Sunday, April 18, 2021

Boost for Leicester’s fashion and textile manufacturers

Like most other sectors, the fashion and textile manufacturing industry is experiencing challenging times in the pandemic.

On top of this, demonstrating a commitment to ethical and social compliance has never been more important for Leicester and Leicestershire firms, together with legal obligations around health, safety and the wellbeing of their employees.

To help the sector get through these changes, a new programme of support has been created by the Business Gateway Growth Hub for small and medium-sized manufacturers. This has been designed not only to help them survive and recover through current challenges but also to transform their businesses and enable future growth.

Many businesses in the industry are recognising the importance of ethical and social compliance, together with remaining sustainable and having a productive and engaged workforce. It’s also clear that non-compliance to codes of practice and audits from brands and retailers could pose reputational and financial risks which ultimately could mean losses, or at worst, closure for some manufacturers.

The Growth Hub service includes:

  • dedicated advice from an experienced business adviser
  • a suite of new webinars covering three key themes: health, safety and wellbeing, ethical and social compliance, employing people
  • free support clinics where businesses can delve deeper into their own barriers or issues

Jon Egley, Growth Hub Manager said: “Our fashion and textiles sector has taken a beating in recent years and unfortunately this has damaged its reputation. However, there are many fantastic firms in our region doing great things that want to keep improving and move forward as responsible, safe and sustainable businesses.

“We are delighted to provide this fully-funded service to help them strengthen the businesses from the inside out and, in turn, open them up to new opportunities and new business.”

Snahal Patel, Managing Director of knitwear manufacturer, Jack Masters has been supported by Growth Hub Business Adviser and city council business support manager Altaf Ahmed. He said: “Altaf is our ‘go to’ contact when we require assistance. His broad and vast knowledge of local businesses puts him in a unique position to help with projects they are looking into or undertaking.

“As COVID-19 ripped through the UK and all businesses were forced to change the way they operated, or start new lines, we were looking to utilise our existing manufacturing base to produce a re-usable face covering. Altaf helped us collaborate with three other local firms to produce a product that could be manufactured, at scale, with the help of local partners.”

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