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Philip Green boosts UK factory base

Arcadia boss Sir Philip Green has significantly increased his use of British factories boosting 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.

Readers' comments (3)

  • Peter Schonbeck

    There has never been a better time to pursue this agenda.

    Unemployment levels are high, labour costs abroad are rising
    More and more and more than anything the UK heritage alone is a marketeer's dream. If there is such a premium on "Made in Italy" then surely there would be a greater one for "Made in Great Britain"

    I wish all those with the same intentions as Sir Philip the very best in making this a reality.

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  • The high street stores costs are so high they need the margin generated from far east goods so they in reality will not bring back production to the UK in a big way, you also have to look at the reason why production left the UK in the first place it was not just cost it was quality, investment in machinery, and so on so to think that business people will again invest in UK manufacturing is a joke they won't. The boat has sailed a long time ago VERY sad to say. To compare Arcadia to Inditex is also a joke, the staff at Inditex have a background of manufacturing they invest in the process it is part of their culture that is why they are the most successful clothing retailer in the world.

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  • Too late, the skill base has gone, stacking shelves at Asda and Tesco, you get paid more! The tend continues to look for Made in UK, it is not a tap you can just turn on. As a manufacturer, who shifted evryhting abroad, I will not relying bringing back production to UK.

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