Academic Study Reveals UK Manufacturing is 47% Greener

As part of a campaign to localize British manufacturing, Derbyshire fashion firm David Nieper has commissioned an academic report into the environmental impact of offshore manufacturing.

The report which was conducted by the University of Nottingham  Energy Innovation and Collaboration team, has revealed the practice of offshoring manufacturing essentially amounts to offshoring pollution, with two-thirds of emissions from UK clothing occurring overseas.

The report also highlights 47% less emissions are created by manufacturing clothes in the UK, in comparison to a similar operation in an overseas textiles production base.

 Citarum River, Indonesia -featured in Stacey Dooley’s BBC documentary, Fashion’s Dirty Secret. The environmental destruction of the Citarum River is attributed to local clothing factories which are linked to large high street fashion chains in the UK. 

The University’s report studied the energy and greenhouse gas emissions for the manufacturing operations of David Nieper, who design and make clothes in the UK and sell online and through catalogues, as opposed to a garment retailer that manufactures overseas and sells on the British high street.

Renewable energy plays a key part in keeping energy consumption to a minimum. Within the garment production process, the sewing phase typically requires most energy consumption. David Nieper’s solar panels, energy efficient machinery and LED lighting means the average power required to make each garment has been reduced by 37.5%, dropping from 8.03kWh to 5.16kWh per garment.

The report also shows the biggest contributing factor to cleaner and more efficient manufacturing in the UK, is due to the lower carbon intensity of electricity supply network. The UK has significantly lower carbon emissions per unit of electricity compared to overseas production hubs such as China, Bangladesh and Turkey; therefore production in the UK has lower direct carbon emissions – making it a more sustainable manufacturing base.

For example, according to the report – a manufacturer in China would typically release around 90% more greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) while using the same energy as in the UK; Turkey would release around 70% more GHG emissions than using the same energy as the same in the UK and Bangladesh uses 24% more – ultimately making UK production more environmentally viable.

The long distance transportation of goods and component parts, which has become synonymous with the textiles industry, is cited as another environmentally damaging practice and significant contributor to GHG. 

According to the recent House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee’s  ‘Fixing Fashion’ report* the fashion and textiles industry produces an estimated 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year – more than international flights and the maritime trade combined.

The University of Nottingham report details shipping distances to the UK high street from the three biggest textiles manufacturing centres range from 6,226km from Turkey, 16,123km from Bangladesh and 21,694km from China.  Air freight is the worst polluter in the distribution stage, contributing 90% of greenhouse gas emissions.

David Nieper Ltd, Managing Director, Christopher Nieper commented:

“The trend to manufacture overseas has not only decimated the jobs in British fashion, but is having a disastrous effect on the planet.

We commissioned this report to highlight the environmental benefits of manufacturing closer to home. As an industry we can become more sustainable by removing at least some of these journeys to help make production process gentler on the environment.”

Another shock statistic revealed by the report is that the energy used in making clothes is dwarfed when compared to the energy used ‘upstream’ in the textile supply chain, in making fabrics as well as printing and dyeing. This accounts for over 70% of the total carbon emissions in garment production emphasizing the importance of transparency throughout the entire supply chain.

Christopher added:

“It stands to reason that sourcing offshore incurs thousands of air miles per garment and environmental standards are not the same in all countries. British retailers need to consider their entire supply chain and take more responsibility. Our report has shown that more than two-thirds of the emissions from UK clothing consumption occur in other countries.

Offshoring manufacturing is offshoring pollution – it’s not acceptable to shift the problem overseas, where it’s out of sight and out of mind.”

David Nieper has been a designer and manufacturer of fashion for ladies aged 50+ for almost 60 years. The company has a zero waste to landfill status and operates a just-in-time manufacturing policy to eliminate waste.

 Full report here

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For further information visit https://press.davidnieper.co.uk/

Contact David Nieper Press Office

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*https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmenvaud/1952/report-summary.html

 

Christopher Nieper puts Local Community on National Agenda at Conservative Party Conference

Christopher Nieper, Managing Director of fashion firm David Nieper Ltd, has put his home town of Alfreton on the national map in his address to the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester this afternoon. 

Championing social justice in the community, Christopher outlined his vision to create a ‘new deal for Britain’s forgotten communities’ escalating the Derbyshire town of Alfreton to the top of national debate.

Alfreton is a former coal mining town; the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) indicates that the town has some of the most deprived neighbourhoods in the area, with attainment in education significantly lower than the national average. (CSJ Reports)

David Nieper Ltd has been one of the largest employers in the town for almost 60 years and has always placed social justice at the heart of its business model, committed to creating local jobs and developing skills within the community.

In 2016, the business took the unprecedented step of sponsoring their local school which had become symptomatic of the community’s social and educational breakdown.

