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Conference on future for British clothing manufacturers
Jul '12
The Association of Suppliers to the British Clothing Industry (ASBCI) has announced that its first major industry conference in over four years will address the feasibility of moving garment manufacture back to the UK. Entitled ‘Made in the UK – fashioning a future for British clothing manufacturers’ the one-day conference will be held on Tuesday 25th September 2012 at the Marriott Worsley Park Hotel near Manchester, 9.30am to 4.30pm.

The conference will platform speakers from retail organisations, brands and garment industry professionals who are actively involved in sourcing and or reviving the UK manufacturing sector.  Speakers from such high profile names as  J.Barbour & Sons, Johnstons of Elgin, the Pentland Group and Shop Direct Group, will reveal what they are doing to bring all or elements of their supply chains back shore and will highlight the obstacles they have encountered and overcome. 

The conference will also detail an exciting new collaborative fashion apprenticeship program instigated by industry portal Fashion Enter, the University of East London and fashion employers that will equip a new generation with vital production skills.

Julie King, events chairman for the ASBCI and head of fashion and textiles at De Montfort University explained the significance of the conference theme: “According to the British Fashion Council the value of UK fashion manufacturing has fallen by two-thirds since 1995.

However, increased off-shore labour, freight and import costs, combined with continued pressure to deliver fast fashion, an insatiable overseas demand for ‘Made in the UK’ goods and the quality of fabrics and garments made by UK manufacturers has boosted interest in UK suppliers.”

She added: “For the first time in over 15 years some of the high street’s most influential retail names are looking at the feasibility of sourcing from the UK’s clothing manufacturing sector.  We have invited speakers who are actively involved in UK-based production to share their experiences with the wider industry. 

“For any company assessing the viability of sourcing from the UK, this is a day they cannot afford to miss.”

The ASBCI industry conference is being sponsored by Lectra, the world leader in fashion technology solutions—PLM, design and CAD/CAM software and hardware. Lectra Fashion PLM is a flexible, collaborative platform for apparel life cycle management that brings simplicity and fluidity to product development, resulting in faster time-to-market, more time for creative tasks and increased savings across the supply chain.

Formed in 1992 the Association of Suppliers to the British Clothing Industry, ASBCI, plays a key technical role within the garment and textile sectors. In addition to seminars and forums on important industry issues, such as sizing and REACH, it organises regular technical/educational visits to companies across the supply chain and produces highly acclaimed technical handbooks, many of which are recommended texts on fashion-related courses around the world. It also runs the UK’s largest and most successful student conference and seminar programme.

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