I have started a new group on Linked in called UK Textiles. the idea is to bring together the great and the good of the UK textile market to find a way to invigourate this once great industry of ours. There is no doubt that the expertise is here in the UK, its just that at the end of the day the accountants and money people have won the day and decided to move everything abroad to where the labour is cheap thereby maximising the profits of the shareholders. I once saw a film or tv program where the lead character was talking about how the shareholders had to drink nice champagne at the AGM. If profits were down then the champagne was not so good and the shareholders were unhappy. Thsi is the story of the textile industry, maximum profits and minimal costs. The UK was always been at the for front of innovation and technology when it came to textiles, we started to get some restrictions put on us, such as minimum wages and environmental conditions for effluent discharges etc and thats when the industry started to move. While at the time we may not have liked the things that government and environmental people were doing the recent pictures coming from China, as taken by Greenpeace, show us totally what happens when those controls are not there. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/gallery/2011/feb/09/pollution-china-manufacturing-towns#/?picture=371231251&index=4
The images of waste water being discharged directly into local rivers etc in China killing the fish and local industry are truly shocking. You have to ask yourself if this is the price of wearing denim. It is not just the denim industry that is at fault, other textiles have gone there and not respected the people or the environment, I am sure some local people are making a good living from this but you have to ask the question at what cost for the current and future generations. When you combine this with all the comments and discussions about carbon footprint then there is a strong case for textiles coming home.
So we have started the group on Linked in UK Textiles why not check us out there, if you would like to be involved and see if we can revitalise this great industry that we are all involved in.