Conference to discuss future of UK manufacturing

Meet the Manufacturer, the sourcing event organised by Make it British, will celebrate the designers and makers who are changing the landscape of UK manufacturing at its annual conference next month, to determine the future success of the sector.

The event will bring together some of the top names in the industry to explore what defines a British-designed and British-made product and discuss how brands are collaborating with factories or even setting up their own.

Talks will also include a ‘me and my manufacturer’ panel discussion, which will bring together designers and manufacturers to share the secrets of building a good partnership with their factory.

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The discussion will chaired by Pete Schonbeck of the London Small Business Centre, and he will be joined by Nick Ashley, designer at Private White, and Mike Stoll, managing director of Cooper & Stollbrand, the largest manufacturer of premium outerwear in the UK.

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

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

The event will also host 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 ideas 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.

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