More than half of British manufacturers are optimistic about growth prospects, a new poll has found.

The survey, carried out by Meet the Manufacturer in the run up to the event last week, welcomed signs of life in the British textiles and fashion industry, revealing that 60% of manufacturers say “business is better than five years ago”.

Story continues below

Meet the Manufacturer took place on 25 and 26 May at the Truman Brewery, London, boasting a high-calibre of participants, including the British Fashion Council, Harrods, Marks & Spencer, the National Gallery and ASOS.

Story continues below

Kate Hills, founder and CEO of Make it British, which launched the event, enthused: “We’ve been delighted by the overwhelming support for this year’s event, borne out by the fact that we had more people attend this time on the first day than attended overall last year.

“Our workshops, which were new for this year, were phenomenally successful with around 900 people attending them over the two days. Meet the Manufacturer is a platform for leading industry figures to come together to drive UK manufacturing and for buyers and designers to find textile and garment production in the UK. There’s an air of confidence in the industry at the moment and Make it British is definitely back in fashion.”

Over 100 companies from across the textile and homeware sectors and from all corners of the British Isles came together to exhibit at this year’s trade show.

New for 2016 was Innovation Accelerator, where businesses pitched their ideas to a panel of experts live at the conference.

Sockmine scooped the overall prize, by a narrow margin, with its innovative approach to developing highly technical socks for sports, such as snowboarding, running, walking or cycling.

Other initiatives for this year’s Meet the Manufacturer included the Sewing Studio, which brought the factory to the show with a team of skilled cutters and machinists working together to create garments live at the event.

The garments will be sold in Mary Portas’ ‘Mary’s Living and Giving’ shops, with all profits going to Save the Children.