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In the past 40 years, the UK's manufacturing sector has shrunk by two-thirds, the greatest de-industrialisation of any major nation. However this is changing and we are bringing it back to Britain. In recent times gone by, the British public wanted cheaper textiles and clothing, and industry leaders were forced to produced these products else where. However the tide has turned and people are wanting quality and 100% British made products, this is why we are supporting the UK Manufacturing from a quality, ethical and environmental point of view but also from heritage point of view too.
An estimated 168 million children ages 5 to 14 are forced to work, in the far east in the textile and clothing industry. Children as young as 5 have been found working in sweatshops for up to 16 hours per day. More than 70% of EU imports of textile and clothing come from Asia. Many Asian workers have to work in sweatshop conditions, long working hours, low wages, lack of regular contracts, and systemically hazardous conditions are often reported. Trade unions, when allowed, are unable to protect workers. Workers often have to perform their tasks under "sweatshop" conditions. They work long hours every day, sometimes without even a weekly rest day, and are often not paid for overtime. Sweatshop workers are paid as little as 3 cent per hour working up to 100+ hours a week in conditions of poor air quality and extreme heat. In recent years, wages for garment workers in the majority of Asian countries have fallen in real terms, except in China. The gap between prevailing wages the wages paid in general to an average worker and living wages for textile workers in these countries has widened.
Hazardous conditions represent a common feature of many factories in this sector. The rapid expansion of the industry has led to the adaptation of many buildings, built for other purposes – residential, for instance. Workers are expected to work eat and sleep in these factories. In the worst forms of sweatshops people are forced to work up to 72 hours straight, without sleep. Those complaining are beaten and abused. Cases of physical and verbal abuse are common. Because women make up 85 to 90% of sweatshop workers, some employers force them to take birth control and routine pregnancy tests to avoid supporting maternity leave or providing appropriate health benefits.
Here at the Linen Cupboard we are bringing textile manufacturing back to Britain, sustainability and the environment is a hot topic of discussion at the moment. With issues like running out of landfill space and the continued effect of damaging the ozone layer, it is pertinent for any business to want to consider their own carbon footprint. With UK manufacturing, you are decreasing the amount of miles that the product has to travel. The less distance travelled, the less fuel is used and the less damage it has on the environment. Choosing UK manufacturing means that you are choosing the greener option for your company and for your customers and for many, that would be a preferential and admirable choice. With less distance to travel when delivering products manufactured in the UK, the time it takes from production to delivery is significantly reduced. With quicker turn around, your product can get into the hands of the consumer quicker.
Choosing UK manufacturing has a positive impact the national and local economy and the scale of UK manufacturing itself. Supporting our heritage of manufacturing in Britain means supporting new job opportunities in local areas. We pride ourselves on providing 100% British sustainable products, being able to visit a factory or manufacturers premises and see our products being created can be highly beneficial. It reassures us about the sustainability of the product and the quality of what we are delivering to you (the customer).
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