Scottish Textile News
UKFT continues to monitor all its TAP supported tradeshows (and many others) very carefully with regard to their intentions around the global COVID-19 outbreak. In the period from February-March 2020, most fashion and textile related tradeshows took place, albeit with fewer buyers than usual, especially from Asia and the US. Since then, some larger shows in Asia and Europe have been cancelled or postponed.
Looking ahead to the fashion and textile trade fairs from June onwards, most are recruiting (or have already done so) but all of them are keeping a close eye on the situation.
It is very important that business carries on with a business as usual attitude wherever possible. This means committing to the tradeshows and other activities you would normally have supported in 2020 and beyond. The shows are accepting space bookings. If space bookings are down, some may decide to reduce hall space so it would not be a sensible approach to wait and see nearer the time.
UKFT has already been in touch with Government to request an urgent confirmation of the TAP programme beyond June (which is late again this year) and to highlight the need for early decision-making and planning as well as flexibility if things have to change nearer the time. Outside the TAP programme, we are campaigning for greater flexibility and support for smaller companies which find their cashflow affected by the fallout from the outbreak.
If you are committing to a tradeshow in the next few months, it is worth asking the show organiser the following questions:
You may also wish to ask the same questions of your stand constructors and freight companies and check your insurance policies to see whether you would be covered in case of postponement or cancellation and what would need to happen. Clearly, no insurance policy can cover you if a show goes ahead but suffers from reduced turnout. You will also need to consider what would happen if key sales personnel were unable or unwilling to travel. Please plan ahead and speak to your insurance company or broker if you are in any doubt.
UKFT will keep a close eye on the situation but in the meantime we urge companies to make their grant applications (where appropriate) and confirm space at the shows without delay.
Textiles Scotland, part of UKFT, is launching two new projects to help support future talent in the fashion and textile industry, as part of the association’s mission to promote the growth of the entire supply chain across the UK.
The projects aim to promote the wealth of opportunities to young people of either working with or within a UK manufacturer.
UKFT Chairman Nigel Lugg said: “Our UK manufacturers work with some of the best known luxury companies around the world including names such as Balenciaga, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Prada but you can also find UK-made product in many high street stores. We make textiles that are used by Rolls Royce and that are up in the International Space Station, dresses for Ralph and Russo, jumpers for Chanel, jeans for Belstaff and suitcases that are used by James Bond.
“However, in order to maximise this opportunity, we all need to be encouraging a new generation of people to join our industry and to give our designers of tomorrow the knowledge of what’s on their doorstep and how working with local manufacturers can deliver huge benefits.”
The first project, called Made It, is a campaign to promote a better understanding of sourcing, production and the benefits of UK manufacturing to the next generation of buyers, designers and entrepreneurs.
Made It aims to ensure that the UK’s creative talent of the future have the right skills to work with the flourishing manufacturing industry here in the UK. Together they can continue to deliver the breadth and quality synonymous with UK fashion.
Made It will see UKFT working with five universities a year for the next three years to help ensure that students get a much better understanding of the manufacturing environment and how, when they leave university and enter the industry, that they can help our manufacturing sector thrive.
UKFT will be delivering masterclasses to second and third year students at the chosen universities and will be offering five students a year a paid, term-long placement, at a UK manufacturer.
The second is an initiative to help address one of the major barriers to growth faced by UK manufacturers – attracting new talent into this vital part of the industry.
“There are currently thousands of job vacancies in the UK fashion and textile manufacturing sector,” said UKFT Chief Executive Adam Mansell. “While there are several reasons for this, the absolute key is that so many people don’t know that there is still a manufacturing industry here in the UK with a huge range of fantastic jobs available. Right now around 120,000 people are employed in the UK manufacturing industry and collectively they produce over £9 billion pounds of fashion and textiles every year.”
In order to start to change perceptions, UKFT has developed the UKFT Pop-up Factory and Careers Showcase that will run at 30 major careers events over the next three years.
More than 150,000 people will visit these events and the pop-up factory will allow young people to have a go at making things, to talk to local employers about job opportunities and to find out about the new apprenticeships that are available for the sector.
The two projects have been made possible by the generous support of the Clothworkers’ Company, The Drapers Company and CapitB.
To find out more or to get involved, contact email@example.com.
The Wool Innovation Prize is an annual competition from The Worshipful Company of Woolmen and The Company of the Merchants of the Staple of England, aimed at individuals using wool in an innovative way in a commercially-viable application.
