Ian Laird to chair the Scottish textile Industry Leadership Group (ILG)
He replaces Simon Cotton, who stepped down as he left his role as CEO of Johnstons of Elgin.
The ILG reflects the size and diversity of the textile industry in Scotland. It exists to create a broad strategy for the industry in Scotland and acts as an interface between the industry and government.
The ILG meets quarterly to discuss, develop and progress the wider industry’s ambitions.
In addition to the main ILG, there are smaller dedicated ILG work groups focused on our key strategic areas: export, sustainability and skills. Ian will head up the working group for sustainability.
Ian said: “I have been involved for the ILG for several years so it is an honour to chair the group. I deeply believe in the importance of Scottish textiles – both in terms of the impact of the products we produce have on the international marketplace and the employment we generate in Scotland and beyond. While individual companies look to be successful in their own right, we recognise there are areas such as sustainability, skills and exports which require greater co-ordination and collaboration that is important for the longer term health of the industry.
“In particular, there are real opportunities at the moment to leverage the strong academic base in Scotland and build on the rich heritage of skills, as well as an eagerness for people to retrain.”
Adam Mansell, CEO of UKFT Scotland and UKFT, said: “We are very pleased that Ian agreed to take up this role at a time when pioneering sustainability practices, raising the skills of our sector and championing Scottish textile exports has never been more important. I look forward to working with him closely to ensure we create the very best environment for the sector to thrive in the years to come.”
About Ian Laird
For the last 11 years Ian Laird has been the Chief Executive of Alex Begg who are leaders in the design and supply of responsibly crafted woven and knitted cashmere products.
Based in Scotland with manufacturing sites in Ayr and Hawick the company supplies several of the worlds most prestigious luxury brands in addition to making for its own brand www.beggxco.com.
Ian believes in the importance of business making a positive contribution beyond the products that they produce. The business has had a strong focus on its responsible practices from developing traceability of materials across supply chains, through development of skills and creating positive work environments to undertaking activities to reduce carbon impact.
Prior to working within textiles, Ian had a number of general management roles in businesses where product leadership linked to manufacturing capability was vitally important. This ranged from food products with companies such as Mars to luxury yachts at Fairline and engineered systems at Lewmar and NiTech.
Ian is a strong believer in the significance of manufacturing within Scotland / UK and served as a Board member of Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Board (SMAS). He is married with three grown-up children and when not working enjoys sailing and skiing.
About the ILG
The ILG reflects the size and diversity of the fashion and textile industry in Scotland. It exists to create a broad strategy for the industry in Scotland and acts as an interface between the industry and government. Read more here.
About UKFT Scotland
UKFT is passionate about the design and manufacturing of Scottish fashion and textiles. Textiles Scotland became part of UKFT in 2019 and now many of UKFT’s members make and manufacture fashion, accessories, interiors, and technical textiles products in Scotland. Read more here.