Sustainability and ethics top agenda at UK clothing retail market conference
The British clothing market continues to be buoyant for Portuguese textile and clothing manufacturers. But British consumers are fickle, and fashions change rapidly with “indie” outlets wanting exclusive pieces in small quantities. Can Portuguese clothing manufacturers rise to the challenge?
Portuguese textile and clothing manufacturers learnt about the fickle and fast-moving fashion retail sector in the UK where buyers are concerned about ethically and sustainably produced products.
“When we think about Portugal it’s positively and it can be said that supplies and sources are sustainable, transparent and produced ethically”, said Julie Driscoll, from Ascential which organises the fair Pure London which runs from 22-24 July and is considered the ‘must attend’ fair for fashion, buying and inspiration.
Julie Driscoll, Pure London Managing Director, was addressing the conference: “The United Kingdom Retail Market & Clothing Sourcing Segment”, organised in April by CENIT (Textile Intelligence Centre) in partnership with ANIVEC (Portuguese Association of Clothing Industries and Textile Manufacturing).
Inês Castro Branco, North of Portugal representative for the British-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce (BPCC), said that “luxury was also a market worth exploring. There are brands that look at Portugal for production” but warned of the need to provide more information and be more transparent to satisfy the fears of both brands and consumers.
Julie Driscoll highlighted the main UK buyer segments that could be interested in Portuguese companies and stressed the role of “indie” shops that are conquering London and want original products in smaller quantities and how Portuguese suppliers were well placed to meet that demand.
“We’re a nation of shopkeepers, we’re hardy and weather storms, but today consumers who used to be faithful to a brand change constantly.”