Meet the Manufacturer underscores growing interest for British-made brands
The last edition of Meet the Manufacturer, held on 24-25 May at the Old Truman Brewery, attracted more interest than ever from around the world, with the number of international visitors doubling that of last year.
The two-day event hosted 200 exhibitors, up from 50 in 2014, and attracted over 5,000 visitors, who came together to find out more about sourcing British fashion, accessories and homeware. Visitors included large retailers looking for local suppliers, designers that show at London Fashion Week and start-up brands, said organisers.
“When we launched in 2014 we could never have guessed that thousands of people from all over the country, as well as visitors from as far away as America and Japan, would come to a small venue in east London. This is a clear indication of the rising demand for UK manufacturing and British-made brands,” said Kate Hills, founder and CEO of Make it British, the company organising the event.
“Meet the Manufacturer is now attracting companies from all over the world and this makes me more enthusiastic than ever about manufacturing in the UK. We hope that Meet the Manufacturer continues to inspire more businesses to ‘Make it British’!,” she said, revealing that the volume of international visitors rose to 8% this year.
The event featured a curated selection of British-made brands, including high-end accessories brand for men Geoff Stocker, luxury leather accessories label Marlborough of England, designer clothing company Elizabeth Martin Tweed and London Tradition, an English manufacturer specialising in duffle coats.
There was also a programme of informative talks on partnerships, provenance and production with speakers including Christopher Nieper, UKFT CEO Adam Mansell, British fashion designer Patrick Grant and Simon Platts, sourcing director at ASOS. The latter commented: “Partnerships are built on trust and this is the place to meet people face-to-face to begin that collaboration to find the right UK manufacturer for your brand. It’s important to take the time and initiative to talk to people and begin that process.”
Meet the Manufacturer also hosted a series of interactive workshops and demonstrations including hat making, leather-bag construction, screen printing and pattern-cutting.
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