Mary Portas joins industry experts to bring UK fashion & textile manufacturing home
We are delighted to announce that Mary Portas, and Ian Maclean managing director of John Smedley, will be joining us as keynote speakers for our Meet the Manufacturer conference in June.
Mary and Ian will be among a host of leading industry figures who have agreed to join us to support the event and address the potential of a full-scale return of fashion and textiles manufacturing to the UK.
As the first event of its kind, over 1000 clothing brands, retailers, buyers and manufacturers are expected to come together to find out how to make UK manufacturing work for them, and meet face-to-face with British factories and suppliers.
Mary Portas will open the conference and will be joined by an inspiring line-up of more than 20 leading manufacturers, fashion brands and industry experts from Private White V.C., Roland Mouret, ASOS, Fashion Enter, Reshore UK and MAS, John Smedley, Joseph Cheaney & Sons, Gaddum & Gaddum, Albam Clothing, Creative Skillset, London Cloth Company, Eve Pollard Designs, Grey Fox Blog, The Great British Banjo Company and The All in One Company – providing advice and real-life experiences of building British brands, how to successfully manufacture in the UK and work with British factories, and why producing locally makes good business sense.
Broadcaster and award-winning journalist, Lucy Siegle, will join me in chairing a series of panel discussions asking ‘what does Made in Britain actually mean?’, ‘do customers really care where their clothes are made?’ and ‘how do you compete with companies that are ‘faking it British’ and making overseas?’
Attendees can also meet exhibitors from across the fashion and textile sectors at the Meet the Manufacturer trade show and there will be networking lunches on both days of the conference.
We are poised at the start of a new industrial revolution in textile and clothing manufacturing, but this will only happen if retailers, buyers, brands and manufacturers get together to make it happen.
Concern over complex supply chains and the use of unethical sweatshops, as well as rising costs overseas and quality issues has fuelled an 850% increase in demand from clothing retailers and fashion brands looking to source locally in the UK*. Yet, after years of outsourcing overseas, the industry is disconnected, and more than 60% of manufacturers aren’t yet seeing the impact in terms of this demand**. Our Meet the Manufacturer event aims to change this, introduce brands to manufacturers and share knowledge and advice, so that UK fashion and textile manufacturing does indeed return.
The Meet the Manufacturer conference and sourcing event will take place on 11 & 12 June 2014 at The Old Truman Brewery in London’s East End. One and two-day conference tickets can be purchased at www.meetthemanufacturer.co.uk/register
You can follow Meet the Manufacturer on Twitter and follow the hashtag MiBMM
*There were 2272 requests sent to the Make it British website in January 2014 from companies looking for UK manufacturers versus 265 in September 2012.
**According to a survey by Make it British carried out in 2014, 60% of manufacturers said that business had remained at about the same level as in the previous 12 months.