The UK has an impressive reputation when it comes to manufacturing, particularly in the clothing and apparel sector. Producing over £9.1billion of output each year, the UK clothing industry is one of the world’s largest. It is best known for its attention to detail and incredible quality.
But does UK manufacturing still matter in 2021? This article will look at the history of British manufactured clothing and discuss how the industry looks in today’s world. We will then touch on the role Contrado plays in the industry. And how ‘Made in UK’ clothing can benefit you and your business.
British Clothing Manufacturing – Where It All Began
To begin with, it’s wise to take a quick look at the history of the British manufacturing industry, specifically concerning the production of clothing and apparel. The UK is known throughout the world for its high-quality garments, and understandably so. Since the industrial revolution back in the 1840s, Britain has become flooded with many textile factories. A large portion of them being found in Lancashire and the surrounding areas.
Coming into the 20th century, British made clothes became increasingly popular, especially in the years following WW1. However, the manufacturing industry suffered a collapse during and after WW2, as economic conditions forced many companies under. This downturn continued for decades after the war ended and only began picking up in the 70s and 80s as British made clothing brands made a reappearance in popular culture.
Going into the 90s and beyond, fashion icons such as Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney helped revive clothing made in the UK. In turn, this helped transform London into one of the fashion capitals of the world. Many designer brands basing themselves in the city to benefit from UK-based design and production processes.
Looking at the prestigious history of made in UK clothing, you can immediately see how much the landscape has changed over the past two centuries. From humble beginnings in the textile mills of Lancashire to world-renowned designers operating in London. The UK clothing industry is understandably thought of as one of the leading apparel sectors throughout the globe. So, when people ask whether ‘Made in Britain’ clothing really matters anymore – we feel the answer is a resounding yes!
Made In UK Clothing – Where Are We Now?
So, what does British clothing manufacturing look like in 2021? Having read the previous section, you probably imagine a booming clothing sector in modern-day Britain. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. One of the main reasons that clothing and apparel production has shifted away from the UK is the cost-effectiveness of outsourcing manufacturing to other countries.
Over the past decade or two, many clothing and apparel companies based in the UK have opted to have their product lines manufactured in countries where labour is cheaper. Enabling them to increase their margins. Countries such as Taiwan, Indonesia and China offer manufacturing processes that are far cheaper than those on offer in the UK. So what tends to happen is businesses operating in the UK will place an order with a manufacturer in one of these countries. They will then produce the items and ship them over to the UK for sale.
This way of doing business has impacted British-made clothing drastically. Leaving only a tiny percentage of clothing retailers/producers still basing their whole supply chain in the UK. Although outsourcing production is ultimately cost-effective, it does come with its own problems. These can range from the moral dilemma of workers’ poor working conditions, product quality issues, and even the concern surrounding CO2 emissions produced when shipping the items over to Britain.
Considering these factors, it’s understandable to wonder whether any companies are trying to support the British clothing industry in 2021 by choosing to manufacture products within the UK. Well, at Contrado, we are one of those companies. We produce all of our clothing items in our London HQ. Helping to support both the local community through the provision of jobs but also the wider clothing sector too.
How Contrado Supports The British Clothing Industry
At Contrado, we value British-made clothing and believe that the UK’s reputation for high-quality apparel is worth protecting. As such, our entire product line is manufactured in the UK in our state-of-the-art production facility. We do not outsource any of our manufacturing processes. We favour British-made clothes for their illustrious history and distinguished reputation.
As our production facilities are located in the UK. If you shop with Contrado you can be sure that our employees’ working conditions are comfortable. That the work itself is fun and rewarding. What’s more, as we don’t outsource our goods, our shipping times are extremely fast. Whether you’re shopping for yourself or placing an order for your dropshipping store, most of our products are ready to ship in only 1-2 business days!
Finally, at Contrado, we help support small businesses in the UK’s clothing and textile industry. We provide leftover fabric free of charge to companies that need it. This process allows us to give back to British suppliers and help do our part to grow the clothing and apparel industry. We firmly believe that the rich history of the UK manufacturing industry deserves to be preserved. We are willing to do what we can to lend a hand and support this.
British Clothing Manufacturing – The Bottom Line
To wrap up, the British clothing manufacturing industry has a vibrant past and fully deserves its legendary reputation. From the industrial revolution of the 1840s to the catwalk modelling of the 2010s, British-made clothes have always displayed a unique appeal. Thanks to their unrivalled craftsmanship and world-renowned style.
If you run a dropshipping business and wish to utilise ‘Made in UK’ branding in your store, why not partner with us here at Contrado? All of our clothing is handmade in London using the finest materials, ensuring an end product that is true to British manufacturing’s high-quality reputation. Click HERE to find out more, and get started with Contrado today!