Walpole's Luxury in the Making

On behalf of both Initially London and the Federation of Small Businesses, I attended the launch of Walpole's most recent research report titled "Luxury in the Making".  Walpole is the official sector voice for UK luxury brands and businesses, having been founded in 1992 as a not-for-profit organisation to promote, protect and develop a sector now worth £81 billion to the UK economy.  It now has over 250 British brands as members including automotive businesses, apparel & accessories brands, hotels and restaurants known globally for their creativity and craftsmanship. 

Helen Brocklebank chairwoman of Walpole, led the discussion in the Royal Academy's beautiful lecture theatre. 


The Luxury in the Making Report was commissioned to quantify the impact of the luxury sector on the overall British economy. The results were surprising, even from  the perspective of someone in the business:  in summary, it's huge.  Four key takeaways include:

  • Total revenue from British luxury stands at £81bn and sector supports over 450,000 jobs across the UK, making it one of the top industries driving the economy.
  • Of those 450,000 jobs, 219,000 are directly employed by the luxury brands and another 235,000 are independent craftspeople and other supply chain jobs
  • Sector’s contribution to the Exchequer’s tax receipts now stands at £25.5bn - enough to fund the development of 51 mid-sized hospitals or train 373,134 nurses.
  • The UK luxury sector is growing at a rate of 11% annual which far outpaces inflation. 

We loved hearing about the creative sector's contribution to the overall UK economy and are delighted that Walpole is lobbying to ensure creative skills like art, design and even sewing are taught in all British schools.  Walpole are also calling for renewed support of the apprenticeship scheme for small businesses, another measure which will help ensure that the crafts behind luxury brands including textile design, leather working, embroidery, weaving, wood and metalwork and more have a pipeline of skilled candidates to fuel future growth.  

Our own craft, embroidery, is one of the key trends in luxury at the moment.  Embroidered details add texture and sheen to fabrics that are used for apparel, accessories, interiors, cars and boats. We work with a number of luxury brands offering personalisation on their own goods on both a white label basis and a collaboration basis.  This can be for goods sold to their clients or for gifting VIPs.

Please do have a look at the report, it's fascinating reading.  And do get in touch if you'd like to discuss how you can add embroidery to your own goods. We offer our  embroidery service to businesses of all kinds, from couture houses and luxury retailers, smaller brand's launching their product or building their community, interior designers and more. 

x Jane

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