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UK govt to back textile industry revival scheme
03
Nov '12
The UK Government has stepped forward to back an industry-led scheme aimed at reviving the textile manufacturing industry in the country through generation of around 200,000 new job opportunities over the next five years.
 
As retailer’s wish to restrict their expanded supply chains by relocating some of their production bases from Asia to UK, the UK Government would back a plan seeking establishment of clothing manufacturing plants in the UK.
 
The move has been inspired by the research findings of Trigon Diligence, a consultancy, which shows that it is more economical to have production bases for some of the “high fashion” apparels like pricey jeans or shirts, within the UK, rather than in China or other Asian countries like India or Bangladesh.
 
This is because after ordering goods from Asian suppliers at high price, by the time they are delivered, the importers find that the same can only be sold at discounted rates in domestic market as the fashion trend has changed.
 
On the other hand, it has become feasible to get pants manufactured within UK, as UK producers have proved that they can adapt to the changes in designs much quickly and also because there has been a considerable rise in labour and transportation costs in Asia.
 
Although the Government’s move seems to be a right step, it is expected to contribute only a small sum to back the scheme, actual implementation of which would necessitate investment of millions of pounds over the next few years.
 
Experts believe the scheme could put the UK’s textile manufacturing, which has been witnessing downtrend for many years, back on track and generate large-scale employment, while benefiting the economy as a whole. 
 
However, success of the scheme calls for a big change in the attitude of the retailers, who now hardly pay any heed to UK-sourcing.
 
Last year, the UK textile industry made £8.1 billion in sales, with most of it coming from high-value items for exports, while the industry’s clothing imports, mainly from Asia, were valued at £17 billion.
 
Trigon Diligence, which surveyed three textile products, namely T-shirts costing £5, tailored shirts costing £75 and jeans priced at £30, concluded that owing to low production costs in Asia, UK retailers buy the three items at much lower costs, which ensures them high profit margins.
 
However, the rapidly changing fashion trends are forcing retailers to sell many of their products at discounted rates, as they order in bulk, but fail to sell the entire lot due to fashion changes.
 
 


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