LUXURY fashion brand Mulberry says it is committed to achieving carbon reduction targets by taking steps such as using the world’s lowest carbon leather and transparent supply chains.  

Mulberry is the largest manufacturer of luxury leather goods in the UK, and over 50% of its bags are made in its Somerset factories in Chilcompton and Bridgwater. 

Chief executive Thierry Andretta said making "innovative and sustainable products" in its "carbon neutral Somerset factories" has contributed to a recent sales boost. 

He also outlined the company's aim to "reach zero carbon emissions" by 2035.

Mulberry enjoyed a 34% boost in sales in the six months to September 25 to £65.7 million, compared with £48.9 million a year ago when shops were closed for long stretches due to coronavirus lockdowns. 

The company also turned a £2.4 million loss into a £10.2 million pre-tax profit for the period.

A focus on full-price items, moving away from discounting, helped profit margins improve from 59% to 69%.

However, Mulberry said tourists remain absent from UK high streets. 

A spokesperson for the company said: "Sales in the UK recovered strongly once our stores reopened. 

"The sales lost from the absence of tourists in the UK and the rationalisation of stores in Europe were replaced by strong growth in Asia."

In China, retail sales jumped 38%, contributing to a 23% increase in sales in the Asia-Pacific region to £11.8 million, as bosses continue to invest heavily in the area.

In the US, sales rose 57% to £3.3 million, while franchise and wholesale sales increased 67% to £10.1 million.

But while store sales improved, shoppers turned away from its online business, with digital sales dropping 19% in the period to £19.1 million.

By comparison, store sales were up 87% to £36.5 million.

The company managed supply chain delays experienced by several sectors and businesses by stocking up on more raw materials in its Somerset factories. 

Chief executive Thierry Andretta said: "Our long-term strategy, namely our innovative and sustainable products made in our carbon-neutral Somerset factories, our market-leading omnichannel distribution model, and our expansion into Asia Pacific, has delivered a strong financial performance. 

"Product innovation and sustainability are central to our strategy, demonstrated by the recent launch of our The Lowest Carbon Collection, further supporting the commitments we made in our Made to Last manifesto and our goal to reach zero carbon emissions by 2035."

Mulberry was founded in 1971 by Roger Saul who was born in Lottisham, Somerset. 

Its first factory The Rookery in Chilcompton, opened in 1973 and its second factory, The Willows in Bridgwater, opened in 2014.

The company's design headquarters are in London.