Twenty years working as a designer and buyer for brands such as Burberry, Debenhams and M&S, and multiple product sourcing trips overseas, prompted Kate Hills to set up the Make it British website, a source of information on British-made brands and UK manufacturing.
Now in its sixth year, the website has gone from strength to strength, and Hills has appeared regularly on television and radio programmes, espousing her firm belief that manufacturing in the UK is thriving, cost-effective and sustainable.
Appearing on BBC Breakfast in December, Hills revealed that almost half (45%) of all UK textile manufacturers say business has fared better in 2016 than last year.
Seeing a growing number of requests to help connect businesses with UK manufacturers, in 2014 Hills came up with the idea of Meet the Manufacturer – the only trade show and conference exclusively showcasing British manufacturers and products.
At this year’s event, to be held in May, an underwear manufacturer based in the Lake District will showcase its made-in-Britain collections.
Unibu, which produces underwear for men and women using fabrics sourced entirely in the UK, will exhibit at a special ‘brands hall’ alongside other inspirational fashion labels.
Under the leadership of Hills, Make it British held its first educational forum at De Montfort University in October 2016.
The one-day conference, held in association with the UK Fashion and Textile Association, provided designers and business owners with the knowledge and tools required to successfully develop a Made in Britain brand.
Hailed a success – the forum paves the way for more regional forums across the UK in 2017.
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Company: Make it British
Address: Carlton House 7RL, 19 West St, Epsom
Tel: 01372 610808
Focus: UK manufacturing consultancy and events management