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How has Scotland contributed to the fashion industry?

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We all know the role that some of the big fashion capitals in the world (Paris, London, Milan, New York) play when it comes to contributing to the industry, but it’s time to hero some of the unsung heroes of the fashion world. It may come as a surprise to many of us that Scotland contributes over £1 billion to the economy from the Tartan industry alone! Scotland is slowly becoming a massive influence in the fashion world and is growing in terms of the fabrics and trends it is outputting.

Firstly Scotland should be recognised for its powerful heritage and the role that it plays in that respect when it comes to fashion. Fabrics and clothing from Scotland have long since been associated with quality. Fabric such as tartan is known for being labour intensive to make and follows a complex pattern of production, which is something that attracts a lot of people in our throwaway society. One of the other great things about Scottish clothing manufacture is that many products from the area are typically labelled ‘made in the UK’ which helps to champion locally sourced and produced fabrics. With Brexit just around the corner and with worries about trade and importing goods being made to be more expensive, we should certainly be turning more towards encouraging locally designed and made fashion products. When it comes to buying anything from Trendy ladies knee high boots to gloves and skirts, it is important to know where your fashion comes from.

Changing consumer habits with the end of the recession period where cheap clothes are no longer as in demand has begun to change the face of consumer spending. With more disposable income people are more inclined to spend their money on home-grown fashion. High street brands such as Marks and Spencer’s and ASOS have taken this trend and have released collections that focus on championing Scottish manufacturers.

Scotland is also not only producing clothing for consumers in the UK but has also caught the attention of those in Japan, China and the US. The thing with Scottish fashion is that its fabrics and clothing is so tricky to reproduce to the same quality and the raw materials from where clothing comes from comes from conditions that are hard to replicate elsewhere in the world. There is a great deal of backing and support for Scottish knitwear in particular- for example in 2012 Chanel saved the dangerously closed to clothing Barrie Knitwear cashmere clothing supplier by producing more factory jobs through buying the company.

The success of Scottish fashion does not end there either. High fashion designers are bringing back attention to Scotland through the influence of world-class Scottish designers such as Christopher Kane and Jonathan Saunders. They are hoping that through their push of Scottish design and influence, young fashion designers will slowly become less tempted to move to London and keep the local, home grown Scottish fashion trends going.