With London Fashion Week done and dusted for another season and Paris in full swing, the British fashion industry is set to make millions of pounds worth of product shipments overseas in the coming months. “I know you’ve heard it before but don’t forget we are worth more to the economy in the UK than the car industry,” Natalie Massenet, chairman of the British Fashion Council recently reminded us at the opening of London Fashion Week. A thriving automotive industry used to be one of Britain’s greatest exporting assets, however in more recent years, the creative industries have become notably strong at developing content, products and services for the overseas markets.
While £100 million worth of orders are written at London Fashion Week, many more are also placed with British designers in New York, Paris and Milan – and that’s not counting those made at trade shows like The Industry’s event partner, Pure London. British designers are now said to export two thirds of the products they produce overseas. Emerging markets, such as Hong Kong, Macau and Russia offer huge opportunity, meaning that the logistics of getting product into far reaching countries safely and securely is more important than ever.
“The transportation of clothing, requires specific restrictions that need following,” explains David Poole, managing director of UK sales at FedEx Express. “Firstly, a business needs to detail the gender for which the garment is designed as this will impact on the duty rate when transporting across borders. You will also need to have correct accompanying documentation detailing whether the goods are knitted or woven, in addition to their fabric content in percentage by weight. The country of manufacture also needs to be divulged with some countries, namely the US, requiring the manufacturer to be identified via a code or the manufacturer’s full name and address.”
“There is no such thing as a “one size fits all” strategy when looking to enter multiple overseas markets. Each one has its own customs, regulations and code of etiquette – all of which has to be navigated appropriately,” adds Poole. “Your export strategies for New York, Milan and Paris should all vary, taking into account the different rates and restrictions for each country.”
Image credit: Burberry