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Nottingham International Clothing Centre



Full Circle -Industry Revival?


This ESF funded conference, organised by the

Nottinghamshire International Clothing Centre,

demonstrated to local textile and clothing firms

how to ensure a long and stable future by embracing

the latest cutting-edge technologies and business processes.


Key presentations   included   ‘Technical Solutions for

Tomorrow’s Seams by Donisthorpe Amann’ and

‘Re-engineering the Traditional Sampling Process’ as

well as a talk on textile innovation by experienced

International Brand Director, Eve Davies.


The conference also featured   presenters who gave

companies a wealth of advice on trading overseas

and delegates were also invited to join a trade mission

run by UK Trade & Investment to help them to source export

partners in Slovakia and Hungary”.


New niche market opportunities   demonstrated  how fashion

for the over 40’s, a niche sector within the UK,   offers huge

potential for companies that can design stylish clothing for this discerning, cash-rich age group.


The LFF were asked to give an overview of the salient initatives and projects including


Bluewater boutique, Kingly Court boutique,


www.fashioncapital and Dealing Direct – networking CMT units direct with retailers.


Jenny was particularly camera shy this day….!


The information provided below gives an overview of

some of the key speakers.




Re-Engineering the traditional sampling process.


Martin White ASDC C.Col. of Colourmaster Images Ltd.


Introduction: Where did Colourmaster come from?


Background: Garment Sampling, a small industry in its own right costing millions!


How do current sampling operations work.


What are the main problems.


A New Way: Virtual garments, what are they?


What range of services do we offer, Recolouration, Texture Mapping, Motif print placement, Restyling.


Benefits: Faster, Better, Lower Cost. Do the impossible!!!


How does our service work?




On the day I will have with me:


A powerpoint presentation on CD Rom and my Laptop.

A selection of our virtual garments which need a display area, preferably with wall hanging e.g.gridwall or a mobile wheeled gridwall panel.

A static display showing our process which needs a wall space 2m high by 1m wide.


Look East for New Opportunities

Suzy Bolton Senior International Trade Adviser (clothing & textiles) from UK Trade & Investment



§      To help companies win business overseas through:

        Advice & support

–    Information & opportunities

–    Making it happen


Who are we?

§      Government supported – a link between DTI & FCO

§      A joined up network across the East Midlands & through over 200 diplomatic Posts world-wide

§      Work with partner organisations in the East Midlands and UK

§      Responsive to companies’ changing needs


Meet the Buyer Opportunities

§      Promod / Quelle

§      Meet the Fashionwear Buyer

§      Appointments made during trade visits


Look East to…Central


Opportunities for Fashionwear

§      Buyers have international exposure

§      UK recognised for design capability / Far East for basic items

§      Looking for new designs / ideas


Opportunities for Fashionwear

§      Retail chains with growing purchase requirements

§      Wholesalers

§      Retail outlets

§      Reasonable standard of English

§      Prices in Euros

What Next? – Central Europe

§      Retail buyers to visit East Midlands

§      UKTI to arrange programme of meetings

§      Companies to e-mail photos / prices

§      “Amber Road” seminar on 8 December Finland


§      Affluent market

§      Strong interest in UK designed fashionwear

§      Previous successful UKTI / EMTEX trade visit – October 03

§      Good knowledge of Finnish retail buyers & new contacts in technical textiles


What next? – Finland

§      Trade visit 13-16 March 05

§      Opportunities identified for:

–     Young fashionwear

–     Technical textiles

–     Protective / performance clothing

§      Opportunity to meet buyers

§      Subsidy towards travel / accommodation



Experiences of Trading Overseas- Gerald Blacoe from Fogarty UK



•       Sept 1990 Management Buy-out with institutional support                            

•       – Recovery and Growth – Expansion of material purchases outside Western Europe         

•       – Accelerated post ERM exit – Targeted expansion of International Business

•       Mar 2001   Exit from Bed linen and Bathroom Products

•       Dec 2001  Executive Directors purchase 100% share capital of Fogarty               

•       – Paves way to greater flexibility in future direction                                                       

•         – Further investment in core manufacturing areas                



•    Adapting to a changing world                

•    – Global economy leads to interdependence  

      Information, goods and services  increasingly mobile                     

•    – Need to drive competitiveness and  innovation




•      Our objective is to establish Fogarty as the leading Filled Products Supply & Sourcing Operation in the UK market place.

