Industry experts this week assembled to share their views on the reality of manufacturing textiles and apparel in Britain. Here is a roundup of some of the comments made at the the ASBCI conference 'Making it in the UK - Ready or not?'

"There is a base there but I really hope we can use that to expand before it's too late, because much of our manufacturing population workforce is ageing. It's time to capture those skills before it's too late" - Alek Adamski, partner for UK supply chain practice, Kurt Salmon

"My challenge to you today, retailers, is that the new manufacturing revolution will be led by you. Don't wait for producers to appear, start doing it yourselves just like we have" - Christopher Nieper, managing director, David Nieper

"The fact is we can't quickly switch [UK manufacturing] back on. There are some serious considerations for the industry and for the UK Government" - David Goodwin, head of technical services, Matalan

"It's that closer defined relationship that I think is going to be essential if we really are passionate and keen to see a revitalisation of UK business" - Chris Taylor, commercial and operations director, Basic Thinking

"One of the biggest challenges for the industry is that young people do not want to work in textile manufacturing in the UK. They think it's 'cottonopolis'...there's got to be a way of reconnecting our young people" - Lorna Fitzsimons, director, The Alliance Project 

"If we look back in history, commitment between both suppliers and retailers will actually make the difference and create the value, create the return on investment, and actually allow people to see further forward" - Jonny Michell, executive director, Crystal Martin International

"If it happens that things are turning around in our favour and we can help ourselves and get some help from others, then this could be the foundation for building for the future" - Ian Maclean, managing director, John Smedley Ltd

"Now is the time to seize and grasp that opportunity, and now is the time that we work together...we both need each other" - Jenny Holloway, founder and managing director, Fashion Enter

"It's not easy finding specialists out there because unfortunately the way trade has gone, a lot of business has moved abroad. But the great thing is, there is that talent out there" - Tony O'Connor, head of design, Marks & Spencer

"Why are you retailers not shouting about the fact you make products in the UK?...There is a demand for it so why are people not shouting about it?" - Kate Hills, founder, Make It British