Fashion company boss says only way for many firms to survive as costs soar is to open bases in France, costing vital UK jobs
The company employs 15 people, and has, in normal times, an annual turnover of about £2.5m. It operates in what Bennett describes as “a niche market at the top end of fashion”. The silk is produced in a region of China that has precisely the right climate for the mulberry tree to prosper. Silk worms feed on mulberry leaves.
Covid-19 was a disaster for sales, but then came Brexit. “Having spent the last 25 years developing a successful sales operation throughout the EU, which until recently accounted for about 50% of our sales, we are now facing the prospect of our EU business being wiped out due to the complications of the Brexit deal,” says Bennett.
“Feedback from our clients on the continent is that they will not accept the extra customs charges and duties, and will simply switch to our competitors who remain in the EU. Who can blame them? I would do the same.”