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‘Making it in the UK – Ready or Not? Industry Conference



 Tony O’Connor, head of design – menswear at Marks & Spencer and Jonny Mitchell, executive director of Crystal Martin International will join speakers from the Alliance Project, David Nieper, De Montfort University, Fashion Enter, John Smedley, Kurt Salmon, Make it British and Matalan & Basic Thinking to explore the strategies and viability of manufacturing fashion in the UK.

Tony O’Connor, head of design, menswear at Marks & Spencer will look at how M&S is making the best of British sourcing opportunities while Jonny Mitchell, executive director of Crystal Martin International will draw on his extensive experience of heading up the UK-based manufacturing operations of Courtaulds and LeeAnn Fashions to reveal how UK companies can best fulfil the demands of high street retailers.

The conference will be chaired by Dr Julie King, ASBCI event chairman and head of fashion and textiles at De Montfort University in collaboration with the conference’s co-sponsors Advanced Supply Chain and Johnsons Cleaners in association with GreenEarth Cleaning.  The day will open with a scene setting presentation from Alek Adamski, partner, UK supply chain practice at global management consulting firm Kurt Salmon, who will detail the reality of manufacturing in the UK, identify particular areas of growth and the role of the consumer in driving this growth.  The keynote presentation ‘British designed and British made – The magic ingredients’ will be delivered by Christopher Nieper, managing director, of UK-based nightwear and womenswear fashion brand David Nieper, a family business that has been designing and manufacturing exclusively in Britain for 50 years.  He will challenge modern UK-manufacturing models and reveal how the vertical company has adapted its business model to deliver continuous growth, even during the recession.  Continuing the vertical manufacturing theme Ian MacLean, managing director of John Smedley, will explain how the company has developed into one of Britain’s most successful and enduring luxury knitwear brands and managed to maintain, grow and globalise its market.

Presenting the view of the volume retailer and UK manufacturer David Goodwin, head of technical services, Matalan will join forces with Leicester-based womenswear manufacturer Chris Taylor, commercial & operations director, of Basic Thinking in a presentation that will explore the changing face of sourcing as retailers get behind British manufacturers and examine the challenges; particularly in recruiting the necessary technical skills.  On this theme Jenny Holloway, founder and managing director of Fashion Enter, one of the UK’s largest and most active sewing industry apprenticeship schemes will talk about recent developments and introduce one of the young apprentices currently on the scheme. Lorna Fitzsimons of the Alliance project will also bring delegates up to date with the progress of the Government backed training scheme.

Finally, Kate Hills who founded the increasingly influentialwww.makeitBritish.co.uk website in 2011 will explain how UK manufacturers are gaining business, the strategies they are implementing for making in the UK and how they are getting it right. Details of additional speakers will be announced in due course.

The conference is open to ASBCI members at a delegate rate of £99.00 exclusive of VAT and to non-members at £150 exclusive of VAT.

For more information or to book a place at the conference please contact:

Stephanie Ingham MBE


Tel: +44 (0) 1422 354 666

Email: office@asbci.co.uk




‘Making it in the UK- Ready or not? The reality of manufacturing in Britain’ 


Tuesday 25th February 2014

10.00am to 4.00pm

The Hinckley Island Hotel, Hinckley, Leicester, LE10 3JA

Nearly two years ago the ASBCI held its first ‘Made in the UK’ conference. The response was overwhelming as retailers and brands explored the feasibility of bringing all or part of their garment supply back to the UK. Since then the drive to re-build the UK’s garment manufacturing sector has gathered momentum. New government and industry funded training schemes and apprenticeships combined with the political will of retailers, brands and indeed consumers to ‘buy British’ is helping rejuvenate the lost world of local production. The ‘Making it in the UKready or not?’ conference has assembled speakers from the government, fashion retail, brand, manufacturing and training sectors who are having a real impact on rejuvenating the UK’s garment-making industry. They have each agreed to give practical advice and share their experiences, wisdom and visions in the belief that the UK’s garment making heritage has a vibrant and very real future.


9.00am              Registration and coffee


10.00am            Welcome & Introduction – Dr. Julie King, Conference Chair


10.10am            Introduction to the speakers by Caroline Ellis, Advanced Supply Chain – event sponsor


10.15am            The Reality of Manufacturing Fashion in the UK today

Alek Adamski, Partner, UK Supply Chain Practice, Kurt Salmon


10.40am            British Design & British Made – the magic ingredients

Christopher Nieper, Managing Director, David Nieper


11.05am           The Changing Face of Sourcing – joint presentation by:

David Goodwin, Head of Technical Services, Matalan and Chris Taylor, Commercial & Operations Director, Basic Thinking


11.35am            Coffee Break


12.00 noon      The Alliance Project – Remit & Reality

Lorna Fitzsimons, Director, The Alliance Project


12.25pm           The Challenges of Supplying the UK High Street

Jonny Mitchell, Executive Director, Crystal Martin International


12.50pm           Questions & Answer Session for Morning Speakers


1.00pm             LUNCH


2.00pm             Introduction to the speakers by Anthony Barlow, Johnsons Cleaners UK & GreenEarth Cleaning – event sponsors


2.05pm             Going Global with a British Brand

Ian Maclean, Managing Director, John Smedley Ltd.


2.30pm             How I have Aged!  Manufacturing in the UK 2012 – 2014 –


Jenny Holloway, Founder & Managing Director, Fashion Enter with guest presentations from Fashion Enter apprentices


3.00pm             The Best of British

Tony O’Connor, Head of Design, Marks & Spencer plc


3.25pm What are the next steps for UK manufacturers?

Kate Hills, Founder, Make It British


3.50pm             Questions & Answer Session for Afternoon Speakers


4.00pm             Finish





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