Rebuild UK textiles manufacturing

Posted on 2 Nov 2012 by The Manufacturer

Business Secretary Vince Cable today speaks of the opportunities to rebuild the UK textile manufacturing industry.

The Business Secretary will speak later this morning at an event being hosted in the Clothworkers Hall, London.

The event has been organised by the livery companies The Clothworkers, The Dyers and The Weavers. Other speakers include Sir Paul Smith CBE, founder of Paul Smith the fashion design and retail company, and Cheryl Kindness, development director at Camira Fabrics who will speak on the importance of reinvigorating capital investment programmes for a competitive UK textile industry.

Dr Cable will speak of government support for UK manufacturing, embodied in the Make it in Great Britain campaign and highlight specific support designed for the textile manufacturing industry.

The acknowledgement of UK textile manufacturing as a sector with great potential for revival has been welcomed by companies such as David Nieper.

Last year the firm invested £500,000 in establishing a new knitwear division which now supports 15 new jobs and has produced over 15,000 jumpers in the last six months. Many other knitwear manufacturers however, have chosen to move production overseas to take advantage of low labour costs and cope with the margins imposed by retailers.

Over 50,000 job were lost in the UK textiles manufacturing sector between 2000 and 2009 according to a report from FashionUnited.

In the last year however, there have been signs of renewed activity in the secotor. Last year’s London Fashion Week brought the potential of UK textiles manufacturing into focus as leaders from major UK retailers, including Primark and TopShop voiced a desire to source their clothing and material more locally.