On 23 and 24 May, Make it British LIVE! throws its doors open to welcome over 5,000 visitors to The Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane for the fifth edition of this trade show, the only 100% British sourcing event dedicated to UK manufacturers and British-made brands!
New and varied exhibitors are abundant this year, displaying a diverse range of fashion, accessory and homeware products. Amongst the 56 new exhibitors for 2018 are a blocked hat manufacturer, a yarn dyer, Britain’s only natural button makers, an holistic skincare brand and a saddlery company. Of the 200 exhibitors at this year’s show, over 30% are family businesses, including mother and daughter; husband and wife; father and son, and brother and sister teams. There are 28 garment manufacturers, 7 machinery suppliers and 35 producers of accessories, from umbrellas and hip flasks to scarves and socks. What’s more, many of the companies exhibiting are well over 100 years old, with two being founded in the 1700’s.
Says Kate Hills, founder of Make it British and Make it British Live!: “Some of these century-old firms have never exhibited at a trade show before. This makes you realise just how much the industry needs a platform like this to promote what they do. Whether a company is 100 years old or brand new, most of them are facing the same challenge at the moment – finding skilled staff. A lack of young people coming into the industry affects everyone attending this show in some way, which is why we wanted to make sure that skills and training were high on the agenda this year. We’ve teamed up with the UKFT to dedicate one of the halls to a manufacturing skills exhibition, which highlights the work being done to support a new generation of talent. It includes a skills consultation area with UKFT’s skills and training specialists.”
The two-day event includes a symposium, chaired by renowned industry commentator Eric Musgrave, and features 25 speakers who between them have over 500 years’ experience in manufacturing in the UK. That type of knowledge and experience is priceless!
Make it British
Make it British is the campaign set up by Kate Hills to encourage more people to buy British and make in the UK. Kate, a former fashion buyer, founded a website called Make it British in 2011 as a platform for promoting UK manufacturers and British-made brands. Make it British now includes events, such as Make it British Live! and regional Make it British forums, along with an extensive Make it British membership and directory and online training.
Make it British Live!
Make it British Live! began in 2014 and was originally called Meet the Manufacturer. This unique show prides itself on being the only sourcing event exclusively showcasing British manufacturers and producers. The annual two-day event includes a trade show with over 200 exhibitors, seminars and workshops and takes place at the Old Truman Brewery, London.