   Leading Service

   Leading factories and systems – UK and Offshore

   Leading in quality

   Lowest total cost from source to customer

  Leading in product and material development



•      Lower labour cost allows increased QC

•      Material approval before production

•      100% inspection of product by factory QC

•      Independent pre-shipment checks

•      Selective QC on receipt

•      Full pack-down in UK



•      New products no longer limited to material availability and capability of UK sourcing

•      Ability to source materials and products globally

•      Product Development sampling in source factory but controlled by UK Team



•      Opportunity to extend U.K. success formula internationally

•      Demand for strong brands growing but limited number available

•      Expand product ranges with existing customers

•      Target new areas – developing markets

•      What can we offer ?                                                                                 Established brand with strong home market presence             

•      – Product Innovation                                                                                 

•      – Shared materials sourcing                                                                    Packaging/Range segmentation                                               Marketing Experience        



—Increased importance of product innovation and development

—Increased importance of offshore sourcing

—Investment in quality

—Logistics must be given the focus it merits



Support for Overseas Sourcing – Jim Tew





International Trade Opportunities

Assistance to Textiles and Clothing



•Supply Chain – Equity Participation


•Start Up or Joint Ventures

•Licensed Manufacture/Distribution or Assembly




•If you wish to find a manufacturer to supply product at a cost that will increase or sustain your ability to supply existing customers, or allow you to open new markets, UNIDO can help you to find these companies and arrange Country visits.

Supply Chain – Equity Participation


•If you wish to consider sourcing a product or perhaps outsourcing manufacturing, and would prefer some form of equity participation in a local supplier to control relations and maximise profits, again UNIDO will be able to provide vital intelligence.



•UNIDO’s offices can assist in finding target companies with an established local or regional client base and manufacturing/distribution facilities.

Start Up or Joint Venture


•Market entry through wholly or jointly owned start-ups in a target market can be assisted through UNIDO’s government contacts and market knowledge, to evaluate the feasibility of a business proposition and   sales opportunities and to seek the support for new ventures from public or private sector sources.

Licensed Manufacture/Distribution or Assembly


•Where access to sales growth is best achieved through partnership in local manufacturing or adding value in a country. UNIDO can assist in identifying prospective companies, selecting optimal locations for the new venture and providing primary advice on technology transfer, funding and commercial risk.

UNIDO Network


•37 Countries in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia and South America


•Textile experts in Head Office Vienna


Why China?




•Language and Culture

•Still subject to duty

• Current Opportunities


Morocco – Jordan- Ethiopia- Egypt- Kenya- Uganda- South Africa




–Highly developed Industry

–Short lead times

–Good quality

–Slightly expensive

–Mainly French speaking




–Large companies

–Tends to require larger quantities

–Reasonably developed

–Labour cost $150 to $250 per month

–English speaking

–Stable Government.




–Still developing Industry

–Very low labour cost ($30 per month)

–Good supply of educated labour

–Good supply of local cotton

–14 days shipping to UK

–Government backing for investment




–Reasonably modern sewing factories

–Outdated spinning and weaving

–Reasonable prices and quality

–Very good quality local cotton

–English spoken widely




–Some modern factories


–Competitive labour ($50 to $70 per month)

–Export incentives (Tax concessions)

–English Speaking




–Industry being re-developed

–Organic cotton grown locally

–Labour costs $60 to $80 per month

–English Speaking

–Export incentives (Tax concessions)



South Africa


–Highly developed industry

–Slightly expensive ($120 per month)

–English speaking

–Excellent Infra-structure





Fashion for the  Over 40’s –Ian Ferguson


‘in season for season’

Where do ladies 40 + go?!

•      A US study – ratio of ladies clothing stores


targeting the consumer age group 45 plus

12 stores : 1 million consumers


targeting age group 15 to 24 year

112 stores : 1 million consumers

Where do ladies 40+ shop?

Where do ladies 40+ shop?

Consumer profile 40yrs plus


•      Design Style

–    More fashion and trend conscious

–    Design style has become more important


•      Lifestyle

–    Busier and more active lives

–    Experiencing different types of occasion within a day


•      Affordability

–    Generally, higher disposable incomes, but cautious.

–    Quality and value important


Consumer requirements

•      Design style

–    Good fit and appropriate cut, to flatter the wearer

–    Design style to take account of a changing profile


•      Lifestyle

–    Less formal wear and more flexible garments to dress up or down

–    Smart and stylish even when in a casual setting


•      Affordability

–    Perception of ‘good value’ important at a range of price points.

