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Meet the Manufacturer to provide platform for ‘heritage vs innovation’ debate

This year’s theme reflects the growing surge of opinion that a new industrial revolution is upon us, said Kate Hills.

8th April 2016

Innovation in Textiles
 |  London


Meet the Manufacturer will explore the future of UK manufacturing during the heritage vs innovation debates, at this year’s conference and trade show, which will be held at The Old Truman Brewery, London, from 25-26 May. 

“This year’s theme reflects the growing surge of opinion that a new industrial revolution is upon us,” commented Kate Hills, CEO of Make it British and organiser of Meet the Manufacturer.

“The rapid pace of change is driving even the most traditional brands to reconsider the need for an innovation strategy.  We will be exploring the advances that will have the greatest effect on the UK textile industry and how they will change the shape of our business in the future.”

Me and my manufacturer

New for 2016 is Me and My Manufacturer. In this era of opportunity and challenge, Meet the Manufacturer will be celebrating the designers and makers who are changing the landscape of UK manufacturing to determine the future success of the sector.

This panel discussion will bring together designers and manufacturers to share the secrets of building a good partnership with your factory, chaired by Pete Schonbeck of the London Small Business Centre and including designer Nick Ashley and Mike Stoll, managing director of Cooper & Stollbrand.


Also new for this year are Innovation Accelerator and Designer’s Den – a Dragon’s Den style competition for manufacturers and designers who are innovators in technology & design, product development and sustainability. 

They will have the opportunity to pitch their idea to a panel of experts, including Simon Colbeck, head of innovation and quality at Marks and Spencer and Emma Willis MBE, founder of Emma Willis Shirts, and benefit from their knowledge and advice to take their business to the next level.

Other highlights

The two-day conference includes an inspiring line-up of speakers who are innovators in manufacturing and fashion brands, providing advice and real-life experiences.

The event also includes workshops and masterclasses, plus an exhibition that will showcase the best British clothing manufacturers, textile mills, leather-goods makers and suppliers to the UK apparel and textile industry. 

Meet the Manufacturer

Kate Hills is founder and CEO 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.

Kate Hills launched Meet the Manufacturer, a trade show and conference for the UK fashion and textiles industry, in 2014. The event brings together the best of British manufacturers with buyers and designers looking to have their products made in Britain.

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