In the third in a short series on British manufacturing, Drapers speaks to London-based manufacturer Honey Clothing.
Honey Clothing began trading in 1985, and today counts the likes of Topshop and Marks & Spencer among its customers. We find out from owner Mozibur Rahman how business is performing.
What type of clothing do you manufacture for your customers?
We manufacture everything from coats, to jackets, rainwear, blazers, trousers, shorts, skirts and dresses.
Have you seen an increase in demand for Made-in-Britain as a result of a rise in costs associated with manufacturing in the Far East?
In our sector I wouldn’t say due to the rise in costs in the Far East, but more to do with an increased awareness among consumers about the origin of products.
What are you finding your customers are asking for?
Our customers are now concentrating on leather, cotton twill, linen and neoprene. On womenswear, neoprene has become very popular and our clients are making, jackets, shirts, trousers and skirts with it. Some are also making dresses. On menswear, cotton twill is used by several leading brands for casual jackets and linen for the trousers. We have recently started our leather unit and we are inundated with demands for ‘Made-in-Britain’ product.
What benefits does UK manufacturing offer? And is it sustainable in the longer term?
British manufacturing means new jobs for people who were once [considered] highly skilled and then forgotten about when production was moved to the Far East in the early 1990s. Now high street brands can feel confident in bringing more of their production home. Hopefully if [UK] manufacturers learn from past mistakes and get their acts together then confidence in UK production will grow.