Bill Macbeth, of TCBL partner The Textile Centre of Excellence, visited the fashion fabric show, held at One Marylebone on 14th & 15th March, to gauge the reaction of the design and fabric buying community to an idea - put forward by the industry - to reduce some of the barriers to short run production. It's widely recognised as an issue for much of the industry so TCBL partners are in the process of developing a platform capable of bringing designers and manufacturers together and help them to do business. Aggregating demand from smaller designers to meet minmum thresholds, offering a trade floor for surplus stock and providing access to online design and business tools to improve communications and quality control between designers and manufacturers are just three of the elements that Bill discussed with exhibitors.
The results? There was genuine excitement that this could make a real difference! Sites exist that offer individual elements but no one was aware of any existing provision for the industry with such breadth.
Partners will be working hard over the next three months to demonstrate a working model with real business examples.