On the Increase: Made in Britain
In the past five years, the value of annual UK fashion and textile exports has risen by 37 per cent from £7bn in 2007 to £9.6bn in 2012 with non-European markets beginning to grow substantially.
Following numerous reports on unethical production industry overseas and the collapse of a Bangladesh garment factory killing more than 1,000 workers statistics reveal that consumers are now seeking ‘Made in Britain’ labels when they shop for clothing.
This shift towards manufacturing on home turf is evident with the latest data and figures:
+ According to leading global financial information service Markit/CIPS, the demand helped UK manufacturing output soar to its highest level in more than a year in May this year. Orders for clothing from Britain’s textile and clothing factories rose at the fastest rate in more than two years.
+ 180,000 people are employed within fashion and textiles related manufacturing activities in the UK (Source: TBR observatory 2013.) Worth £6.3bn to the UK economy.
+ 88% of these manufacturing businesses are zero class or employ less than 10 people.
Significant clusters of manufacture are:
+ The North West employing almost 32,000 people (textile and clothing manufacture)
+ The East Midlands with 27,000 people (clothing and leather/shoe manufacture)
+ Yorkshire and the Humber with 24,000 people (textile manufacture)
+ London with 18,500 people (clothing manufacture)
Jenny Holloway, CEO of Fashion-Enter which includes The Factory and Stitching Academy based in Haringey, North London. She comments: “People say you can’t manufacture in bulk in the UK but that’s rubbish. We have a strong, tried-and-tested model that incorporates commercial application with social enterprise and this is something that can grow and develop across the country to benefit the industry and economy.”