One of Japan's leading suppliers of ready-to-wear men's wear is now looking to China as the source of its new season's collection.

Tokyo based woollens specialist Konaka & Co Ltd has linked up with the vertically integrated SPA Younger Group which operates out Ningbo in China's Zhegiang province.

The deal is designed to dramatically cut production costs on the range of better end business suits offered by Konaka under the PB brand name.

Sources close to Konaka suggest that under the terms of the new agreement Younger has contracted to be responsible for making up a minimum of one million suits a year in addition to the million it already manufactures for sale into the Chinese home market

Konaka will be sending over some of its own technical personnel to assist in improving standards, particularly in dyeing and finishing departments at the Ningbo works.

Meanwhile, Younger has already been assisted by The Woolmark Company in upgrading the spinning and weaving side of its business.

By Sonia Roberts