The state of the UK textiles industry is hugely important to us here at Bespoke Textiles. Our vast-volume orders are manufactured in Asia but for small, bespoke orders, we use UK based factories. Make It British's recent survey found textile production in the UK was up 20% and 50% of businesses reported an increase in turnover compared to last year. Many argue the need for these skills in Britain is redundant because of low costs associated with manufacturing in the likes of China, India and Bangladesh; however, these survey figures dispute this.
Make It British names the exchange rate accounting partly for the increase in production and turnover. One manufacturer reported: “as the pound loses its value our turnover has increased by 30%”. The opportunity for growth remains, with a third of textiles manufacturers not yet exporting goods. In addition, more than half said that they are receiving more enquiries than they were a year ago, as more companies look to source locally and restore their production back to the UK.
Find more information here.
This week our founder Katie Young Gerald, an expert in sustainable uniform/textile design, is in Hong Kong for Hong Kong Fashion Week. On Monday, she spoke about her experience of working in the fashion and textiles industry specifically with luxury brands. Katie is no stranger to Hong Kong having lived there for two years from 1997 to 1999. During this time Katie was able to expand her knowledge and connections in the Far East for sourcing, product development, manufacturing & consultancy for British brands, which she then continued to do in London from 2000 until today. Her services filled a gap for smaller British brands who needed to build a bespoke product range and establish a sustainable supply chain with ethical practices.
See below a video of Katie taking part in a Q&A at Hong Kong Fashion Week: