Home / News / Partnerships, innovations and accolades: UKFT member news for Q1 2024

Partnerships, innovations and accolades: UKFT member news for Q1 2024


To round-up the first quarter of 2024, we wanted to shine a light on what some of our members have been up to. From new collaborations to key appointments and prestigious accolades, these developments underscore our sector’s commitment to innovation, leadership and values-driven practices. Scroll down to read about some new updates and achievements from some our members from this year so far.

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Carrington Textiles and The LYCRA Company partnered to showcase stretch military fabric in Germany

Carrington Textiles image of military textiles

Carrington Textiles, a global military fabrics manufacturer, participated at Enforce Tac 2024, a trade fair catering to members of official security agencies and armed forces. Carrington Textiles showcased their latest breakthrough – Spartan HT Flex Lite fabric. Engineered with military-grade INVISTA T420 nylon 6.6 staple fibre and featuring a strategic 2% LYCRA® fibre content, Spartan HT Flex Lite represents a paradigm shift in military textile development

In the lead up to the trade fair, Paul Farrell at Carrington Textiles said:

“This fabric represents our dedication to innovation and commitment to providing the highest quality solutions for the defence sector. We look forward to showcasing Spartan HT Flex Lite and our innovative defence fabric portfolio and demonstrating how it can enhance the performance and comfort of military uniforms .”

Attendees had the opportunity to explore the fabric’s features, learn about its technical specifications, and discover how it meets the evolving needs of military professionals. 


The Cotton Textile Company appoints new Commercial Director

Jackie Topham, The Cotton Textile Company's new Commercial Director

To kickstart 2024, The Cotton Textile Company has announced the new appointment of Jackie Topham as Commercial Director.

“In her new position, Jackie will play a pivotal role in working towards the companys sustainable goals and focus on The Triple Bottom Line (people, planet profit). The move is reflective of The Cotton Textile Companys commitment to sustainability; Jackies leadership will be essential in implementing sustainable business practices, ensuring compliance with all legislation and steering the company towards an important goal of achieving and maintaining B-Corp status.”

Jackie Topham said:

I am thrilled to join the board of directors, and Im looking forward to contributing to the companys growth and success in 2024.”


Harris Tweed Hebrides Chairman Ian Mackenzie received The Weaver’s Company Silver Medal

Harris Tweed Hebrides

Ian A Mackenzie (Chairman of Harris Tweed Hebrides) was presented with the Silver Medal, at the prestigious Worshipful Company of Weavers Textile Awards in recognition of his contribution to the textile industry, specifically for his work to revitalise the Harris Tweed industry.

“Ian Mackenzie has worked in the Harris Tweed® industry for 50 years starting as a home weaver, then as the Chief Executive of the Harris Tweed Authority, prior to the formation of Harris Tweed Hebrides when he became the company’s first Chief Executive, followed by his current role as Chairman.”

“Harris Tweed Hebrides was founded in 2007 by Ian Mackenzie, Ian Taylor and Brian Wilson following a period of significant decline within the Harris Tweed industry. The company is widely credited with the revitalisation of the Harris Tweed industry, which remains a vital component of the local economy of the Outer Hebrides.”

Seeing the industry through particularly challenging times in his various roles, Ian is proud of the stabilising impact Harris Tweed Hebrides has had:

“Before we started, every Harris Tweed story had been negative for years. After Harris Tweed Hebrides was formed, every story was positive”. Acknowledging this prestigious award, Ian paid tribute to others from across the local community, “I’m delighted to accept this award on behalf of our island industry and all those who have worked with me over these past 50 years”.  


National Weaving’s legacy of authenticity and sustainability

National Weaving image

National Weaving, a family-operated British manufacturer specialising in premium woven and printed labels, boasts over three decades of expertise. The company’s ethos revolves around authenticity, sustainability and social responsibility within the industry.

National Weaving is dedicated to genuine British Craftmanship and takes pride in their products.

“We produce all our labels in-house in Wales and take pride in our high-quality standards, honed over years of experience. From our inaugural woven labels in 1987 to our current range of woven, printed and laser engraved labels, each label is meticulously crafted to enhance our customers’ brands”.

And dedicated to sustainability, National Weaving strive to improve its social, economic and environmental impact.

“In the realm of fashion, every detail matters, and our labels serve as the ultimate expression of brand identity. We relish the opportunity to collaborate with our clients, seamlessly integrating their brand identity into our meticulously crafted labels, thereby adding a touch of sophistication to their creations”.

National Weaving said:

“if British quality, local production and sustainability align wit your business values, National Weaving is honoured to be your label provider of choice”.


UKFT members win big at the Drapers Sustainable Fashion Awards 2024

Drapers Sustainable Fashion Conference banner

UKFT members and retail partners including Frugi, Seasalt and Primark were in the spotlight at the Drapers Sustainable Fashion Awards last month. Frugi won best circularity initiative for a >£10m turnover company, Primark won best customer engagement campaign and Seasalt won sustainable store design for its store at the Milford Centre in New Zealand. Jenny Holloway, founder of UKFT education partner Fashion Enter was awarded the prestigious sustainable fashion champion at the event. Congratulations to all the winners!


Caramel Rock opens doors to the fashion industry for East London’s young people

Caramel Rock image

UKFT education partner Caramel Rock, a fashion and creative arts education charity based in east London, has partnered with the ASOS Foundation to offer mentoring, training and support to get into the fashion industry for a wide range of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) and young offenders. The Caramel Rock x ASOS Mentoring Programme will support people with learning difficulties and disabilities, mental health difficulties, homeless young people, care leavers, teenage parents, lone parents, young carers, and work programme leavers. Caramel Rock has also joined forces with Royal Docks Learning & Activity Centre (RDLAC) in Newham to offer an after-school programme designed to unleash the creative potential of Newham’s youth. Through fun and interactive workshops focused on fashion and arts, participants will have the opportunity to discover new talents, develop essential skills, and express themselves creatively. Caramel Rock also recently announced a partnership with the PVH Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the group which owns the Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein brands, to nurture emerging talent, address systemic barriers and champion inclusivity within the fashion industry.


Are you a UKFT member and would like to share any news or achievements with us? Contact info@ukft.org with all relevant information.

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