London based jersey clothing and cotton manufacturer East End has raised £250,000 through a crowd-funding initiative as it expands to supply Asos for the first time.
The cash was raised from 340 online investors to expand its premises in Mile End through website Crowdcube. East End Manufacturing’s boss Barry Laden took this approach to avoid taking on bank debt, he said. Laden has now sold off 48% of East End – but he says he’d rather “own a small chunk of a growing business than a big chunk of a stagnant one”.
East End has also been able to offer a fully factored service, providing everything from sourcing to production, for the first time as a result of the extra cash. Lead times can be as short as four weeks.
Laden said retailers - including one high street name expanding into the US, and etailer Asos - were keen to benefit from East End Manufacturing’s “Made in Britain” credentials.
A limited edition of the spring and summer collections of both of East End’s womenswear labels, Mirror Mirror and Renée London have been available on Asos for the first time since the beginning of April.
Laden said he was determined to bring the garment trade “from the Far East back to the East End”.