Arcadia tycoon Sir Philip Green is ramping up his use of British manufacturers sparking hopes of a revival of the UK clothing trade.
Green has upped the number of British factories he uses by 20% in the past year in the face of rising costs in China. He now works with 47 British factories from a negligible base just years ago.
Green told the Mail on Sunday: “We’ve been pushing to see what we could do to keep it nearer home. This is something we are permanently looking at, every day, every week. UK manufacturing gives us a different capability.”
The textile and clothing industry employs about 100,000 in Britain, but many production units are small, as the Far East has been the first port of call for major retail chains over the past decade.
In recent times however, Chinese labour costs have been growing, cutting the price advantage of manufacturing in the region. Retailers can reduce the amount of time it takes to bring in new designs by bringing production closer to home.
Fast fashion giant Inditex has always produced its own clothes in Spain.
Green’s Arcadia is not alone in stoking up British manufacturing again. John Lewis, Asos and Mulberry are among those known to be eager to up their usage of domestic factories.