The Fashion Industry is awesome! It contributes over £1.4billion in GVA to East London alone. Fashion related jobs in Haringey north London, (where we are based) have increased by 136% between 2010 and 2015 and in East London and Upper Lea Valley there has been an increase of 10,900 jobs during that period too. Garment manufacturing is back and it’s here to stay!
However it’s been a long hard climb since we opened our factory almost ten years ago now.
As an ex Senior Buyer I can remember the heady days when M&S used to manufacture 94% of their garments in the UK. I used to visit the large scale factories based in Barnsley and Nottingham and I can distinctly recall the pride of British sewers expertly producing quality garments for a host of high street retailers. I didn't realise how amazing those factories were at that time; shame on me!
Will those days come back? Not necessarily to the same scale and size of the factories that I visited in the 1990s but the re-shoring of production is definitely occurring now and is set to grow as more and more retailers understand the importance of Speed to Market and reducing quantities of buys so the exit margin is key and not the intake margin.