Clothes company invests £1m for fashion retail ‘revolution’

Clothes2order chairman Michael Conway

Clothes2order chairman Michael Conway

Clothing company Clothes2order has invested £1m in new digital t-shirt printing machinery, in order to keep pace with what chairman Michael Conway calls a UK fashion retailing ‘revolution’.

Clothes2order is one of the first companies in the world to take delivery of a heavy-duty, direct-to-garment printer launched earlier this year by NASDAQ-listed Kornit Digital.

The machine, called the Atlas, can produce up to 160 prints per hour and uses newly-developed inks which are non-hazardous, non-toxic and biodegradable in a waterless printing process.

It is optimised for on-demand printing, a growing part of Clothes2order’s business which involves supplying fashion retailers and brands so they can offer new lines in real-time without the risk of piling up stock which may be wasted.

The arrival of the Atlas alongside other new equipment takes the company’s investment in machinery to over £2.5m in the past few years.

Clothes2order operates from a production and distribution facility in Trafford Park, Greater Manchester.

The company supplies customers across the UK and in more than 35 countries.

Revenues have grown from £4.4m in 2013 to over £12m in 2018, and the business is looking to double in size over the next few years.

Michael said: “The face of UK retail is changing rapidly. Sustainability, speed and flexibility rather than price have become the key drivers for stores and brands alike, which is transforming the fashion retail supply chain.

“For many years, we’ve seen garments being made in factories in Asia but nowadays, thanks to digital technology and having manufacturing and processing in the UK, retailers and brands are able to operate with minimal stock.”