We are in the business of fashion & textiles. We are the UK voice and meeting place for suppliers of fashion & textiles providing: practical support, export advice, information exchange and a voice - to government - to retailers.
SOURCES is UKFT’s very own list of members, federated members and associates. It is printed in hard copy in December each year to be ready in time for the first show of the season. It includes a full listing on each company with text supplied by the companies themselves. Companies can also take a page of advertising at reasonable rates. SOURCES is distributed free of charge to buyers at all the international trade fairs where UKFT has a presence. It is an invaluable resource for all companies wanting to promote their companies to buyers as well as for buyers and agents looking to work with UK companies.
The British Colour & Textile card is developed for UKFT by Beryl Gibson in collaboration with a committee of textile designers from Scottish and Yorkshire Mills, and provides a foretaste of the key colours and trends coming out of British textile mills for the new season. It is used as a creative tool and influences forward thinking at various international textile trade shows, notably Première Vision and Indigo in Paris. Within the colour card you will find all the season’s shades matched to Pantone, carefully researched written information and supporting imagery on new fabric patterns, textures and finishes, all making the British colour card a valuable tool for anyone involved in the textile and fashion world.
Making an Exhibition of Yourself is our comprehensive guide to showing abroad effectively which is available to UKFT members. It talks you through the show process step by step. Here is an outline of the topics covered in detail in the guide.
Choosing a show, applying to the organisers, applying for a grant.
Your stand - Location: is the show zoned? Position: you probably won’t get a chance to choose, especially if you are a new exhibitor. Size: how much space do you need? Remember that there is a big difference between 6 SQM and 6 Metres Squared. A UK exhibitor in Paris was expecting a 36 square metre stand and got there to discover a tiny 6 square meter stand; 3x2, instead of the 6x6 they thought they had ordered. There may be a minimum size. Stand fittings – what is included? Music/DVD – are they allowed on your stand?
Transporting your collection to the show – within Europe, ATA Carnets for outside Europe.
Preparation before selling – credit insurance, factoring, duty rates, currency, selling terms, shipping, contacting buyers and Press.
After show follow-up
Last but not least, our all-important and fully comprehensive “Exhibition Checklist” – everything you need to take with you.
Performance apparel fabrics are becoming an essential part of the modern wardrobe and UK textile companies are embracing the opportunity to develop and manufacture exciting new fabrics. British textile mills are world leaders in the design and manufacture of creative and stylish apparel fabrics - many are now utilising cutting edge technology alongside traditional skills, unique fabric finishes and new generation fibre and yarn blends to develop innovative performance fabrics. This guide features fabric companies involved in performance textiles and also lists commission finishes and dyers, digital printers and other useful contacts.
Textiles in Action has been produced for UKFT with the generous support of UKTI, and lists key British performance fabric contacts, and signposts readers to additional resources which are available to assist designers and garment manufacturers in sourcing the fabrics they need in the UK. A copy is available below.
Demos: Britain risks wasting potential for growth due to false myth of riskiness of the creative industries
New statistical analysis from the think tank Demos finds that businesses in the creative industries are a safer investment than the average business, with more creative businesses still operating five years on. The findings are launched at an event with Ed Vaizey MP and Minister for Culture, Communication and the Creative Industries at 1500h on Monday 10th October.
The new report Risky Business debunks the myth that the creative industries are more risky than other sectors finding that the survival rate of a creative industries business five years from its birth is on average 49.7 per cent, compared with a rate of 46.9 per cent for businesses in the rest of the economy. This is the exactly the same as the ‘real-estate renting business’ and marginally less that ‘Electricity, gas and water supply.’ ‘Hotels and restaurants’ has a noticeably lower survival rate at 34.7 per cent.
The Demos report:
• Publishes new data that maps the creative sector as a whole, describing the different types of business that work within it
• Publishes new data and analysis on the propensity of creative firms to survive compared to other similar firms
• Uses new qualitative research to show factors behind the lending decisions of banks.
