Posted: 30 November 2012
Scottish Textile Industry Conference 2012
Now in its ninth year, the annual Scottish Textile Industry conference took place in Glasgow on 15 November and was the best attended yet. The conference presented an inspiring programme of speakers and networking opportunities aplenty for the delegates from a variety of industry sectors.
Key speakers included; S.G.V. tecnico's Giorgio Villa, Transcal's Steve Harvey, Scott & Fyfe's John Lupton and WGSN's Helen Palmer. Collaboration was the theme of the day, facilitated seamlessly by Brilliant Red's Keith McDermott.
S.G.V. tecnico Project Manager, Giorgio Villa, is an entrepreneur who set up S.G.V. four years ago in Milan, Italy. His company focuses on design, high value product development and advisory services and in 2011, Giorgio led a group of partner SMEs to establish a design consortium to strengthen SME networks, access EU funds and develop tangible business opportunities from international contacts. This SME model has expanded during the past year and has proved very successful with SMEs and larger procurement organisations. Food for thought.
Transcal's Steve Harvey went on to show how successful collaboration can be. Working in partnership with Andrew Muirhead and Replin as Rail Intertiors Solutions, allows them to address additional market opportunities which, individually, would be a huge challenge. They first targeted the rail interiors sector, winning a seemingly overwhelming contract with East Midlands Trains to refit 27 trains in 12 months including developing fully compliant leather seating for First Class. The project was completed early and on budget. Job done.
Scott & Fyfe was established in Tayport in 1864 as a linen works and has expanded into a number of areas within international industrial textiles. It recently moved from a family owned operation to employee owned, and has a passion for transforming conceptual ideas into commercial innovations, being shortlisted for Business Innovation of the Year at The Scottish Business Awards 2012. Chief Executive, John Lupton spoke about their project with The Glasgow School of Art to create a culture of sustainable innovation through a cross-functional team of employees dubbed NOW (New Opportunities Within). He entertained the audience with gems of advice including 'ban crying' and 'employ mavericks'. Fascinating.
WGSN is the world's leading fashion forecaster, with over 300 editorial and design staff in offices throughout Europe, Asia, North and South America and the Middle East. Helen Palmer, Head of Materials and Knits, has extensive global experience and has been a key driver of yarn innovation through the knitwear industry. Helen is highly practiced in converting emerging trends into commercial reality presented the audience with a taster of the forthcoming trends. The future's bright...
The afternoon conference was followed by an industry dinner attended by Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs (wearing Toshie scarf) who was duly lobbied by STLA Chairman David Breckenridge.
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