My vision is for more people to buy more quality British-made goods
Make it British is a source of information on British-made brands and UK manufacturing on the web. It helps people find products that are made in Britain. In a conversation with Fibre2Fashion, the CEO and founder of Make it British, Kate Hills, says what inspired her to bring manufacturing back to Britain.
How did you hit upon the idea of setting up Make it British?
After 20 years of working as a designer and buyer, flying around the world for brands such as Burberry, M&S and other high street names, I became disillusioned when they stopped using factories in the UK to produce their goods. So, I left in 2011 to set up Make it British, a campaign to support UK manufacturing businesses and British craftsmanship, including Meet the Manufacturer, an annual trade show held in London.
How far has it come since its inception in 2011?
Make it British has now become global, with increasing numbers of international visitors contacting us looking to buy quality British-made products. Meet the Manufacturer, the trade show organised by Make it British, brings thousands of businesses together every year at the two-day event.
What do you aim to achieve with Make it British?
My vision is for more people to buy more quality British-made goods.
What kind of assistance does Make it British offer to its member companies?
Many of our members are small businesses that do not have a huge reach themselves, but as members of Make it British we can put them in touch with people all over the world. Our members are all included on the Make it British directory, which includes a link to their own websites, plus an inclusion in the Make it British newsletter as well as seasonal gift guides and competitions.
You work towards promoting British companies to work with their fellow counterparts in Britain and to manufacture their products in the country. Do you also encourage textile companies from the other countries to consider manufacturing in Britain?
Yes! We most definitely encourage textile companies from other countries to consider manufacturing in Britain. Manufacturing in the UK is becoming more and more cost-effective and we are getting an increasing number of enquiries from businesses overseas looking to manufacture in the UK, particularly from the US, Japan and Germany.
Which are some of the heritage British textiles/designs, etc, that Make it British has helped preserve or reclaimed from oblivion or almost into oblivion?
Several companies who exhibit at our Meet the Manufacturer event have been on the brink of closure before coming along to our event and now they are so busy that they cannot take on anymore work!
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