Scottish Textile News
NU BLVCK suddenly are everywhere, and are causing quite a stir. Think fashion-forward design, artisan craft, and luxury materials: these principles are at the heart of Scotland’s newest brand to hit the fashion scene.
Flipping the conventional fashion model on it’s head, co-founders Becca and Andrew are disrupting the marketplace with their made-to-order approach, connecting designers and artisans like never before in order to create limited edition capsule collections.
“We plan to launch six limited edition collections in the next year, each collection a collaboration with different designers and artisans – creating something truly unique. Creative collaboration is at the heart of everything we do.” – Becca Flory, co-founder.
The daring duo’s debut collection, designed by emerging Edinburgh design whiz Ruth Williams, was met with great acclaim from customers worldwide; with pre-orders leading to the success of a crowdfunding campaign to support NU BLVCK in funding it’s new online platform.
The most popular piece in the collection was a chunky lambs wool scarf, crafted by fellow STLA member Di Gilpin. This beautiful piece incorporates a soft leather loop, a contemporary twist on a classic staple.
“The scarf typifies the NU BLVCK model,” Andrew Vincent explains. “We wanted to bring Ruth’s designs to life by collaborating with one of the best hand knitters in Scotland.”
Alongside designing and making her own creations for her label, Di hand-knits all sorts; from 70s-style trousers to one-off cardigans for world-renowned fashion houses. Di’s high profile collaborations have included the likes of Kanye West and Nike.
“As a premium brand, NU BLVCK strives to source the best local materials to ensure the highest quality – thankfully this is something Di could advise on, so we worked together to source the highest quality yarn.
Provenance is a word used far too readily we think, but when you turn up at Di’s studio and find a sheep’s fleece on her worktop then you really understand the meaning of the word.” says Becca.
Building on the buzz from their August launch, NU BLVCK have recently launched a second collection. Collaborating with another up and coming Scottish designer, Hannah Louise Baxter, the Icon Revived collection campaign shots were released this week. The 100% silk pieces in the collection are printed and hand-rolled in Edinburgh within a mile of each other, through collaborations with BeFab Be Creative and Kalopsia Collective.
NU BLVCK aim to build a global brand, taking their approach to all corners of the globe, discovering and lifting up new designers and artisans passionate for their craft along the way. Check them out here.
The current funding package for skills development support for the textiles sector (delivered by the Scottish Textiles Skills Partnership) comes to an end in July 2017. Working with its partners and the funding bodies, the STLA is contributing to the development of a new Skills Action Plan for 2017-20. As part of this process, it is critical that we gather the views of the industry to inform and shape this new Plan.
With increasing competition for an ever decreasing funding resource, we need to make sure that the textile sector has a strong voice and that we can provide robust evidence of industry need. We are therefore asking for your support to ensure that the new Skills Action Plan accurately reflects the needs of the sector.
We have scheduled a programme of Regional Industry meetings as an opportunity to share some of the achievements from the current project but more importantly to discuss the key skills challenges which should be included in the new Plan.
These meetings will take place as follows:
Glasgow – 10.30am, 23 November, Glasgow Clyde College (Cardonald Campus)
Inverness – 11am, 29 November, Highlands & Islands Enterprise office
Hawick – 11am, 2 December, Borders Textile Towerhouse
For more information and to register your attendance please visit: www.textileskills.com/employerconsultations
We will also shortly be issuing an Employer Skills Survey. This comprehensive review of the skill needs of the fashion, textile and leather industry in Scotland will gather robust evidence which will:
- build a profile of the current and future workforce
- reflect sectoral changes since the last industry survey was undertaken in 2013
- identify the key skill challenges facing the sector now and over the next 3-5 years
The information you provide is critical to helping us shape the development of the new Skills Action Plan for the textiles and leather industry in Scotland which will place the skill needs of industry at its very core.
The Skills Action Plan will then be put forward to the relevant Scottish Government agencies to secure the funding necessary to deliver the skills and workforce development interventions we as an industry need to create a world class workforce.
