Onesie entrepreneur flies the flag for UK manufacturing

Onesie entrepreneur flies the flag for UK manufacturing

Kate Dawson, founder of the Ashington-based All-in-One Company, is working alongside some of the biggest names in fashion to promote UK manufacturing.

Dawson has been appointed to the advisory board of Meet the Manufacturer – which later this year is staging a major exhibition of the best of British clothing, textiles and leather goods.

Joining her are business leaders Kate Stacey, the head of group sourcing for the Arcadia Group, Adam Mansell, CEO of the UK Fashion & Textile Association, and Bruce Montgomery, professor in design craftsmanship at Northumbria University.

The All-in-One Company created its first onesie for adults in 2008 and has went from strength to strength ever since.

Its success has been based on the quality of its products, handmade at its factory in Ashington, and the ability for customers to create their own onesie through its website.

Dawson said: “When we started we really struggled to find machinists and cutters because the UK fashion industry was on its knees.

“To be asked to join the advisory board is a great honour and I know that all the members are as keen as I am to do all we can to encourage and promote this country’s very talented designers and manufacturers.”

She added: “In the relatively short time we’ve been in business there’s been a real change. 

"Customers are turning away from poor standard cheap imports and looking for quality – and there are more and more UK companies supplying just that.”

Around 150 design and fashion companies are taking part in the Meet the Manufacturer exhibition on 25 and 26 May at London’s Truman Brewery in London’s Brick Lane.

It will be its third and biggest event so far and the only one of its kind to exclusively showcase British designs and products.

The creation of a Meet the Manufacturer advisory board, made up of industry experts, is to ensure its members use their knowledge and experience to make next year’s event as relevant and useful as possible to the industry.

Meet the Manufacturer was the brainchild of Kate Hills, who is the founder and editor of the Make it British website – a leading source of information on products made in the UK. 

Hills, who was a designer and buyer for brands including Burberry, Levis and M&S, said: ‘We really wanted to get Kate Dawson onto our advisory board as she understands the textile industry from both a brand and manufacturers perspective.

"As a woman who has set up her own factory, with no previous experience in garment manufacturing, she is a great inspiration, and her contribution to the board is highly valued.”