eve-pollardKilt makers and lace weavers from Scotland, brass and bra cup manufacturers, silk weavers, yarn spinners, fabric printers, bag and tie makers, and some of the most established and highly skilled clothing manufacturers from all corners of the UK descended on London for the first-ever Meet the Manufacturerevent, 11 and 12 June at the Old Truman Brewery, London.


Organised by Make it British, the campaign for UK manufacturing, the Meet the Manufacturer sourcing event and conference attracted nearly 3,000 visitors – all there to meet some of the UK’s best manufacturers, factories and craftspeople to bring about the return of British-made fashion and textiles.



Kate Hills, said: “The reaction to the event far exceeded our wildest expectations and clearly demonstrated the demand is there for manufacturing in the UK again.  If the passion, enthusiasm and networking in the halls over the course of the two days can convert to orders for my exhibiting manufacturers, I will have achieved what I set out to do.


“Our greatest challenge now is ensuring that we keep up the momentum, and that new skilled workers can be trained quickly enough to address the ageing workforce that exists within the industry.”


Running alongside the trade show, Mary Portas and Ian Maclean from John Smedley headlined the Meet the Manufacturer conference with more than 20 industry experts passing on their advice and real-life experiences of building Great British brands, how to successfully manufacture in the UK and work with British factories.


Talking at the two-day conference were Private White V.C., Roland Mouret, Mulberry, Fashion Enter, Reshore UK and MAS, Joseph Cheaney & Sons, Gaddum & Gaddum, Albam Clothing, Globe-Trotter, Fashion Enter, The London Cloth Company, Tony Lutwyche, Grey Fox Blog, Creative Skillset, The All in One Company, Eve Pollard Designs, International Dance Supplies, Bridgwater College, Young British Designers, The Great British Banjo Company, Draw in Light, Holland & Sherry, Halcyon Blue and Threads London.  Award-winning broadcaster, Lucy Siegle, also hosted a panel on “what do the words ‘made in Britain’ mean to you?”, whilst Simon Colbeck from M&S chaired a discussion on ‘how to work with UK manufacturers.’


Speaking at the conference, Kate Dawson, founder of the All-in-One Company, who manufacture in Ashington, Northumberland, said:  “Meet the Manufacturer was an outstanding event – I’ve met so many fantastic people who I can relate to, and I no longer feel isolated in this industry.


“I feel so proud to have been a part of this landmark event and hope that I have inspired others to follow in my footsteps and make a commitment to British manufacturing – as together we can save the knowledge and skills that are vital to this industry before it is too late.”


To read Mary Portas’s speech in full, visit:


To read the post-event review, including speaker talks and quotes, visit this page on the Make it British website.

See our Dropbox folder for photographs from the event.  Please credit Steve Lancefield Photography.




For more information about the Meet the Manufacturer event, to interview Kate Hills or any of the speakers or exhibitors, please contact Olivia Jones or Ellen Carroll at Nellie PR on 01392 247 948 or email /


Comments and buzz on Twitter about the event included:

–       @FashionRevolution “We need to know who makes our clothes.  This is why the @MakeitBritish #MiBMM was so important, putting faces to the makers”

–       @LondonClothCompany@MakeitBritish a huge success, already looking forward to next year!”

–       @tinybirdtextile@DrawinLight @AllinOneCo @EvePollard1 @YBDfashion @holland_sherry inspirational women – learnt more here than on degree! Thnx”

–       @VeraVeraOTWall “#MiBMM fantastic discussion and tips on how to actually work with UK manufacturers @MiBManufacturer @MadeinBritainGB.”


For more information on Meet the Manufacturer, visit: Follow Meet the Manufacturer on Twitter at MiBManufacturer and for updates and conference and event buzz search for the Twitter hashtag #MiBMM. 


To download and use images from the event, please follow this link:



Kate Hills founded Make it British, the campaign for the return of British manufacturing, in 2011 as a way of supporting businesses that make their products in the UK.  Starting originally as a blog, the site now incorporates a directory of British-made brands as well as resources for buyers and designers wishing to find British factories to work with.
Having worked as a designer and buyer for over 20 years’, Kate became increasingly frustrated with the dependence of British retailers on Far Eastern suppliers.  Predicting that a UK manufacturing base would one day be essential if companies were to remain competitive, she set up Make it British as a way of giving something back to the industry.


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