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lurker

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China problems

Rather than ramble on in the face mask post.

I noticed in the paper this morning that clothing manufacturers in the uk are seeing an upturn in orders due to the high street having a panic about stock shortages.
Maybe the shop’s buyers will get to understand the downside of shipping stuff from the other side of the world and start buying British long term.
 

Oddaccent

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I agree there could definitely be some positives that come out of this. If there are any shortages, hopefully we'll all realise that we're still fine and don't need to consume as much stuff as we think we do (obviously woodworking tools are an exception to that).
 

sunnybob

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What makes you think that UK factories are disease free zones?
 

CHJ

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lurker":3bnpwkdl said:
I noticed in the paper this morning that clothing manufacturers in the uk are seeing an upturn in orders due to the high street having a panic about stock shortages.
Maybe the shop’s buyers will get to understand the downside of shipping stuff from the other side of the world and start buying British long term.
UK manufacture is an ideal but it must include the fabric weaving, dying and printing also.

One or two high street chains are about to struggle because they have 90% of their manufacturing in Asia and long lead times for contracts and delivery hence the increased interest in UK sources.

But if the problems persist for too long the extensive UK garment industry is likely to run out of in-country stocks of fabric, asking prices for in country stocks are already rising.

Hopefully Business models will take the hint and be prepared to support the cost of fabric production in the UK instead of the cheaper option of fabrics from Asia where environmental controls, or lack of them, means they undercut UK production costs.

Anyone in the Leicester area are probably well aware the extensive garment production in the UK, we just need the home grown fabric sources to go with it.
 

MikeG.

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Far and away the biggest upside for me in this saga is that China has banned the trade in wild animals. Some research has linked this virus to pangolins. These poor little creatures are the most traded wild animals on the planet, and they are all seriously endangered in the wild as a result. You can actually see the result of this in Africa, because many bushland areas now are over-run with ants and ants nests, which pangolins used to keep under control. If this trading ban sticks, there might by a real silver lining to the disease. If only we could engineer some sort of pandemic starting in Vietnam that implicated rhino horn.
 

Richard_C

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UK made from cotton grown in the fields of.... and dyes from the rich mineral seams of..... all produced on machines made in..... by skilled workers originally from.....

We probably don't have enough sheep for our wool needs nor do we produce enough synthetic yarns these days.

So we still need imports to be able to make stuff. UK factories may get more orders but will need more raw materials to be able to fill them.

Look at the history of the big textile cities, all built on what we would now call "world trade" and migration.

And with shoppers very driven by price, retailers will quickly revert to buying from the cheapest source once the current difficulties are over. They have no choice, we all price compare on the Internet and pay as little as we have to. The only exception being specialist or niche high markup products. Would you invest your own money to ramp up capacity in mass market garment manufacturing?
 

lurker

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The point is some corporate buyers are now realising that home manufactured stuff is not that much more expensive and (at least in clothing) the lead times are much shorter.

Example
JCB are on short shifts because supplies are drying up, but caterpillar are ok because they don’t buy components from China. Lesson to be learned there, I think.
 

Terry - Somerset

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The original rationale for companies transferring production to India, China etc was the labour cost savings which more than covered increased shipping costs and lead times. Just in time manufacturing processes meant that only limited additional stock would need to be financed.

Two things have happened - labour rates overseas have increased relative to UK, and more importantly automation has reduced the labour content of most products.

So I expect many UK companies will now question the wisdom of a policy which relies upon shipping components and products several thousand miles.
 

TFrench

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We did a job last year for a high end (posh old ladies) clothing company - they've just set up their own dye house and printing works so they aren't reliant on overseas manufacture. The textile industry in Leicester is basically gone, Chas. In 16 years I've only worked in 2 textile places in Leicester, and one of those is gone now.
 

lurker

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Well it would be nice if we could have some value added manufacturing or even just assembly plants, rather than acres and acres of warehouses full of Chinese stuff.
Better for the environment and provision of proper jobs.
 

Trainee neophyte

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One fly in the ointment is the pollution that we also outsourced, and then don't pay for. Manufacturing in the UK, or Europe for that matter, has to be clean and responsible. Not so much in Bangladesh or the Far East. Working conditions would be another issue. Having your six floor garment factory collapse on top of all the workers would be considered poor practice in the UK, but is just an everyday risk of doing business in Bangladesh, for example.

But I am all for localism - make it where you consume it. Come the robot revolution, small boutique manufacturing from home could be the new normal. Certainly every house should have a robot run greenhouse on the roof, to provide the majority of veg for the household. However, that would decimate the current cartel business model, and the onward march to neofeudalism. But that would be political, so don't go there :)
 

lurker

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There is a surprising amount of “greenery “ being farmed inside suburban houses in the uk :D
 

CHJ

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TFrench":2pwdpr2u said:
…. The textile industry in Leicester is basically gone, Chas. In 16 years I've only worked in 2 textile places in Leicester, and one of those is gone now.
The Textile industry may have gone but garment production has not, especially those supplying the on-line sales company's like BooHoo, Pretty Little Thing, Simply Be, I saw it First and brands such as Post Card as you move up the price point and many high street outlet brands. And a vast quantity of Cash & Carry stuff that gets taken up by the little independent traders.

I know there is one company dying in Leicester, they handle a lot of the garment dying (Many garments are dyed to order post manufacture) and pre shrinking.

It's amazing what is hidden behind the old red brick facades of St Saviours Rd and the like, but you would not want to work there out of choice.
 

TFrench

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CHJ":17iex2bl said:
It's amazing what is hidden behind the old red brick facades of St Saviours Rd and the like, but you would not want to work there out of choice.
That's for sure! My patience for bartering is very short :lol:
 
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