Sunday, February 24, 2008

Bikini Fashion Model Vol 08

In the past 40 years, British factories owned by some of the oldest brand names from Burberry to Barbour have closed down and shifted some of their manufacturing to cheaper places such as China and Eastern Europe.

Burberry has kept two factories in Britain, in Yorkshire, but shut one in Wales last year because it was too expensive.

In Manchester -- once the locus of global coat making -- one of Britain's last surviving premium outerwear manufacturers offers a snapshot of British manufacturing's decline.

Cooper & Stollbrand employs 60 workers today, stitching and cutting trench coats, overcoats and bomber jackets often in signature hunting-and-shooting fabrics such as tweed and gabardine.

Their number has fallen from 200 in 1995 and 450 in 1971, a year sterling strengthened sharply against the dollar, increasing costs for British exporters and marking the start of retailers' exit to cheaper sites.