The school was in the bottom two percent in the country for attainment, 48% students were on pupil premium, there were teacher strikes, a paedophile scandal and students leaving in droves – sometimes up to 10 a day.

Christopher commented:

“This school had suffered enough. These families had no-one fighting their corner. They had been let down by previous governments and I was deeply concerned for the future of the children, their families and the knock-on effect for the whole community and local economy. Our family business had moral obligation to step in.

What I have learned since then, is that Alfreton is not an isolated case. All over the UK there are literally hundreds of communities like Alfreton, Boris calls them the ‘left-behind towns’…I call them the forgotten towns.

These towns need a voice and proper representation – I was hugely encouraged to hear Boris pledge his support to these  ‘forgotten people’ and ‘left-behind’ towns in his first speech as Prime Minister, at last support for communities and for companies like ours fighting for social justice.”

Christopher added:

“The David Nieper Academy takes a pioneering approach to education and offers a unique formula for the worlds of business and education to work together promoting opportunity and social mobility.

After less than three years under new governance, the school has moved up an Ofsted rating and tripled its intake of students moving up from primary school creating a waiting list for the first time in over twenty years.”

 

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For further media information contact:

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David Nieper Challenges Manufacturing Industry to go ‘Zero Waste to Landfill’.

David Nieper, fashion designer and manufacturer in Derbyshire has become a ‘zero waste to landfill’ company – a move which Managing Director, Christopher Nieper says makes total environmental and business sense.

Achieving a zero waste to landfill status means that all waste produced by the business and within the manufacturing process is reused, recycled, composted or sent to energy recovery.

David Nieper has always been committed to the sustainable production of fashion.   Becoming zero waste to landfill is part of the company’s ongoing commitment to sustainable fashion production and aims to minimize environmental impact at each stage of the production process.

Christopher Nieper, Managing Director, David Nieper Ltd commented:

“There is no excuse not to recycle and we urge the manufacturing industry to rethink waste and see it as an opportunity to improve environmental performance, cost save and ensure peace of mind regarding legal compliancy – it makes total business sense.

As both a designer and manufacturer, safeguarding our environment to ensure a sustainable future is of paramount importance. Our family business has always operated a just in time manufacturing system which means only making the garment when we have received the order, therefore eliminating waste by creating no overproduction or excess stock in the first place

By condemning waste to landfill we limit the potential for reuse, recycling or recovery of valuable raw materials; we also increase the pressure on natural resources and ultimately generate more greenhouse gas emissions.”

David Nieper has partnered with enva.com, where waste is sorted into streams which undergo an initial visual inspection pre-sort into plastic, paper, card, rubber and textiles, before it is further processed through the plant using a combination of technologies to shred and sort the waste.

Materials are then further processed to produce two products – a Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF) for use in the UK cement kilns and Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) which provides electricity for district heating schemes.

For further media information contact:

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Design Inspiration from a Galaxy Far, Far Away…

 

A host of extra-terrestrial and intergalactic visitors landed in the David Nieper fashion house in Alfreton this week, along with almost one hundred local primary school children taking part in the annual Fashion for Free design competition.

Children had been encouraged to let their imaginations take a journey into deep space and create some space-age fashion.

The ‘Out of this world’ theme inspired some fantastic and outlandish results, children were asked to make a textile design, spend no money  and up-cycle fabrics, clothes and even old curtains and sheets from around their homes and schools. 

Five schools took part including; Leys Junior School, Mundy Church of England Junior School, Swanwick Primary School, Copthorne Community Infant School and Woodbridge School.  Judges were impressed with both the children’s creativity and the level of technical skill that went into making the alien form designs.

James Webb from Mundy Junior School won first prize in the ‘Most Inventive Idea’ category for his rocket man style cape in shimmery silver fabric, complete with twin turbine engines. Freya Searson, from Woodbridge Junior School came a very close second place with her Martian oven-glove handbag.

In the ‘Most Well Made’ design the prize went to Molly Hill from Swanwick Primary School, who fashioned an interplanetary, zodiac styled dress from blue velvet and sequins.  Second prize in this category went to Tiana Fern from Woodbridge Junior School for her futuristic, space themed dress.

The ‘Most Creative Design’ award went to joint winners Tilly Jaggs and Erin Smithurst from Leys Junior School for their Jedi Princess styled jump suit complete with tiara, and Copthorne Infant School won first place for ‘Best Group Project’ for their solar system inspired mobile.

Emma Merchant, Assistant Headteacher from the David Nieper Academy presented the children’s prizes to a drum roll of  applause and commented:

“What amazing design talent we have in Derbyshire! The space theme has captured the children’s imagination and produced some really original and cosmic ideas!  All the children have worked really hard and we have had a difficult job choosing the winners. Well done to everyone that took part!”

