Lawyers help recruit Mary Portas apprentices

Manchester-based law firm, Glaisyers Solicitors LLP, has advised a local lingerie manufacturer on the recruitment of apprentices to produce Mary Portas’ new range of ladies’ underwear, ‘Kinky Knickers’.

Kinky Knickers is a new brand of handmade lace underwear by retail consultant, Mary Portas. Made by Middleton-based Headen & Quarmby Ltd, Kinky Knickers aims to shine the spotlight back on to British manufacturing and was launched at Liberty London earlier this month.

Glaisyers was chosen specifically to advise on the recruitment of eight apprentices that were chosen by Mary and trained in the production of the lingerie garments.

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Partner and head of the employment team at Glaisyers, Russell Brown, commented: “Of all the projects we’ve worked on with Headen & Quarmby, this was certainly one of the more interesting… We advised on all the employment and HR issues that arose from the recruitment of the apprentices for the specific purposes of filming by Endemol UK.

“It was great to see that traditional British manufacturing techniques being invigorated in a town that has a long heritage in the textile trade. These apprentices were handpicked by Mary Portas and, under her stewardship, have already been involved in creating a national and what hopes to eventually be an international brand.”

Headen & Quarmby managing director David Moore said: “Glaisyers were great, their hard work and dedication was really appreciated on a project that could provide a much-needed boost to the UK’s clothing manufacturing industry…. We were initially approached by Channel 4 to take part in a documentary about Britain’s clothing manufacturing heritage – this quickly grew into an investigation, fronted by Mary Portas, to see if mass-garment production in the UK was still a viable business.

“Eight apprentices with no prior experience were recruited to manufacturer the ‘Kinky Knickers’ brand and full vocational training was provided, as well as theoretical tuition in the form of an NVQ qualification. The apprentices have really risen to the challenge; they showed real dedication and commitment at every stage in the process and have gained tangible experience and a qualification – we hope to provide all of them with a position going forward.”

Headen & Quarmby Ltd was established in 1935 in Middleton as a premium manufacturer of ladies nightwear and underwear.

The project to launch Kinky Knickers is part of a fly-on-the-wall documentary series featuring Mary Portas in which she promotes the British manufacturing industry. The Channel 4 series will be screened in March this year.

‘Kinky Knickers’ will be available exclusively through Liberty London until the 19th March. Following this, it will also be available in Selfridges, John Lewis, House of Fraser, ASOS and Boots.




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