Blog: Leonie BarrieChina town

Leonie Barrie | 22 February 2008

Wigan yesterday came one step closer to being the site of Europe’s biggest textile and clothing park after signing a GBP125m deal to encourage “a large number” of Chinese companies to set up operations there.

Negotiations with the Chinese government have been two years in the making, so it could well be a while longer before the names of individual firms become known, or even what they will be making over here.

What is known is that the site, which covers an area of 2m square feet, will be used for textiles manufacturing, research and development, and production of UK branded products which will be distributed worldwide – although any more details are pretty sketchy.

It’s also a smart move as far as quotas are concerned. Quotas on China's exports of textiles and clothing to the EU expired at the end of 2007, but there are still concerns within the industry that these may well be replaced with a new raft of restrictions at some point in the not too distant future. So for Chinese firms, having a local production base will certainly help offset any new limits. 

And it will improve speed to market – the one thing that increasingly matters in today’s fashion environment but is difficult to achieve for Chinese-based manufacturers because of the distance from their customers.

The timing of the announcement also coincides with an article from Reuters suggesting that British designers are crimped by lack of factories. It points out that a decades-long decline in British manufacturing means upcoming young designers are at a disadvantage to French and Italian rivals because they no longer have factories on their doorstep to get their clothes made.

Chinese firms plan Europe's largest textile city


BLOG

Trump trade probe could have costs for cotton

An International Trade Commission hearing got underway last week as part of the Trump administration's probe into China's intellectual property practices under Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act. The a...

BLOG

Stop negotiating and bring in the engineers

Surviving in a declining market is the biggest challenge for discount/mass-market retailers and suppliers of commodity products such as basic T-shirts, hoodies or cotton men's shirts – which is why it...

BLOG

The implications of buyer purchasing practices

New research has delved into one relatively underexplored aspect of global supply chains: how buyer purchasing practices impact wages and working conditions....

BLOG

just-style readership survey 2017 – Final reminder

We’re currently carrying out a survey to get a better understanding of the issues that matter the most to our readers, and how we can better serve you in the future. ...

just-style homepage



Forgot your password?