UK: Mary Portas to address Make it British sourcing event
TV presenter Mary Portas has been confirmed as a keynote speaker for the first and only sourcing event exclusively for British clothing, textile and leathergoods manufacturers this summer.
Run by UK organisation Make it British, Portas will join Ian Maclean, managing director of luxury knitwear maker John Smedley, as a keynote speaker at the event, taking place from 11-12 June in London. Both will address the potential of a full-scale return of fashion and textiles manufacturing to the UK.
The show has been launched in response to what Make it British says is "a huge increase" in requests from designers, buyers and sourcing directors looking for quality British factories to make their products.
The two-day event will host exhibitors presenting some of the top knitters, weavers, tanneries, leathergoods makers, CMT units and lingerie factories in the country.
"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," said Make it British founder Kate Hills.
"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."
The event will be held at Truman Brewery, Brick Lane in London's East End, an area once the home of many of the City's weavers and clothing manufacturers.
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