Blog: China cottons on to Wigan
Leonie Barrie | 1 June 2007
For the past few decades the UK textile and clothing industry has slowly seen its textile mills and garment factories cast aside in the rush to relocate production to cheaper locations overseas. Some have simply found themselves unable to compete with the rock bottom prices offered by countries like China and have gone out of business altogether, while others have maintained a design and pre-production presence here and shifted the needle point work offshore as the laws of economics demand.
But is the tide about to turn? Negotiations are underway – and fairly advanced by all accounts – between Wigan Council and the Chinese government to set up a textile manufacturing hub in the town to help Chinese companies get closer to their European customers.
It’s an exciting prospect, and one that will give great hope to the highly skilled workers who still remain in the area. But a lot of questions remain and it will be fascinating to see how they are tackled. What types of products will be made there? What about cost issues? And how will the UK operations complement those of the Chinese investors elsewhere? It’s also a smart move as far as quotas are concerned. China's exports of textiles and clothing to the EU are covered by a voluntary quota agreement that expires at the end of 2007 and may well be replaced with a new raft of restrictions, so having a local production base will help offset any new limits.
For all their cheap manpower and hugely efficient textile and clothing production facilities, Chinese factories can’t change the one thing that increasingly matters in today’s fashion environment: their location, and hence speed to market. Earlier this year supermarket chain Asda said it was going to stock an entire range of clothing made exclusively in the UK under the George brand.
Fresh from their disappointment at seeing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade deal abandoned last month with an executive order by President Donald Trump, the US apparel and footwear sector...
With the ultimate aim of ensuring all the cotton in its products is sourced sustainably, value clothing retailer Primark is adamant that having a business model focused on offering the lowest prices o...
Last week we marked the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States by taking a closer look at what's at stake for the textile and apparel trade – especially his promises t...
Continuing our look at what lies ahead for the apparel industry and its supply chain in 2017, the panel of industry experts consulted by just-style last week tackled likely shifts in the sourcing land...
- "Power of the many" drives change at Otto Group
- Hard hit Turkish industry is not knocked out
- China leads US apparel sources with falling prices
- US apparel sector braces for potential cost hikes
- Vietnam grows share of US apparel imports in 2016
- US Q4 in brief – Foot Locker, Nordstrom, Carter's
- JC Penney to close 140 stores amid lower sales
- Inditex and H&M boycott Dhaka Apparel Summit
- Bangladesh government steps in on labour crackdown
- Macy's will "do the right thing", says Lundgren
- When Things Go Wrong - A Practical Guide to Managing Common Problems in Apparel Sourcing
- Outdoor performance apparel 2016: A broader perspective
- Technical textile markets: product developments and innovations, December 2016
- Southeast Asia strategic sourcing review – a focus on Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar
- Global market review of lingerie – forecasts to 2022