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Make It British conference gains momentum

Asos, Private White VC and Roland Mouret are among those planning to attend a new event centred on returning fashion manufacturing to the UK.

Kate Hills, founder of the Make It British website, which promotes UK production, is organising the Meet the Manufacturer conference and sourcing event which will take place between June 11-13 at The Old Truman Brewery, east London. Retail guru Mary Portas and John Smedley managing director Ian Maclean are now confirmed as keynote speakers at the conference, which is expected to draw more than 1,000 brands, retailers, buyers and manufacturers to meet and network with British factories and suppliers.

The first day will target bigger brands looking at bringing production back to the UK. Day two will focus on smaller companies looking to launch and build British brands by working with UK factories. Hills told Drapers that the event was essential to convince British manufacturers to focus on building fashion contracts after decades of focusing on other sectors.

“The event will have a practical focus. I want people to come away with the know-how to work successfully with British manufacturers,” Hills said. Exhibition space for manufacturers has already been filled to capacity, she added.

Portas said: “The lazy shorthand that ‘British manufacturing is dead’ is simply wrong. Everybody selling anything – particularly clothing and homewares – should ask themselves ‘could we have made that in the UK?’ and ask the question seriously, because there’s a good chance the answer is yes. There’s a new age of consumerism coming where the price-quality equation will start to balance again.”

One and two-day conference tickets can be purchased at www.meetthemanufacturer.co.uk.

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