Christopher Nieper, Managing Director David Nieper commented: “It is so important that children grow-up using their imagination. Thinking outside the box is the creative force that inspires design and innovation.  

 

Fashion students today need to be both creative and resourceful which is why we insist on designs that cost no money. Recycling and reusing helps minimize waste and protect the earth’s natural resources and we are keen to instill this awareness of sustainability into children at an early age.”

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For further information contact:

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David Nieper Awards £1000 to top student designs that don’t cost the earth

Sustainability and ethical sourcing were major style influences at this year’s David Nieper undergraduate design awards, run with the University of Derby.  

In the eighth year of sponsorship, judges were won over by students’ ingenuity, technical ability and the careful consideration given to creating fashion that won’t cost the earth.

David Nieper has always been committed to the sustainable production of fashion and is keen to impart these skills to a new generation of designers. Year 2 fashion and textile students were tasked to design a collection for the elegant older woman, with sound environmental credentials taking inspiration from the world of art.

 

 

David Nieper challenged students to think hard about sustainability, making them review their supply chain and discover where and how their materials were made. Students went to great lengths to investigate the source of materials, to help eliminate waste several of them choose to design using fabrics and yarns from surplus stocks that would otherwise have gone to landfill. 

Standards were extremely high but with one clear winner –fashion student, Olivia Rose Noble was awarded first prize and a cheque for £1000. Runners up included Lydia Fisher and Grace Stevens both textiles design students.

Olivia’s winning collection included stylish denim wear. Her fabrics originated from renewable wood sources, which require less water than cotton for growing. Olivia’s denim fabric was manufactured using an environmentally responsible production process, creating garments that are both compostable and biodegradable.

 

Judges were wowed by student’s innovative approach to creating sustainable collections using new and inventive fabrics such as Pinatex from pineapple leaf fiber, ground coffee fiber and bamboo.

Students had also included detailed research as part of their portfolio’s, taking into consideration critical environmental issues – such as the impact of global warming on coral reef eco-systems, the production of cotton and the importance of being zero landfill. 

Christopher Nieper, Managing Director David Nieper Ltd commented:

“The 2019 Fashion Show was an inspiration – a fantastic display of creativity and talent, what’s more these young designers are putting the planet first and not subscribing to fast fashion.

The fashion industry is in crisis – it is no longer enough to design beautiful clothes, we must treasure the earth’s resources and and safeguard them for future generations. These young designers demonstrated a real passion for the environment and showed that they understood the impact fast fashion and offered practical well thought-out solutions.”

Colin Thompson, Programme Leader for BA (Hons) Fashion at the University of Derby, said:

“The quality of work produced by our fashion and textile design students goes from strength to strength every year. This year we were particularly impressed with the way students are responding to emerging developments in society including the reaction to fast fashion – they really embraced this this aspect of the David Nieper brief.

 

-ENDS-

For further information on David Nieper visit www.davidnieper.co.uk

Contact David Nieper Press Office

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07904 257687

“Support sustainable fashion and wear your clothes” says UK fashion designer David Nieper

A survey conducted by David Nieper Ltd, a leading British fashion house has revealed that David Nieper customers wear their clothes 5 times longer than the national average* (2.2 years).

David Nieper has been designing and making fashion, from first sketch to final stitch for almost 60 years and has always been committed to the sustainable production of fashion.  As part of their drive to ensure sustainability at each stage of the garment lifecycle, the David Nieper customer services team carried out a survey to gauge how long customers were wearing their clothes.

The fashion and textiles industry is increasingly highlighted in the press as the world’s most polluting industry. According to the recent House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee’s  ‘Fixing Fashion’ report* the fashion and textiles industry produces an estimated 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year – more than international flights and the maritime trade combined.

Addressing the spiralling environmental problem of fast fashion, the David Nieper team believes that extending the longevity of a garment must start in the design studio, where changes in design practise can have a significant impact on how long a garment remains wearable. 

This means it is entirely possible for customers to continue to enjoy shopping for clothes, without costing the earth.

83 percent of those polled in the survey reported wearing clothes at least 30 times, 16 percent wear garments  between 10-30 times and only one percent wear their clothes less than ten times. 12% of David Nieper customers polled said they have kept garments for over 25 years and returned them for mending!

In this climate of overproduction and quite literal throwaway fashion; it is evident that change needs to happen on a major scale. However, David Nieper advocates that we can all play our part in bringing about change, and that being a follower of fashion and a supporter of our planet need not be mutually exclusive.

Christopher Nieper, Managing Director of David Nieper Ltd commented:

“For consumers, the easiest way to support sustainable fashion is simply to buy clothes that last and extend a garment’s lifecycle by buying well in the first place, choosing quality over quantity.

