We hate to admit it as we consider ourselves eternal optimists, but man, it's been a depressing start to 2021 for all of us. Sure, there are glimmers of hope what with an efficient vaccine programme here in the UK and buds of green shooting up from the grounds in our parks. But with the Pandemic and Brexit, it feels like we just haven't caught a break in a long while.

So it gives us hope this February as just over 450 fashion industry leaders - from Twiggy (she who helped put British fashion on the global map!) to photographer Nick Knight to Connolly owner Isabel Ettedgui to more big brands, PRs, and magazine owners - all signing think tank Fashion Roundtable's Open Letter to the government demanding a meeting to discuss its complete oversight for the £35 Billion GDP-contributing UK fashion industry post-Brexit. 

Whether a consumer or industry insider, the consequences of Brexit now threaten the health of an industry that contributes more to the UK GDP than fishing, music, film, pharmaceuticals and automobile industries combines - let that sink in! 

To help digest several of the challenges the fashion industry faces unless there is change from Government, we've got a handy bullet point list here from Tamara Cincik, CEO of Fashion Roundtable:

● Ending tax-free shopping will place the UK luxury fashion sector at a competitive disadvantage given the EU27 offer tax-free shopping to international visitors.

● Not including garment manufacturers on the Shortage Occupation List for Visas puts British garment manufacturing at risk of losing skilled EEA workers.

● The Craft & Design T-Level course should be brought forward to mitigate against the thousands of vacancies currently unfilled in our UK factories.

● UK brands/designers should not be disadvantaged by a lack of clarity concerning unregistered design rights and simultaneous disclosure.

● The so-called “Percy Pig” problem concerning rules of origin is significant, as some goods sold will still be subject to substantial tariffs even if manufactured within the EU, imported to the UK and then re-exported to the EU.

There are also major challenges now with the freedom of movement for both creatives and samples, causing many lost opportunities that would have otherwise been no-brainers for UK creatives and brands, and vice versa for EU creatives and brands. The hassle and costs now imposed is seriously detrimental to a thriving creative industry.

How can you get your voice to be heard? Join thousands of others by downloading the template we've linked to below and send it to your local MP