Burberry, A Case Study
It’s 1856 and 21 year-old dressmaker Thomas Burberry has founded a brand that will stay true to its heritage for 159 years and counting. Burberry keeps the legacy of made-in-England by only manufacturing their products in the country of their design.
While nearly every designer brand outsource production to the Middle East or China, it’s Burberry who’ve recognised the importance of brand history, identity and heritage. In their resolve to create a truly authentic brand, Burberry have remained a loyal client of local business and resources since the company’s inception.
However, Burberry’s dedication to English production is not only based on retaining a sense of collection unity, it’s also perpetuated by their commitment to supporting human rights in the fashion industry. Earlier this year, H&M came under fire after a Norwegian documentary that put fashion bloggers to work in sweatshops in Cambodia aired, a country where H&M has many of its collections produced.
In the midst of the global recession, Burberry was forced to out-source its bag production to China in 2012. After suspicions that the factory wasn’t abiding by the company’s ethical working conditions arose, Burberry decided to pull production back to the UK.
The Future of Fashion
The place of the fashion industry within the fight for ethical working conditions has maintained a near constant present within the media.
And yet the landscape of fashion production is changing. Accompanied by industry giants like Paul Smith, Mulberry and, of course, Burberry, drawing back from overseas factories, rising freight and labor costs has means that the future of production might no longer lay in the East.
Although outsourcing the manufacturing process abroad may currently be seen as a cheaper option, lasting brands like Burberry have illustrated the worth and commercial success of national production. In supporting local business, one not only bolsters the local economy and assist in the development of human rights, you also create an authentic brand with a profound legacy.
The Fashion Hothouse is Ireland’s leading garment production company. Working with professional designers, students, film and costume companies, our services include garment development, grading, sampling, drafting and production.