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Made in the UK – UK Manufacturing – Use it or lose it…

March 29, 2011

On the 16th March I attended the launch meeting for the All Party Parliamentary Group for Ethics and Sustainability in fashion, held in the House of Lords. It was a great meeting, very inspiring and encouraging. It felt so good to be in a room packed full of people from diverse interests and areas, but all with a common passion to infuse British clothing with ethical values and new creative energy.

Whilst I was there I was introduced to a number of great British projects:

British manufacturing: Use it or lose it. With the Let’s Make It Here database, UKFT is aiming to make it as easy as possible for interested parties to locate the many firms that are still producing in the UK. They want to cover all stages of the supply chain, from yarns to cloth to trimmings to clothing manufacturing, plus all relevant ancillary finishing and processing services. Check it out here.

Made-by work with medium size fashion companies on improving sustainability in their supply chains.

KEEP & SHARE are a beautiful knitwear company based in Hereforshire. They believe that building a wardrobe should be a lifelong process and use signature techniques to create ‘best friend’ pieces that are sure to satisfy, season after season.

Dashing Tweeds is Britain’s latest tweed textile company. Opening up a contemporary arena for a classic quality fabric, Dashing Tweeds has created a range of tweeds for the 21st century, designed by photographer Guy Hills and weaver Kirsty McDougall. They work from a studio in Hackney, ant share my sentiment that fabrics need touching – they can not be felt or smelt through a computer screen. Check out their beautiful sporty tweed clothing, I love it.

Tender Denim was set up by William Kroll. After gaining industry experience in denim and tailoring, William learnt how to indigo dye in Japan and then set up this beautiful denim label in the UK.

Ardalanish Isle of Mull Weavers  – for me the most heart warming presentation at the APPG meeting was by Mr MacKay from the Ardalanish Organic farm and Weaving mill. I was transported to the beautiful Isle of Mull while he described the details of he worked with the land to re-establish a herd of native Hebridean sheep, dismiss the ridiculously unpriced offers for his fleeces from the Wool board, establish his own market for them and team up with a local mill owner who was close to shutting his mill, helping to create many livelihoods – and beautiful tweed – in the process…

If you know of any other beautiful, ethical, quality British clothing projects that you would like to share, let me know!

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