The winner will receive a prize of up to £10,000 together with a merit certificate to the winner, which will be presented at a City livery dinner.
The competition is open to individuals using wool in apparel, non-apparel, agricultural, horticultural, medical and industrial applications. Wool content must be in excess of 75% of the materials used.
Enter at www.woolinnovationprize.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for an application form.
Shortlisted entrants will be invited for interview.
The closing date for entries is 30 June 2020 and the winner will be announced by the end of September.
Textiles Scotland, as part of UKFT, has secured a new exclusive benefit for members: discounts on the purchase of a range of standards from the BSI Group (the British Standards Institution), covering care labelling and children’s clothing.
The discounts are available to members only and the promotion will end on 23 May. Contact email@example.com to access your exclusive discount code or to find out more about membership.
Closing date: 5pm, Wednesday 4 March 2020
Craft Scotland is seeking experienced Scotland-based makers to deliver public-facing, paid-for workshops during the Summer Show, Craft Scotland’s annual selling exhibition to be held from Friday 7 to Sunday 30 August 2020 in Edinburgh.
The selected makers will be required to design and deliver an engaging hands-on workshop giving participants an understanding of a making technique and the opportunity to make a piece of craft. The workshops should be creative, enjoyable and suitable for those with no previous making experience.
We encourage makers of all craft disciplines to apply, however, please consider teaching a craft discipline appropriate in the space available and it must be suitable for those aged 16+.
Held on the entire second floor of White Stuff on George Street, Edinburgh, the Summer Show, now in its eighth year, attracts over 4,000 visitors. The Summer Show is open to the public from Friday 7 to Sunday 30 August 2020, with an invitation-only Private View held on Thursday 6 August 2020.
Find out more here.
A trade barrier is something that slows down, limits or prevents a UK business exporting to or investing in an overseas market. After the UK’s exit from the EU we can expect new barriers for Scotland’s exporters. Trade barriers make imported goods and services less competitive than those produced locally, e.g.:
Last year the UK Government’s trade team launched a UK-wide tool. Businesses, representative organisations and industry bodies can access the tool to log any barriers.
The Scottish Government is now part of the UK-wide team which receives information on trade barriers from businesses in the UK, focusing on those impacting Scotland.
Report a trade barrier at https://www.great.gov.uk/report-trade-barrier/
Please also let Textiles Scotland, part of UKFT, know about your problem so we can support and track your application. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Scotland’s international textile exports reached £360m in 2018, up 10.1% on the previous year, according to the latest export statistics from Scottish Government.
Of this figure, £205m was exported to the EU during 2018, accounting for 57% of total international exports.
The industry exported a further £305m to the UK in 2018, which increased 12.3% year-on-year.
Scotland’s total exports (to the rest of the UK and internationally) reached £665m in 2018, up 11.1% on the previous year.
The figures reflect the manufacture of textiles, wearing apparel and leather.
Read the latest figures here.
Textile Scotland, as part of UKFT, is developing a new export strategy to enable the Scottish fashion and textile industry to continue to grow. Find out more about how we can help you grow your export sales or our current grant-supported programme here.
Innovate UK has opened a new £25m fund to support game-changing and commercially viable innovative or disruptive ideas.
Smart is the new name for Innovate UK’s ‘Open grant funding’ programme.
Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is investing up to £25 million in the best. All proposals must be business focused.
Applications can come from any area of technology and be applied to any part of the economy, such as but not exclusively:
Innovate UK welcomes projects that overlap with the grand challenge areas but this is not a requirement, as it is also keen to support projects in other areas.
The organisation may consider eligible project costs over £2 million (but not exceeding £3 million), subject to the process set out under ‘Eligibility’.
This competition closes at midday 12:00pm UK time on Wednesday 22 April.
Find out more
Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) is offering grants of up to £18,000 to talented and aspiring craftspeople in a range of disciplines.
The scholarships fund the education and training of any individual UK resident, aged 17 or older, who would like to improve their craft skills.
QEST has been supporting craftspeople and championing excellence in craft since 1990. It funds traditional college courses, vocational training or one to one training with a master craftsperson.
The charity wants to support excellence in British craftsmanship so is looking for established makers, planning to stay in the UK and contribute to the craft sector.
QEST encourages applications from a broad range of crafts and are excited by contemporary craftsmanship and innovative applications of traditional craft techniques.
