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A Celebration of the Best of British at Northern Clothing & Textile Network


The UK textile manufacturing industry contributes £9bn to the economy and is rich in innovation and brimming with the best in British talent.

David Reay, Chair of Northern Clothing & Textile Network said: “The NE region has much to offer the clothing & textile industry, both in terms of design and manufacture. Many of the Northern Clothing & Textile Network delegates are building businesses in the region. These businesses are important for the re-establishment of textile manufacturing in the NE and contribute to the UK industry as a whole.”

Kate Hills told the audience: “There is a growing interest in making in the UK but often a disconnect between designer and manufacturer. I always encourage any brand that wants to make in Britain to get out there and visit the factory. One of the advantages of making locally is that you can meet face to face and build a great relationship with the people making your clothes.”

northern textile made in britain

Simon Middleton, founder of the Shackleton menswear brand and currently brand adviser to the Harris Tweed Authority, told the story of the iconic Hebridean cloth industry, and drew out key lessons for modern brands.

Simon emphasised the unique provenance of Harris Tweed, which is made only by hand on the islands of the Outer Hebrides, as the secret to the worldwide fame of the cloth.

“All true great brands, new or old, have four things in common. They are authentic, distinctive, emotionally compelling, and always striving for excellence. Harris Tweed of course has all those qualities in every fibre of the cloth.”

“These are exciting times for British clothing and textile design and manufacture and here in the NE we have so much talent,” said David. “All of us at Northern Clothing & Textile Network are working towards a common goal; to put NE design, NE manufacture & NE brands on the industry map.”

Northern Clothing & Textile Network is partnership venture between David Reay & Design Network North.




Related articles:

If You Can Make It Anywhere – Make It British

Strategic Roadmapping – Northern Clothing & Textile Network

Turning the Corner – Bringing Manufacturing Back Home

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