If you require any further information please contact Fiona Kennedy at FKennedy@glasgowclyde.ac.uk
Buyer Inward Visits – as part of our customer engagement programme, we now have a number of inward visits planned from buyers/specifiers so we wanted to give you a notice of the inward visits currently being planned over the next 6 months.
Please note that the visit schedules are based around the needs and interests of the individual buyer and Scottish Enterprise direct them initially to the STLA website www.stla.uk.com/find-a-product for them to select the Scottish companies that they wish to meet with/visit so it is worth updating/adding your company details as first impressions really count!!!….and of course if you aren’t a member you can join online right here.
Scotland, Sequins & Social Media, a Fashion Foundry Designer Talk with Samantha Paton, Isolated Heroes
Wednesday 28 September 2016, 10.30am – 12.00 pm
Project Room, South Block, 60-64 Osborne St, Glasgow, G1 5QH.
Scotland, Sequins & Social Media is a designer talk by Samantha Paton of Isolated Heroes. Fashion designers and associated businesses are invited to come hear the story of the brand:
…their latest samples will also be on display for your perusal!
Book your free space here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/fashion-foundry-designer-talk-with-isolated-heroes-tickets-27723880874
Introducing the 3rd year of the fashion awards that celebrates the online world of fashion.
Over the years the online fashion market has grown considerably, with most consumers now opting to go online to find the latest trends and buy their top fashion picks at the touch of a button.
We wanted to celebrate the digital world of fashion and recognise how online platforms and digital interaction has given fashionistas everywhere, a more direct access to the industry.
These online fashion awards celebrate the digital world of fashion and the top companies, designers, bloggers, entrepreneurs and retailers who are leading the way in the online market.
We now welcome entries into this year’s awards with the entry deadline being, Thursday, October 6, 2016. All entries can be submitted easily by completing the online submission form.
For more information on how to enter or attend the awards please contact Lyndsay Wilson on 0141 302 7319 or by emailing Lyndsay.firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday 24 August 2016, 14:00 – 16:00
Project Room, South Block 60-64 Osborne St, G1 5QH
In this practical workshop, Lisa Moncur will help you understand how you can make money from your fashion or fashion accessories business before you make your prototype.
Attendees of the workshop will be asked to consider:
Book your free ticket here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/fashion-foundry-presents-costing-your-work-with-lisa-moncur-tickets-26825970199
This workshop is free and booking is essential.
Lisa Moncur has over 25 years experience in the fashion industry. With an employment background of mostly product development for high street stores such as Marks and Spencer, Lisa now works with new and established designers helping them create excellent product within cost and helping them make money from their businesses by offering practical advice.
Thursday 8 September 2016 – Westerwood Hotel, Cumbernauld.
Join 400 manufacturing professionals a this highly-prestigious, national event which will help shape the vision for the future of Scottish manufacturing. The conference will bring together the ‘who’s who’ in manufacturing – mixing the practical and the inspirational to help us all move Scotland’s manufacturing industry from where it is now, to where it needs to be.
You will leave inspired, invigorated and empowered with ideas, knowledge, tools and networks to make a step-change in your business.
Visit the website to ﬁnd out more and book your place: www.smas2016.co.uk
Meet up at the Export Hub for expert advice on how to sell overseas and which markets offer the greatest potential. Hear from experienced exporters and get one-to-one business support.
Your business will be able to access free export advice this summer when the Exporting is GREAT tour makes its second visit to Scotland.
Meet one-to-one with qualified experts
The Export Hub will help you discover which international markets need your products or services, and where the best opportunities are. Grab some time away from the office to come and chat with trade and market experts.
Get practical advice on all aspects of doing business overseas, including:
You can now book our free seminars onboard the Export Hub as it tours Scotland.
Book an export seminar near you.
Taking your business beyond the domestic market may be easier than you might think. Small and medium enterprises with a track record of innovation are more likely to export and prosper. Get the essentials on how to enter new markets and find out if you need to develop or adapt your products or services for export with our help:
Full details here
Love Paisley, Scotland, fashion or textiles? In association with Renfrewshire Council, we would like to invite you to PaisleyMake: A heritage-led festival of makers creativity in Paisley from Wednesday 31st August – Saturday 3rd September within Paisley Abbey.
