Two Scottish textile manufacturers have won prestigious business awards in the same week, underlining the value of small-scale textiles businesses to the Scottish economy.
Digital fabric printer BeFab Be Creative won Scottish Small Business of the year at the Scottish SME Business Awards, while small batch producer Kalopsia Collective won Scottish Manufacturer of the year at the Business Insider Made in Scotland Awards.
At the heart of their business models, both BeFab Be Creative and Kalopsia, long-time collaborators, have small batch production, accessible manufacturing and the circular economy which promotes ethical and sustainable manufacturing process to help reduce waste.
Run by sisters Solli and Zoë Brodie (pictured above), BeFab Be Creative offers high-end digital fabric printing with minimums of just 50cm onto silk, British woven linen, and cotton for both custom printing as well as a range of 160 fabric designs from 12 talented British designers. The studio serves clients including Screen Scotland, The National Galleries, and Zandra Rhodes, as well as having printed suit linings for the likes of Samuel L. Jackson and the Phelps twins, of Harry Potter fame. It was established in 2012 with the intention of making high-end digital fabric printing as accessible for small designer-makers and interior designers as it is for larger brands.
Kalopsia Collective, which was also nominated for a number of other awards this year including Commercial business of the year and the Social Entrepreneur Award, offer white label, batch accessories and apparel manufacturing service “assemble” which makes ordering textiles products easier for their clients while reducing environmental impact. Kalopsia’s Clients include the V&A Dundee, Bauhaus, Creative Scotland and Kitty MacCall. Kalopsia Collective's Nina Falk and Adam Robertson are pictured at the the Made in Scotland awards below.
“Our ambition is to create for longevity, not landfill,” said director Solii Brodie, BeFab Be Creative. “We chose to work with reactive digital printing when we set up BeFab, as this has the best rub and light fastness on natural fabrics, which is important to us as we aim to help our designers create heirloom pieces, products and garments which will stand the test of time.
“At BeFab we aspire to put the same care an attention into the printing of our designers’ work, as they do into the creation of it. We work hard to make sure that every designer or artist we work with feels valued, whatever size their order is.”
Kalopsia Collective managing director Adam Robertson added: “Our aim is to raise awareness of ethical and sustainable textiles, including recycling all fabric cuttings and work closely with designers to ensure they are using products with the minimum environmental impact which our innovative ‘Assemble’ model has allowed us to do.”