Applications close on 10 February.
For more information, please visit https://www.qest.org.uk/scholarships/apply-now/
Last year in a survey, almost 80% of Textile Scotland members said that the growth and success of their business would be through product and process innovation. To ensure our industry continues to grow and thrive, Textiles Scotland secured funding to support a PhD student at Strathclyde University for the next three years to explore how the textile sector can benefit from digitisation and innovation.
Paulius Stulga began his PhD in October this year. We caught up with him to find out more about the project and how Scottish companies can benefit from his research.
Tell us a bit about yourself:
My name is Paulius Stulga. I am from Lithuania, and for the past nine years I lived in Denmark, where I completed my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering. My work experience includes working as a production consultant for the Danish Technological Institute in the Centre for Robot Technology. I also worked as a research assistant for Aalborg University in Denmark. Currently I am working on a PhD at Strathclyde University focused on unlocking the potential of digitalisation in the Scottish textiles industry.
What industries have you already worked in?
Having worked as a production consultant in the largest Research and Technology Organisation (RTO) in Denmark, I had the opportunity to explore their vast industrial network. I was involved in digitalisation projects within the wood, metal and OEM industries. Most importantly, I worked a lot with smart technology start-ups that were eager to promote and implement their solutions in the real world. As an RTO, we had the capability to help launch collaboration projects between manufacturing companies and the technology start-ups in order to drive “digital change” and bring more value into their every-day operations and make their resources more efficient. In general, I would summarise that I have worked with many people from different industries and with different backgrounds.
How do you think companies in the textile sector can benefit from digitalisation and innovation?
There are many ways how the textiles sector can benefit from digitalisation. Because of its broad definition, it can mean different things for different companies. For manufacturers, it will provide more efficient processes and operations, perhaps a more streamlined supply chain. For retailers, it can bring benefit by finding new ways to interact with their customers, for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) it will bring new smart products.
I understand that not everybody has the same capability to involve themselves into something that is still quite new and still hard to wrap your head around all the buzzwords such as Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data, but the picture is becoming clearer both in the academic world and in real world. A lot of different initiatives are being started that help companies learn more about what Industry 4.0 is, and this could help identifying what that means for a particular company. It is important to identify what is useful for an individual company’s case so that the right tools and technologies can be chosen, especially having in mind their resources as a constraint.
There is so much information and technology out there, it becomes difficult to choose the right path, and more importantly, there is no implementation guide for any specific company with a specific problem in mind.
I think it would be great to show the textiles industry some use cases of Industry 4.0, and describe in practice how can digitalisation be adopted – this will be my focus for the project.
What other industry sectors are already benefiting from digital strategies?
I would say that every industry finds their own benefit from digital strategies, the main observation is that these adoptions are taken by larger enterprises, who have a better capability to explore and implement digitalisation projects into their organisations.
Wind energy companies such as Siemens and Vestas are utilising cloud services to collect data and monitor their efficiency factors from their wind turbines.
Pump manufacturer Grundfos are making smart products and can collect a lot of data from their pumps that are used in real world and send it back to HQ in order to tailor operational parameters for their customers.
In my personal experience, having worked with smaller enterprises, it was always exciting to start dialogues about digitalising their production and how we can make it work for them.
To give an example, I worked with a medium-sized hardwood floor manufacturer where we started developing a smart sensor platform to measure their temperature and humidity throughout their nine-building manufacturing and warehousing facility.
There was also an exciting R&D project where we tried to modify older manufacturing equipment with IoT technology in order to collect more production data and link it with other operational data around the factory and create a more digital manufacturing environment.
How can textile companies access and benefit from your research?
The end goal is to create a guideline for the textiles industry towards understanding Industry 4.0 better and present some use cases along the way. Having the next three years to commit to this project, I aim to develop a useful information toolbox and involve the industry as much as possible towards exploiting different Industry 4.0 technologies and concepts.
It will be a great opportunity for the textiles sector to get up-to-date with this buzzword, as well as understanding what it means for their business and how they can benefit from it.
How can Textile Scotland member companies contact you?
I am physically located in the heart of Glasgow at the Design, Manufacture and Engineering Management Department of Strathclyde University.
I am in close contact with the Director of Textiles Scotland, Jaki Love, who provides a lot of support for this project, and could be a point of contact as well.
If you are interested in participating in our digitalisation research please contact me at email@example.com or Jaki at firstname.lastname@example.org
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