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Emerging markets are paying off for exporters

The fashion industry is never shy about publicising its successes and this was definitely the case at the UK Fashion & Textile Export Awards.

The fashion industry is never shy about publicising its successes and this was definitely the case at the UK Fashion & Textile Export Awards.

We had a record number of applications from across the sector, from designer businesses to classic UK manufacturers, from start-ups to established etailers and retailers.

The judges had a tough job: they were impressed by the creativity, investment and the true importance of exports to running a sustainable business. The average percentage of exports for the finalists was 62% of turnover, the highest a staggering 93%.

Many of the finalists were brands and start-ups that the UK Fashion & Textile Association has worked with over the years. Two-thirds were regular participants at international trade shows on our programme and some were catwalk stars at London Fashion Week.

The US and Europe were neck and neck for the shortlisted companies’ top markets, with Japan a close third. However, some companies are doing spectacular business in more exciting territories, such as the Philippines, Brazil and Russia. It goes to show that if UK companies venture into new markets, they often perform well.

When the awards were first presented 25 years ago, the winners included Aquascutum and Mulberry – brands still going strong. Last year’s winners included companies that mostly did not exist 25 years ago but are among today’s leaders. To find out whether our silver anniversary event is going to honour young or well-established brands, join us on October 11 in London.

There will be some special guests at this opportunity to celebrate this year’s exporters and the achievements of some of those pioneers of the past 25 years. Tickets are available at www.ukft.org/awards.

  • Paul Alger is director of international affairs at the UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKFT)

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