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UKFT strengthens textile focus as Camira CEO joins board


UKFT has appointed Alan Williams, CEO of global textile group Camira, to the board to help steer the association’s increased focus on textiles, manufacturing and innovation.

Camira CEO Alan Williams

Alan Williams said: “I’m delighted to have joined the board of UKFT. This is a fantastic industry body which has a superb track record of driving progress and innovation in the fashion and textiles sector. I’m especially looking forward to developing sustainable skills in the sector, promoting manufacturing best practice and continuing to deliver on the broad sustainability agenda.”

His appointment comes as UKFT has extended its activities and reach within the textile industry, running both the Sustainability in UK Textiles and Weaving conferences, the popular Textile Forum trade show and key promotions for the sector at international trade shows such as Première Vision, Milano Unica and Heimtextil.

Most recently, UKFT has been delighted to secure increased support for fashion and textile manufacturers through the government’s Energy Bill Relief Scheme. UKFT also runs the Young Textile Technician Fund, which designed to allow businesses across the UK to train their young textile technicians, predominantly in weaving positions, and UKFT Futures, a new platform designed to showcase careers and opportunities in the industry.

Alan is responsible for the leadership, strategic direction and executive management of global textile design and manufacturing company Camira Group. He gained a Masters degree in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at Newcastle University, before beginning his professional career as a Process Engineer at the global electronics company Philips. He then moved to construction materials company, Owens Corning, to become Operations Leader, before joining Camira’s predecessor Interface Fabrics in 2004. Quickly promoted to the position of Operations Director, Alan joined the main board in 2005 and was part of the team which completed the management buyout from Interface to set up Camira in 2006.

For the past two decades he has been responsible for establishing Camira as a centre of manufacturing excellence, a leader in textile sustainability, and the name behind fabrics which are used by millions of people every day, on busy public transport and in a wide range of commercial interior settings. He has been instrumental in several company acquisitions to extend Camira’s vertical manufacturing capabilities, develop new technologies, and enter new markets and geographies. He became COO in 2020 and CEO in 2021.

Nigel Lugg, chair of UKFT, said: “We are delighted to welcome Alan Williams to the UKFT board, who will be instrumental in helping us ensure our industry remains high on the government agenda. Alan brings a fantastic insight into the textile sector, as well as the skills and innovation required to maintain the UK’s position on a global stage.”

“We believe these areas will be critical for the UK fashion and textile industry’s economic growth in the years to come.”