Join us for VIP speaker and Q&A sessions with a unique line-up of internationally recognised industry and textile professionals each bringing their own expertise to INSPIRE and IGNITE the spirit of entrepreneurship in Paisley.
Speakers so far include: Penny Martin, founding editor of The Gentlewoman magazine, James Lang, Director at Renfrewshire and Paisley’s very own Scottish Leather Group, Andy McGeoch, CEO and Marion Peckett, Head of Womenswear at Scottish fashion chain M&Co, Mark Hogarth, Creative Director at three times Scottish Fashion Award winner Harris Tweed Hebrides, Art-lover and retail buying guru David Mullane of W2 store, and Dr Dan Coughlan, Curator of Textiles at Paisley Museum and Art Galleries.
Network in the beautiful Abbey and cloister Café, browse the Scotland Re:Designed curated exhibition and shop showcasing over 20 local industry and makers within the tapestry of Scottish fashion, textiles and design talent including MYB Textiles, Scottish Leather Group, McRostie’s of Glasgow, Rebecca Torres, Siobhan Mackenzie Kilts, Elizabeth Martin Tweed, Kerrie Aldo and guests Fashion Foundry and InCube, and visit and tour the collections in the Museum Galleries.
For full event listings and FREE tickets please visit www.paisleymake.com
The UK has a productivity problem – and we know from research into Britain’s economic performance in the decade prior to the recession that this problem is long-term and entrenched. In fact, we were already experiencing a productivity problem in 2007.
In its international benchmarking study, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) found that the UK’s science and innovation system is let down by gaps in its talent base. As well as low basic skills (numeracy, literacy, ICT), the report highlighted a problem of insufficient STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) talent to exploit potential innovations.
To help address this, successive British governments have focused on plugging these gaps by trying to grow STEM skills in the workforce. Crucially the value of STEM jobs is supported by evidence that they enhance growth, and are high productivity jobs. Consistent with this, there is a high wage premium for STE (Science, Technology and Engineering) jobs in particular: workers in these occupations tend to earn around 19 per cent more than their non-STE counterparts . STEM jobs therefore have an important role to play in addressing the productivity problem, since they make a disproportionate contribution to GVA.
A new report for Nesta produced by researchers at Sussex University suggests this might be the case. In particular, the report finds that firms that deploy STEM and art and design skills (STEAM) experience faster employment and sales growth than STEM firms. And, other things being equal, they are more innovative. This supports findings from the OECD, World Bank and The Council of Canadian Academies, who suggest that STEM skills are necessary for many types of innovation, as well as productivity and growth, but they are not sufficient on their own. Importantly, other skills such as leadership, creativity, adaptability, and entrepreneurial ability are required to maximise the positive impact of STEM skills on economic performance.
Fortunately, a large number of UK businesses seem to get this, even if the government does not. In 2011, it turns out, STEAM businesses employed over 3.5 million people in the UK and generated £500 billion turnover. And these businesses punch above their weight – they make up only 11 per cent of the population of non-micro firms, but generate 22 per cent of employment and 22 per cent of turnover.
The strong financial performance of STEAM businesses holds true across the economy. While these firms are widely perceived to be present in ‘high-tech’ and creative industries, the report finds them to be common in ‘low-tech’ and ‘mid-tech’ industries too. These findings are also consistent with the comparative strength of the UK’s creative economy (which counts employment of creative workers outside the creative industries across different sectors as well as those working in the creative industries).
The Fusion Effect therefore begs the question: how much of an uplift in UK productivity could we see if the government emphasises STEAM as much as it does STEM skills to businesses, and removes some of the impediments that exist towards STEAM education in recent years?
 Greenwood, C., Harrison, M., and Vignoles, A. (2011) The labour market value of STEM qualifications and occupations. London: Institute of Education / Royal Academy of Engineering.
See more here. Original article from Nesta can be found here.
Copyright UK Fashion & Textile Scotland Limited © 2019. Registered office: c/o Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP, 12-13 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, EH2 2AF. Registration Number: SC616858