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UK fashion sector sustainable & reliable workforce

09
Oct '12
“Inspirational”, “thought provoking” and “eye opening” were just some of the superlatives used by industry and press delegates to describe the recent Association of Suppliers to the British Clothing Industry (ASBCI) industry conference ‘Made in the UK – fashioning a future for British clothing manufacturers’ held recently at the Marriott Worsley Park Hotel near Manchester.   Over 160 delegates, from afar afield as the US, listened to speakers who are making a success of manufacturing in the UK.   

It took place on Tuesday 25th September 2012.

Speakers from J.Barbour & Sons, Buff Clothing, Cooper & Stollbrand, Courtaulds Legwear, Daniel Hanson Dressing Gowns, De Montfort University, FashionCapital.com, Johnstons of Elgin, Kufner Textil, Lectra UK, NWText, Pentland Group and Shop Direct Group were united in their support for a UK manufacturing revival. 
 
They explained how the best creative design talent in the world, a unique and globally appealing heritage and an uncompromising commitment to producing quality ‘niche’ products combined with energy saving product innovations and rapid response production practices has made luxury and volume garment and textile manufacturing a viable proposition in the UK.  
 
Delegates also heard how employers and colleges are launching collaborative apprenticeship schemes designed to fill the skill shortages gap and make a career in garment manufacture sexy and appealing to a new generation.  While speaker companies continue to pursue new export markets they appealed to retailers to play their part in supporting UK suppliers, thereby creating more jobs and contributing to an economic recovery.
 
Chaired by Dr Julie King, ASBCI event director and head of fashion and textiles at De Montfort University the conference opened with a characteristically passionate and patriotic presentation on all things British by Katie Greenyer, creative director of Red or Dead, the Pentland Group. She fast tracked delegates through her inspiring career in fashion which was founded on a lifelong passion for print and colour and her exceptional creative talent that caught the eye of such design greats as Wayne Hemingway, co-founder of Red or Dead and Christian Lacroix.  
 
She explained that in a bid to constantly refresh its creative edge, Pentland, the biggest employer of designers in the UK, has set up the ‘Design Pool’, where: “we nurture the best design talent in the world.” The Pool gives outstanding design graduates 11 months work, an £18,000 salary, and an opportunity to apply their talent to commercial products.  She concluded: “I am proud to be part of a British company…a British business paying British taxes!” 


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