It's pretty valuable, right? I mean, we all wear clothes every day (one would hope) and the majority of us would like to at least look semi-decent in whatever we throw on (though, of course, there are some notable exceptions to this rule... shudder!). The fact is, we all care about fashion. It dictates which jumper/jeans/dress we chuck on in the morning, which shops we spend our money in, and ultimately it's a part of our persona...our image. It's a part of our lives and we better all just accept it and stop playing it down.
And now for the first time we know how much the fashion industry is worth to the UK economy. Oh yeah, it's only 21 BILLION POUNDS! The Value of Fashion report released last week is the first of its kind to value the industry as a whole - and it also reveals that it directly employs 816,000 people and is the 15th largest creative industry in the country. Pretty impressive.
Take heed, government folk. How about investing some cash into an industry that's doing well for a change. Maybe in education and business skills at the lowest level, since the report identifies this is a key obstacle to the progression of the industry, among others.
Minister for the Creative Industries, Ed Vaizey said:
“British Fashion has the talent, creativity and skills to rival anywhere in the world. Our new and
established designers and fashion labels are internationally renowned for their unique vision at the cutting edge of this hugely important global industry.
“This new research published today, on the eve of London Fashion week, shows that fashion makes significant contribution to the UK economy and confirms British fashion’s status as one of our most important creative industries. I look forward to continuing to work with the British Fashion Council to make sure that the Government does what it can to further support the industry.”
I'm really, personally, very pleased to see a report like this on the whole big-up the fashion industry. I feel as though I want to defend it to those who would trivialise it and call it shallow. I can't help but feel constantly on the defensive if I ever talk about wanting to write about fashion as I'm almost expecting people (academics?) to sniff at it or patronise it. In the words of Anna Wintour, "I think what I often see is that people are frightened of fashion and that, because it scares them or it makes them feel insecure, they put it down."
Well, not now. £21 billion is pretty hard to sniff at.