Several Leicestershire-based textile businesses are heading to London to showcase products to a national audience and highlight the region’s contribution to the industry.
Leicestershire Textiles Hub and 12 companies from the city and county will be exhibiting at Meet the Manufacturer, a national event that celebrates fashion and textiles products made in the UK.
Currently, one in five garments manufactured in the UK is made in the city and county. The Textiles Hub hopes the event, which will be attended by major retailers and buyers, can provide a platform to increase this figure and attract household names to source locally.
The two-day event, organised by Make it British, will also feature a fashion show of Leicestershire products in front of an audience of buyers and press and include a keynote speech by Corin Crane, director of the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership.
Abdul Bathin, the Hub’s programme manager, said: “Leicestershire is an important UK manufacturing centre and the textiles industry is showing encouraging signs of growth.
“This is a great opportunity to showcase the manufacturing capabilities in the region to key buyers and designers from all over the UK.”
Mr Crane added: “With 20% of garment manufacturing done in Leicestershire, we are a significant player in the market and play a vital role in the future of this industry.
“Through the Textiles Hub there has been a real momentum gathering within the textiles industry and we hope to build on this excellent work by showing the UK that our local businesses are national leaders in this economic resurgence.”
A number of Leicestershire businesses, from a variety of disciplines, will be exhibiting at the event including knitwear, leather and hosiery producers, labels manufacturers and machinery suppliers.
These include Mowbray Leather Goods, Elite Labels, Eurorose, 019 Group, Insanity Clothing, Pamela Mann, K Stevens, Fine Knits UK, MTEX Technologies, Jack Masters, Prototype 2 and Soabar.
Ben de Zille Butler, operations director at Zero One Nine based in Thurmaston, said the event will be a good opportunity to meet with key buyers.
He said: “It’s a chance to network with other manufacturers, form collaborations and leverage different business opportunities that you wouldn’t otherwise.
“Hopefully the outcome will be a stronger collaborative offering from Leicestershire.”
The event will also see the Textiles Hub distributing a directory showcasing Leicestershire businesses, while fashion and celebrity stylist, Zoe Lem, who is from the county, will be styling a selection of clothing and accessories made in the region.
Kate Hills, founder and CEO of Make it British, which organises the event, said: “We’re very excited about the partnership with the Leicestershire Textiles Hub.
“Their philosophy mirrors ours, to reinvigorate the textiles industry and provide information, inspiration and innovation around British manufacturing.”
Leicestershire Textiles Hub, funded by the European Social Fund, supports local textile manufacturers by promoting the sector and helping businesses to grow and take advantage of new ideas, skills and technology.
It is estimated that Leicestershire is responsible for 20% of the UK’s garment manufacturing with an annual turnover of around £560m.