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UK event to help bring textile production back home
May '14
Mary Portas, and Ian Maclean managing director of John Smedley, have been announced as keynote speakers for the first-ever Meet the Manufacturer conference – to address the potential of a full-scale return of fashion and textiles manufacturing to the UK.
Organised by Kate Hills, founder of Make it British, 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.
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.
Alongside Kate Hills, broadcaster and award-winning journalist, Lucy Siegle, will chair a series of panel discussions.
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.
Kate Hills, founder of Make it British, the campaign for the return of UK manufacturing, said: “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.  Meet the Manufacturer aims to change this, introduce brands to manufacturers and share knowledge and advice, so that UK fashion and textile manufacturing does indeed return.”
Partners and sponsors for Meet the Manufacturer, include Design Trust, Just Style, Fashion Angel, Loft and Move-it. 


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