DEMAND FOR UK MANUFACTURING RISING AS SECOND ‘MEET THE MANUFACTURER’ SHOW LINES UP DOUBLE THE AMOUNT OF EXHIBITORS
‘Meet the Manufacturer’, the sourcing event organised by Make it British, has doubled the size of its exhibition space for 2015, following increased demand from exhibitors from all over the UK. This year, the two-day trade show and conference on 3 and 4 June 2015 will relocate to the historic Grade 1 listed Tobacco Dock, in London Docklands following the success of last year’s inaugural event, which saw queues around the block on the first day.
‘Meet the Manufacturer’ will showcase over 100 of the best British clothing manufacturers, textile mills, leather-goods makers and suppliers to the UK apparel and textile industry. Most of the businesses that attended last year are already returning, with the show attracting first-time exhibitors from as far afield as Northern Ireland, Scotland, Cornwall and Pembrokeshire.
Kate Hills, founder and CEO of Make it British, which organises the event, says: “Last year we were oversubscribed for both exhibitors and visitors. We were expecting around 650 visitors but over 3,000 turned up over the two days. This year we’re making sure that there’s double the opportunity for buyers and designers to find the best factories from all over the UK.”
Among the new exhibitors for this year is William Clark from County Londonderry, one of the oldest textile companies in the world. Other manufacturers taking part for the first time in 2015 are John Spencer Textiles and Standfast & Barracks. Says David Collinge, owner of John Spencer Textiles: “Kate Hills’ enthusiasm for promoting the industry is infectious. The UK textile industry tends to be fragmented and this is a great opportunity for manufacturers to be able to meet the end users and vice-versa”. These sentiments are echoed by Lilian Cowell-Mackenzie, apparel sales manager at Standfast & Barracks, a fabric printer based in Lancaster: “This is a really good opportunity for British manufacturers to get together to showcase quality work as well as our fashion and manufacturing heritage in this country. It will be an informative experience for buyers into British manufacturing and a chance for them to get to know the key players”.
Other first-time exhibitors include British Millerain, Alexanders of Scotland, JC Rennie, The Natural Fibre Company, Tweedmill, National Weaving, True Mountain, Hall Manufacturing, Bamber Design Bureau, Handfield Design, Edward Taylor Textiles, East End Manufacturing and VGTec, as well as machinery suppliers to the UK knitwear industry, Shima Seiki.
Following demand last year for more companies from the leather-goods sector, this year there will be a much greater selection, including newcomers Atlas Works, Abreption, Bliss of London, The English Leather Company and the BLC Leather Technology Centre. Plus, Meet the Manufacturer’s first footwear firm, Northampton-based NPS Shoes. Says Christian Castle, NPS Shoes managing director: “Meet the Manufacturer was recommended to us by some of our customers, who visited the event last year and said it was ‘applicable’ and ‘current’ to our business. The convenience of having a lot of the key UK manufacturers together under one roof is an attractive proposition for the big buyers, including international buyers, who are purposely seeking Made-in-Britain goods.”
Organised by Make it British – the website dedicated to UK manufacturing – ‘Meet the Manufacturer’ is the only major sourcing event specifically for British manufacturers of clothing, textiles and leather goods.
Attendees will also have the opportunity to take part in the ‘Meet the Manufacturer’ conference, which will run from 9am to 1pm on both days of the event. Details of the leading industry speakers set to inform and inspire the audience on all aspects of manufacturing within the UK textile industry will be announced shortly.
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About Kate Hills
Kate Hills is founder and managing director of Make it British. Twenty years of working as a designer and buyer for brands such as Burberry and M&S and multiple product sourcing trips overseas prompted Kate to set up the Make it British website to help promote UK manufacturing and British-made brands. Now in its fifth year, the website has gone from strength to strength and Kate has appeared regularly on television and radio espousing her firm belief that manufacturing in the UK is thriving, cost-effective and sustainable.
About Meet the Manufacturer
Kate Hills launched Meet the Manufacturer in 2014, a trade show and conference for the UK fashion and textiles industry. The event brings together the best of British manufacturers with buyers and designers looking to have their products made in Britain. The inaugural event featured high-profile speakers such as Mary Portas and Eve Pollard and attracted nearly 3000 visitors. The next Meet the Manufacturer event will take place at Tobacco Dock in London on 3 and 4 June 2015.
Here is a Dropbox link to high res images of: Kate Hills, Meet the Manufacturer logo, Meet the Manufacturer trade show 2014, Tobacco Dock (2015 venue for Meet the Manufacturer)