• Criticises the way government classifies and poorly reports the sector
In the minds of policy makers, the role the UK’s creative industries have to play in Britain’s economic future is unclear. On the one hand, creative industries are often highlighted as a valuable part of our economy, but on the other, the perceived risks of investing in such businesses may contribute to weakening the creative industries market.
This new analysis places the creative industries at the heart of Britain’s growth strategy with implications for both investors and government policy.
The creative industries in the UK are seen as some of the most cutting edge on the planet and their worth is reflected in the contribution they make to Britain’s GDP.
The sector makes up around 6 per cent of GDP- twice the European average (in 2008). Under the government’s definition of creative industries there were 182,100 companies in 2010, with an estimated level of employment at 2.3 million jobs (in 2010) - accounting for 7.8 per cent of the workforce.
The sector is growing at twice the rate of the rest of the UK economy (in 2008) and the fashion industries alone contribute over £20 billion to British GDP; double that of both car manufacturing and chemical manufacturing.
As well as new data extracted from existing large data sets in ONS Business Structure Database (BSD), Demos carried out extensive qualitative interviews with individuals and profiles of businesses in the creative industries to build a picture of industry perceptions.
Qualitative Data: Despite an international reputation for innovation and a solid contribution to our GDP, the creative industries find it hard to shake off the stigma that, in terms of business, they are riskier than the average.
Demos found evidence that this pervasive perception of risk is leading to good business propositions being turned down due to prejudicial presumptions on the part of creditors and investors.
A NESTA study found that one third of investors agree that the business models for the creative industries sector are too risky to be worth investing in (2004).
The Demos report highlighted a clear contradiction in characterisations of the sector: can the creative industries simultaneously be world leading, with growth potential; and be unpredictable and risky?
Demos found that the risk associated with the creative industries is overstated and that it is perceptions of riskiness that put off creditors and investors, leaving unrealised potential in the sector frustrated by lack of finance.
Attitudes from banks:
‘’Banks discriminate against people who the think can’t repay. It may just be in our eyes that there are more of them in the creative industries.’’
“In the creative sector, the value is linked to the individual to a greater extent. If a creative business owner says ‘I’m off’, the bank is shattered.”
“Creative worth is hard to tell at the beginning, so therefore riskier.”
Quantitative data (from ONS and Companies House): If creative industries businesses are inherently riskier than other businesses, it would be reasonable to expect that data on business survival, and failure, rates would show a poorer outcomes for the creative sector compared to businesses elsewhere in the economy.
The data analysis by Demos does not bear out the perception of risk attached to the creative industries. Demos conducted analysis of indicators of business risk, including survival trends of new business start-ups over the first five years and business failure rates as a percentage of all businesses operating. We find that, contrary to expectation, the creative industries sector does not show notably higher failure rates by either indicator.
Through in depth interviews with a range of successful creative industries businesses, Demos identified key ingredients of success, highlighting that enabling creative businesses to retain an ownership stake in intellectual property attracts finance and drives growth.
Mapping the sector
Many commentators highlight the high proportion of small businesses in the sector. Here too, new quantative analysis shows that while the sector is dominated by sole traders and micro businesses (those with one to ten employees), this is a similar pattern to the rest of the economy (in both cases, more than 90 per cent of enterprises have less than 10 employees).
Defining the creative industries
The Government’s definition of creative industries is confusing and is in danger of distorting the true worth, and potential, of the sector.
For example: 22.5 per cent of retail activity in UK is fashion spending. However, the Department for Culture’s definition of ‘fashion’ excludes mainstream fashion retailers, and the retail and manufacturing activity that fashion designers generate, from the definition of a creative industry.
In contrast – retail sales of art and antiques are not excluded from the government’s definition. Likewise production of a film is considered part of the creative sector yet the manufacturing of handbag and clothes is not.
Moreover, the government department that originates almost all the policy initiative that might support SMEs in the sector – the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills – has little or no civil servant resource focused on the sector. The potential needs to be recognised and the more government learns about it the more it will thrive.
