Designers, manufacturers and stars of the UK textile industry were at a packed conference celebrating the first Make It British forum.
Around 250 people were at the event run by Kate Hills (pictured above, front row second from left) who founded Make It British to promote British-made brands and companies.
The event, the first at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU)’s new Vijay Patel building, was the first time Make It British had organised an event outside of London. It was held as part of the Leicester Business Festival.
Guest speakers were Justine Tabak, founder of new London-based fashion label Justine Tabak, Karen Tickle, of Rutland-based Ticklish Kids, and Jess McGuire-Dudley, marketing and design director at John Smedley.
Founder Kate Hills said: "We had an amazing amount of people here and we thought we would attract mainly local people. However, it has become a national event and there were lots of different people from the textiles community.
"It is the first time we have held a conference like this and we wanted to do something that was an opportunity for people to network but also to learn from other manufacturers in the UK.
"We were delighted to have the support of UKFT, Elite Labels, Discovery Knitting and Leicestershire Textiles Hub."
In the audience were 70 DMU students on Fashion Buying courses, who were delighted to make new contacts and meet industry leaders. Ellie Sibley and Georgia Barnes are both fourth years who study Fashion Buying with Design and found it invaluable.
Ellie said: “It’s been an amazing event. I have learned so much – as part of our course were have to research sourcing products from three different countries and one of mine is the UK, so it’s been perfect!"
Georgia added: “It’s been so interesting to hear from the different speakers about how they got started in the industry. There are really big names here."
Rachael Hobbs, of Bridge & Stitch in Nottingham, who was on the panel for Ask The Experts: Product Development, said: "People are much more conscious about the clothes they wear and how they are made, and there is a real resurgence and demand for clothes made in Britain."
Posted on Friday 28th October 2016