Clothing could retain title of fastest growing UK exports despite sterling strength
The government’s goal of reaching £1tn in UK exports by 2020 has been boosted by exporting activity in sectors like clothing. UK clothing exports rose the fastest in 2013, by 16% from the year before, and amounting to £5.2bn.
Alex Bennett, fashion business specialist at Smart Currency Business, said: “The £1tn export goal remains distant on the horizon, but we should still celebrate the sectors that are consistently raising the UK flag when it comes to exports.
“Many of the fashion businesses that I work with are thriving internationally, and I am often introduced to clothing companies that are starting to explore the option of exporting their goods. Exports provide businesses with new markets, helping them to grow.
“However, recent sterling strength has been a major concern for UK exporters in all industries. This does not mean that clothing companies should necessarily shy away from exporting, especially given the prominence of British garments overseas.
“Businesses need to plan their currency-buying strategies thoughtfully in order to mitigate the risks associated with sterling strength. There is also a wealth of guidance out there to educate businesses on ways to streamline export processes in order to save money. The United Kingdom fashion and textile (UKFT) association’s, Brits around the world service in collaboration with United Kingdom trade and investment (UKTI) is a good place to start.
“If clothing companies take a proactive approach to exports, it will be interesting to see what 2014’s export statistics will bring.”