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Boost for Leicester's fashion and textile manufacturers

Like most other sectors, the fashion and textile manufacturing market is experiencing challenging times within 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 also the wellbeing of their employees.

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

Many businesses in the market are recognising the importance of ethical and social compliance, together with remaining sustainable and having an effective 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 can often mean losses, or at worst, closure for some manufacturers.

The Growth Hub service includes:

  • dedicated advice from a skilled 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 to their own barriers or issues

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

“We are delighted to provide this fully-funded plan to help them strengthen the businesses from the inside out and, in turn, open them up to new opportunities and start up 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 explained: “Altaf is our ‘go to’ contact when we require assistance. His broad and vast knowledge of local businesses puts him inside a unique position to help with projects they're looking into or undertaking.

“As COVID-19 ripped through the UK and all businesses were instructed to change the way they operated, or start new lines, i was looking to utilise our existing manufacturing base to make 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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