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DRAPERS FASHION SUMMIT: Manufacturing to move back to UK

Rising cotton prices could open up new sources of supply and help boost UK manufacturing, according to supply chain directors.

Speaking at the Drapers Fashion Summit in London today, Nick Fox, logistics and operations director of WDT, said: “We’re looking at new sources of supply. The quality levels in China are still the best, but we’re working with our factories in India [to help improve their quality].”

Tim Crowfoot, supply chain manager at Fat Face, added that Bangladesh, Cambodia and Turkey are becoming increasingly important markets for the business, while Fox said that manufacturing will come back to the UK. “We’ll see the re-emerging of factories in the UK, and certainly in Europe. But as an industry, we’re too scared to manufacture in Britain.”

Spencer Fung, chief executive of LF Europe, echoed Fox’s comments by saying that manufacturing will move “closer to home”. He added: “As lead times get shorter and shorter, it’s not a bad bet to move manufacturing closer to home.”

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