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Alfred Brown celebrates 100 years of Made in England

Yorkshire worsted weaving mill Alfred Brown is celebrating its centenary with a series of customer events and a specially designed label to fly the flag for its Made in England fabrics.

It will hold a customer party in London on June 3, followed by a suppliers’ dinner at Rudding Park Hotel in Harrogate on July 3 and a summer marquee event at its home of Empire Mills in Bramley, Yorkshire on July 24.

The mill has produced a booklet that tells its history from opening in 1915 as Brown & Sons, a manufacturer of uniform fabrics for the armed services, to its expansion from the 1960s into suiting material for retailers such as Marks & Spencer.

The company, which employs around 70 people today, has seen turnover increase by 20% over the past five years to approximately £10m this year, said joint managing director Nigel Brown. It produces an average of 1.2m metres of fabric each year and exports to countries including Japan, China and the Middle East.

“We intend to build on our export success to ensure our fabrics are in the forecourt of markets that really appreciate fabrics made in England,” said Brown, who is from the fourth generation of the family and runs the firm with his brother Ian. “But our main market has always been the UK and we intend to develop all our opportunities here to the full.

“In recent years, our woven labels sewn into suits have helped to get a very strong message across to the consumer that Made in England fabric is very much alive and thriving.”

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