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It is about 120 years since the UK lost its global leadership in leather making to the U.S. and Germany, who themselves were to lose it to Italy and China before too long. Even so the dual events of mid-July, with Burberry deciding to stop the development of a new UK factory while Clarks announced they were returning with a 300,000-pair production of their Desert Boots, is a significant addition to our understanding of how companies are rethinking where and how to work. This article was first published in ILM September-October 2017 print and digital edition.