Monday, 5 March 2012

Bring it Back

At the end of London Fashion Week there was a photo call of Caroline Rush British Fashion Council Cheif Executive, Mary Katrantzou and Roksanda Ilincic, Natalie Massanet, head of Net-A-Porter, Anay Hindmarch plus the Vodafone Brand director all alongside Samantha Cameron, who is now calling upon home-grown designers to manufacture clothes in Britain. This should be great news but it isn't against the backdrop of the fact the most lauded show is always Burberry and we all know how Burberry decided to decimate the last of its manufacturing base in Britain to move abroad all in the name of profits before the bank crisis hit!

I have long waged a lone war against Burberry, if you enter Burberry in to my search box you will find mention after mention of why I don't shop there, take clients there or recommend them in any way after the closure of their Treorchy factory because it wasn't 'commerically viable' to keep it open. Please! This happened at a time when Burberry was boasting of 19% increase in sales with revenues of £135 million that year.

How are we going to bring back those lost years of expertise or people's life's ruined. You've only got to watch Stella to know the poverty levels and lack of job opportunities in the South Wales Valleys.

May be one day fashion will truly wake up to its hands in social responsibility that isn't about sham hollow words. Burberry are not alone, before them M&S managed to wipe out business after business whom they had lock in to contracts only to suddenly announce they were moving their manufacturing to Morocco and elsewhere. Until we have a proper shaming of all past practices and a true commitment to workers then there is nothing 'stunning' about calling upon anyone to manufacture clothes in the UK


  1. I'm no longer amazed at how many large companies take their business overseas in the name of "profit." How much is enough!?

  2. I am conflicted on this. With the wages as they are here in Europe and the fact that people want clothes for a reasonable price and the fact that companies dan only survive when they make a profit I see it as only natural that they move their operations to the so-called low wage countries. This will eventually hopefully bring wealth to those countries as well.
    Do I feel sorry for the people who suffer when they lose their jobs - or when small shops are forced out of business by big supermarkets. Yes, I do. Very much so. But I do also see that I did nothing to help the small shops as I too look for better prices.
    It is not easy to find a balance in a changing world. And change it does, always has done and always will do.

  3. Hilde - you make a great point about wages and cost of clothing. Which is very true when we talk about lower end items. Burberry are though a luxury goods company and the wages of those 300 workers weren't excessive or high. They would probably have only been on average or slightly above UK average wages. Burberry haven't been price cutting either on their goods they've been price raising.

    I think the point is that when Governments run campaigns to encourage companies to invest in their own country it is usually too late as the deed has been done and they should have saved those poor people's jobs before not look retrospectively at fixing something already broken.

  4. I don't disagree with you at all. It is just that I like to look at my own role in issues like this. As far as government is concerned: I have long given up the thought that they are any use to anyone but themselves.

  5. Hilde - haha your last remark is priceless & true!! And I have really enjoyed the debate


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