–    Inconsistent approach to range and stock will colour perceptions

Buying Process – independents


•      Main sources of information – trade fairs

–    Most visit Moda at the NEC twice a year (not ‘Pure’)

–    Other shows visited include Dusseldorf and East Midlands


•      Most selection and ordering geared to two condensed periods of time each year

–    Spring/Summer: August for delivery in January/February

–    Autumn/Winter:  February for delivery in July/August

–    Most retailers commit the majority of their buying budgets at these times


•      Other occasional methods include:

–    Visits to Cash and Carry and Wholesalers

–    Buying from visiting agents delivery vehicles

Seasonal buying pattern

Stock sources


•      UK suppliers represented in less than half the retailers

–    average representation in any one store 15% of sales value


•      Main sources of supply are Europe and North America

–    in particular Germany and Ireland (in one case representing >50% of sales turnover)

–    others include France, Netherlands, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Spain and Portugal

–    Canada was the main source from North America with the US supplying ‘street fashion’


The product

•      Ranges are described as:                      

–    “Boring” and “fuddy duddy”

–    “Granny Style”

–    â€œold fashioned” and “frumpy”


•      Fabrics used described as:       

–    â€œout-of-date”

–    â€œdark and dull”

•      Brochures described as:


–   â€œdull” and “uninspiring”


•      Attitude of UK suppliers:

–    â€œfull of doom and gloom

–    â€œold-fashioned”


The product continued

•     Going European!

–   Particularly Germany and Ireland descriptions included:

“Stylish, fashionable and smart”

“good fabrics, excellent quality and finish”

•     Concerns over Europe

–   The fit!   German ‘bottoms’ fine but ‘tops’ too generous

                  French cut is ‘petite’ for the British women

–   Design Style: some are losing touch with the UK market


Supply issues

Strengths of the Independent Retailer

•             High personal service levels

•             Personal relationships create

•       an understanding of individual customer requirements

•       confidence to introduce new ranges and labels

•             Loyal customer base – on average 70% of customers are ‘repeat’ customers


These top three strengths are only sustainable if the retailers have a good product to sell


•             Selection of clothes on offer is considered to be ‘something different’ by the customer


Weaknesses of Independent Retailer

•             No economies of scale

•             Limited ability to negotiate with major suppliers

•             Limited time available for owner/manager for product sourcing

•             Physical space constraints to cope effectively with seasonal deliveries

•             Often locked into a supplier lead and supplier dictated process of buying


Opportunities! – Supply Buying process which:


–   is more responsive to changing fashion trends


–   reduces commercial risk and markdown


–   takes advantage of new opportunities


–   stimulates customer interest throughout the season


Considerations for UK suppliers!


•      Shifting demographic profile – more older people


•      Accumulative effect of independents buying power


•      Opportunities to differentiate and manage innovation


•      Poor perception of UK suppliers by retailers

UK Supplier Opportunities – product

•      Stylish, quality clothes with a good fit, cut and design for a 40 year old lady


•      Perceived to be at a ‘reasonable’ price


•      Sharp, clean, professional finish


•      Good quality fabric and make-up


•      Everyday wear – jackets at £120 retail, trousers at £60 rp


•      Using close relationships of customers and retailers to introduce new labels

UK Supplier Opportunities – service

•     More effective brochure/leaflet communication


•     Development of closer personal selling relationships


•     Increased frequency of range introduction, evolution and innovation


•     Repeatability of order


•     Reliability of delivery and quality

‘in season for season’ – Moda 2004

‘in season for season’ – Moda 2004

‘in season for season’ – developments

•     Workshops

•   ‘Breaking the cycle’ – issues and opportunities

•   Brand development

•     Promotional support

•   Point of sale material – information

•   Swing tags

•   Trade Fair – Moda

•     Product and range development

•   Businesses developing new ranges from our market information and support


Other guest speakers also included:


Jenny Holloway – London Fashion Forum


Eve Davis



If you require any further information please contact


Aija Gagans
Culture and Community
Nottinghamshire International Clothing Centre
Annesley Rd
Nottingham NG15 8AY
Tel: 0115 956 5900 Fax: 0115 956 5940



The Competition









The pictures above show the transformation, which was an exciting competition for students across the East Midlands.  Students were asked to purchase an item from a charity shop or used an old garment or existing garment and transform it by using creative and innovative technologies.

The competition attracted 61 entries from universities and colleges from across the region.

The standard of the entries was very high and the intial judging stage proved to be very difficult and the photos reflect the final 10 which came from Nottinghanm Trent University Chesterfield College, University College Northampton, Lincoln University, University of Derby, New College Notingham.


Judging also took place at the conference followed by an evening event at the Hilton Hotel at the East Midlands airport in the evening when the final result was announced.


The winner was No 9 (Futuristic Apron) from New College Nottingham.



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