Not-for-profit organisation Fashion Enter will double the size of its UK factory by the end of next year and has also launched an apprenticeship scheme to help provide the industry with skilled workers.
The factory, based in north London, currently produces 5,000 garments a week for etail giant Asos’s Black Label clothing range. Factory Fashion Enter launched in September last year. The factory’s services include pattern cutting, toiling, first-fit sampling and mass production.
Jenny Holloway, director of Fashion Enter, said: “It’s [manufacturing] all coming back to the UK. We’re inundated with requests for fast-track production.”
Holloway added that the industry was experiencing a shortage of skilled, technically competent workers entering the workforce.
She described the dearth of relevant production skills as “horrendous” and said that the situation was part of the reason why Fashion Enter had launched an apprenticeship scheme.
Fashion Enter has teamed up with The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London to launch the Fashion and Textiles Apparel Apprenticeship, which is based in London and lasts for 18 months. It launched four weeks ago and covers the practicalities of production, from pattern cutting and stitching to machinery and production control.
The scheme has the capacity to take 75 apprentices, and 11 are signed up so far, all of whom spend one day formally learning and four days with their employer. Asos has funded two places for its staff on the scheme and Aquascutum, Jaeger and Debenhams have all expressed an interest, said Holloway.