winter of Our Discontent

Katharine Hamnett sets the new agenda for activism, Brexit and education, as told to Isabella Davey for Twin Magazine’s 10 Year Anniversary Edition.

ES Magazine: How will Brexit impact the UK fashion industry?

The British fashion industry relies on international trade, thrives on a global pool of talent — and has made no secret of its desire to remain in the EU. So how is it preparing as we enter the final countdown to Brexit? Lucy Tobin investigates

12 December 2018

Britain’s fashion industry didn’t vote for Brexit: 90 per cent of designers told the British Fashion Council they were voting remain.

But with less than seven months to go before the UK formally cuts its ties with the European Union, this £28 billion sector has to get three very different looks ready to future-proof business. 

Richard Lim, chief executive of analyst Retail Economics, outlines the potential scenarios: ‘Hard Brexit — where existing trade deals disappear, and designers, retailers and manufacturers would have to pay to trade with the EU — would mean clothing and footwear tariffs of about 11 per cent, or just over £1 billion more each year.’ A second option is a free trade agreement, ‘but we don’t know what kind of strings will be attached — it’s hard for businesses to plan’. Third, the UK could remain part of the customs union, but that seems unlikely given that Theresa May has already rejected this path. 

‘Whatever happens, the price of a pair of jeans will, in all likeliness, go up after Brexit,’ says Lim. ‘It’s tariffs, and an exodus of [European] shop staff, designers, warehouse staff, delivery drivers… As we “take control of our borders”, the pool of available staff is likely to shrink, meaning an inflationary impact on wages. It’s likely to be massively disruptive.’

The UK imports almost £10 billion worth of clothes and shoes from Europe each year; more than 10,000 European staff work in the British fashion industry. It has become a microcosm of UK Plc’s struggle to deal with the referendum result.

Katharine Hamnett has sold thousands of her ‘CANCEL BREXIT’ T-shirts and has released a new version, ‘FASHION HATES BREXIT’. She is campaigning for a second referendum, but has a contingency plan, too. She has set up her own Italian company, near Venice, ‘to handle production and logistics, so we don’t get snarled up in complicated Brexit red tape and import and export problems for our manufacturing and shipments’.

Read more here https://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/esmagazine/how-will-brexit-impact-the-uk-fashion-industry-a3931611.html