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Show your passion to help save our industry

Peter Lucas

“Forty years in the industry. I moan about it, but I love it.” “He’d spend his last pound on a yard of organza.”

“Forty years in the industry. I moan about it, but I love it.” “He’d spend his last pound on a yard of organza.”

The first quote is from a machinist from Cooper & Stollbrand, the Manchester-based clothing manufacturer that was profiled in the Made In England TV series; the second from milliner Stephen Jones about John Galliano in a feature in The Times Magazine.

Both show the passion that is so much a part of the fashion industry and the diversity of talent that we are in danger of losing. As British and overseas buyers are now knocking on the few manufacturing doors we have left it would be criminal not to capitalise on this. We have lost a generation of skilled production workers so it is going to be difficult to meet the demand but we have to try. We also need to make certain the situation is not exacerbated by the closure of college courses which could affect the development of design talent.

The UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKFT) is passionate about the industry, which is why we want to play a major role in maintaining our reputation in manufacturing and design. We fully support Drapers’ Save Our Skills campaign and, by the time you read this, we will have co-hosted an open day and debate for manufacturers at our 3 Queen Square offices in London.

To help us focus on the key issues, we would like manufacturers to take a few minutes to complete a short survey at

We are looking for answers to questions such as what do manufacturers think are the biggest barriers to capitalising on greater demand for UK production? How have companies reduced the impact of the lack of skilled labour? How have you managed staff shortages?

We hope you are as passionate as we are and will take the time to complete our survey. For one lucky respondent there will be a free subscription to Drapers.

Peter Lucas is chairman of the UK Fashion & Textile Association

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