Topshop tycoon Sir Philip Green has signalled a boost for the UK clothing industry by revealing that more homegrown firms now supplied his fashion empire.
Sir Philip's Arcadia Group, which is also behind the brands Dorothy Perkins, Burton and Evans, has increased the number of British factories it uses by 20% in the past year to 47 from a negligible base several years ago.
Cutting his dependence on overseas manufacturing centres such as China, where costs are rising, Sir Philip told the Mail on Sunday that UK manufacturing gave the company a "different capability".
The use of manufacturing closer to home allows big retailers to bring in the latest designs more quickly, whereas it can take six months to design, manufacture and transport clothing from China.
Rising labour costs and the declining price advantage of buying from the Far East have helped reverse the shift to low-cost factories abroad.
Sir Philip said: "We've been pushing to see what we could do to keep it nearer home. This is something we are permanently looking at, every day, every week. UK manufacturing gives us a different capability."
The textile and clothing industry is thought to employ about 10,000 people in the UK.