Fashion company boss says only way for many firms to survive as costs soar is to open bases in France, costing vital UK jobs
Mike Bennett runs a small firm called Bennett Silks in Stockport, Greater Manchester, which has been in his family since his great-grandfather set it up in 1904.
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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.