• Government should review its definition of the creative industries with a view to widening it considerably.
• Government should boost its own capacity to advise relevant ministers appropriately.
• The Government should routinely publish economic data on the sector in a satellite account as part of the ONS Blue Book cycle.
• Government automatically group the creative industries in all its data sets, public and confidential, to enable its own and external researchers to better understand the sector.
• Gov should produce its own shadow SIC system that is more representative of the UK economy.
• Gov should work with the sector to ensure it can access support and incentives for credit and investment such as the enterprise finance guarantee scheme (EFG), enterprise investment scheme (EIS), patent box and R&D tax credit.
• Gov should work with the sector to facilitate greater understanding and relationships between the finance and creative sectors to enable lending, investment and growth.
• Gov should consider ways that the BBC can encourage creative competition in the next BBC charter.
• All public sector support should be structured to enable creative producers an IP / equity stake in their work.
The UK has a deep competitive advantage in the creative industries. With better reporting and analysis of the sector from Government, combined with a coordinated effort to build business skills, fund businesses appropriately and champion the sector with investors, the sector itself can deliver on its promise of significant economic growth.
Notes to editors
Risky Business by Helen Burrows and Kitty Ussher is published on Monday 10 October, 2011.
The report is launched at an event with the Rt Hon. Ed Vaizey MP, Minister for Culture, Communications and the Creative Industries at the Royal Festival Hall, 15:00 Monday 10 October. To attend please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
This paper applies cutting edge methodology to new data extracted from existing large data sets in ONS Business Structure Database (BSD). The data was worked with in two different ways.
• First, to establish the relative size and structure of the creative sector.
• Second, we have conducted new and detailed analysis of business demography data from the BSD on enterprise births, deaths and survivals to compare the aggregate performance of creative industries businesses to business in other sectors of the economy.
This new information has been supplemented by that provided by previous research such as the DBIS research on Access to Finance for Creative Industries Businesses, which in turn draws on other existing research and expertise.
We also use the data held by our partner organisations, which consist of some of the leading trade bodies for the sector for video games (UKIE), music (UK Music), television and film (PACT) and fashion (BFC and UKFT).
The quantitative section has been supplemented by qualitative surveys and interviews with the aim of identifying the factors that lead to success, where the raw data can only describe the success itself.
Case studies and interviews with Helen Burrows and representatives from the sector are available.
A wonderful sourcing guide and article on UK textiles is to be found in the latest February/March 2013 edition of Twist magazine published by WTIN. Twist editor Charlotte Rogers has graciously given us a link to the piece which can be found on pages 21-27.
Under the very appropriate heading ‘Best of British’ the article explores our fine manufacturing heritage which feeds a strong skill base, resulting in high quality fabric production, sustainable offers, performance textiles, provenance, flexibility and innovation.
An updated version of this popular publication, first published by UKTI in 2011 is now available as a pdf document. The publication provides an overview of over 240 UK companies involved in the technical textiles sector and highlights the wide variety of textile products available from the UK and the application areas (eg automotive, industrial, medical, protection, sports) in which UK technical textiles companies are involved.
The UK fashion industry of today has not been adequately defined, however, or its contribution to the UK economy robustly valued. This lack of evidence base has had real consequences, and has certainly limited the sector's impact.
The seminal and historic report aims to redress the balance by scoping and valuing the true extent of the UK fashion industry for the first time. It spotlights the real mechanics behind the fashion industry today, from fashion design through to retail, manufacturing, publishing, marketing and a range of other creative activities.
The research has been undertaken by both statisticians and economists experienced in valuing the creative industries, and has enjoyed the support and involvement of a wide range of organisations across all sectors.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Twist magazine, the UK Textiles feature "Take Off" appears in the September 2013 issue. Download your copy today.
The article explores the strengths and technical diversity of the UK textile manufacturing industry and highlights the key elements of UKFT's 'British Textiles in Action' initiative. The article seeks to demonstrate the breadth of support available to textile companies via UKFT and the pro-active approach UK textile companies have to overseas business