Made in England: why some manufacturing is coming home from China

Published: 29th Aug 2017

Three years ago, on the London Tube, I ran into a chap I know, Tom Davies. I met him first in 2001 when I wrote about his new, eponymous company which made upmarket glasses frames. The business later grew from being so niche it was practically secret to having its own factory in China, shops across London and spots in 1,000 opticians worldwide.

It even gained me as a customer for its made-to-measure service, with my oversized head and lopsided ears — as well as celebrity clients, from Heston Blumenthal to Ed Sheeran.

So, I asked back in 2014 as we strap-hung on the District Line, what Mr Davies’ business was up to? “Well,” he said, “I’m thinking of moving production from China to the UK. It’s not as cheap as it was, and Made in England would be a great sales point.”

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