Whether you are a start-up brand or an established buyer, here are 9 great reasons why you will benefit from attending the Make it British Live! Symposium
Investing the time and money in attending the talks at Make it British Live! will be well worth it – with 25 speakers lined-up over the two days there will be loads of valuable information to take away
1. You’ll understand what ethical garment production really means
There’s been a lot of talk about the ethical credentials of UK factories. Jenny Holloway has spent four years developing a completely transparent manufacturing system at her London based factory, which is one of the largest garment manufacturers in the UK. Jenny will prove that it is possible to manufacturer on a large scale in the UK and still remain ethical and affordable.
2. You’ll find out the right (and wrong) ways to fund a British-made business
One of the speakers is fashion entrepreneur and brand-building specialist Simon Middleton. Simon has successfully crowdfunded two businesses using Kickstarter and is now raising funds for his third brand Blackshore. He’ll be sharing his wisdom gained from his own experience of funding a British-made brand as well as warning you of the possible pitfalls.
3. You’ll learn how zero waste and sustainability fits into a UK supply chain
Zero waste and sustainability remain a hot topic in the fashion and textile industry. Evolving legislation and consumer demand for ethical products means that sustainability needs to be high on every brands agenda. Three industry experts, from very diverse parts of the sector, will debate the topic with you at the symposium. They are – Stephen Cawley, Head of Sustainability at John Lewis, Charlie Ross, Founder of Offset Warehouse, and Dr Lynn Wilson, designer, researcher and circular economy expert.
4. You’ll find out how important export is to British-made businesses
Recent figures show UK exports of British-made goods are at their highest for seven years, and with surveys showing that international consumers are willing to pay up to 22% more for a product made in Britain – that’s a great opportunity that brands should be capitalising on. Learn more from our export panel comprising cult British designer, Nigel Cabourn, Ian Mclean, director at world famous knitwear manufacturer John Smedley and Christian Robinson director at Tiffany Rose, two times winner of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in recognition for its significant growth in export sales.
5. You’ll clear up any confusion about trademarking your designs and intellectual property
6. You’ll learn how mass-customisation is changing the face of manufacturing
The modern world is a customisable world, with consumers wanting goods configured to their individual specifications. What are the opportunities to implement this in the fashion industry? And how do you put it into operation? Digital technology experts, Lectra, will deliver a talk about the future of mass customisation in manufacturing and the impact it can have on your brand.
7. You’ll find out why investors are snapping up British businesses What have Robert Yentob, chairman at Dents and Corgi, Tim Little, owner of Genson, William Church of Cheaney Shoes and Sam Morrison director at Smyth & Gibson, the only surviving shirt factory in Derry, all got in common? They’ve all invested in heritage brands that manufacture in the UK. Find out why they did it and what they think the future holds for these brands long term.
8. You’ll learn how to collaborate with British-suppliers Working with a manufacturer is a partnership and one that requires commitment from both sides. Whether you’re a start-up business or a multi-national retailer there is no reason it can’t work for both parties. Shailina Parti and Lucia Wood will tell the story of how they collaborated with several specialist British suppliers for Jigsaw and helped bring provenance to the brand.
9. You’ll learn ways to address the skills gap in the industry
How to attract young people intofashion manufacturing is one of the greatest challenges for anyone in UK textiles at the moment, and something that effects everyone. Without skilled staff, factories will be unable to keep up with the demand being placed on them, and securing local production will become harder and harder. Find out how this is being addressed by organisations such as the UKFT, and hear what is being done to address the skills gap.
I hope that the above has convinced you that it’s worth taking some time out of your business to attend the Symposium. There are just a limited number of tickets available, so if you are planning on attending make sure to book yours soon!