There is a massive problem of overproduction and a decline in use with millions of clothes ending up in landfill every year. As both a designer and manufacturer, safeguarding our environment to ensure a sustainable future is of paramount importance – both to sustain our family business and the livelihoods of our employees and local community.

We only source our fabrics from accredited suppliers. We are re-shoring our fabric supply chain  and in our factories we have always operated a ‘just in time’ manufacturing system, which means only making the garment when we have received the order, therefore eliminating waste by creating no overproduction or excess stock.

From first sketch to final stitch we design to last.  We want our customers to enjoy and value their clothes and have favourite pieces they wear again and again.”

Helping to promote the longevity of each garment, David Nieper uses high quality sustainable materials which are durable, keep their shape and don’t fade or shrink.

The design team focuses on classic styles that are comfortable, fit well and don’t date. They also build in features which accommodate changes in size and body shape, such as elastic waistbands, adjustable fastenings and using materials with more ‘give’ – all these elements help prolong the lifecycle of a piece of clothing.  

Christopher continued:

“This is not the first time our business has bucked the trend in the fashion industry and found ourselves swimming against the tide. Encouraging a measured and considered approach to buying, and promoting a longer lifecycle of each individual garment will both keep the industry buoyant and preserve the earth’s precious resources.

Our family business has been making fine fashion in Derbyshire for almost 60 years; the only way we can be here in another 60 is to ensure we are sustainable in every sense.  Our customer services survey has illustrated that a ‘design to last’ strategy works for both the customer and the business.”

 

-ENDS –

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http://www.wrap.org.uk/

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmenvaud/1952/report-summary.html

UK fashion exporter says… no deal, no problem!

In the world of business, as in politics Brexit has polarised opinion. Since the utterance of the word referendum, Christopher Nieper, Managing Director of David Nieper – a leading UK fashion design and manufacturing business, has been careful to watch the impact on business both here and in the EU. 

Over the next few weeks as our politicians are encouraged to vote to take no deal off the table, this Derbyshire business is convinced that no deal is the only deal on offer that is worth having.

Established in 1961 and with a staff of over 350, David Nieper has a vested interest in Europe – it exports one third of goods to EU countries, employs staff in EU countries and has for many years worked with suppliers of wool and fabrics in the EU. 

With its far-reaching network of European connections, David Nieper welcomes the opportunity to leave behind the shackles of EU bureaucracy. The business has no fear of Brexit, but instead takes the view that the 29 March 2019 offers an unprecedented opportunity to create a launchpad for British business and we should seize the day, rather than fear it.

Christopher Nieper, Managing Director of David Nieper Ltd commented:

“The public has had the courage to vote for real change, but since then politicians have lacked the wherewithal to deliver it.  Business is much more optimistic and agile than the Westminster bubble realise and our economy is in a strong position.   The best deal will come after we leave and we should use the £39bn as a bargaining tool.  

I’m relaxed about Brexit.  There is no cliff edge, and our customers won’t stop wearing clothes. Indeed, customers are buying more and more British made goods since the referendum and we’re investing more in our business than at any time in our 57 year history. 

What I’m not relaxed about is Westminster wasting a once in a generation opportunity to take back control, rebalance the British economy and put us back as a global player standing on our own resourceful British feet.”

At David Nieper, since the referendum business has been booming – sales are up, more recruits than ever are graduating through the David Nieper Sewing Academy and the company is investing in the country’s first digital printing plant for jersey fabric.

Christopher continued:

“In our business we trade with EU companies and will continue to do so post Brexit. We also trade with non EU countries such as Switzerland -we don’t see trading with EU post-Brexit to be any more complicated.

We don’t fear trade tariffs, indeed since the referendum the increase in competitiveness of GBP has already more than compensated for any tariffs we would anticipate. British goods have become more competitive in Europe and we’re using the extra margin to reduce our EU prices and increase our advertising to build more EU trade.”

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For further media information and to arrange interviews contact:

David Nieper Press Office

[email protected]

07904 257687

 

 

HRH The Countess of Wessex Officially Opens the David Nieper Academy

HRH The Countess of Wessex was welcomed to Alfreton in Derbyshire today, as a crowd of over one thousand people gathered to greet her on her official visit to open David Nieper Academy and take a tour of the David Nieper fashion house.

The Countess was welcomed to the Academy by Headteacher, Dr Kathryn Hobbs, Chair of Trustees, Christopher Nieper, employer partners, teaching staff and students.

The Academy, formerly known as Alfreton Grange and Mortimer Wilson has been at the heart of the Alfreton community since the 1930s and recently started a new chapter in its history, when David Nieper Education Trust took over the governance of the school in September 2016.  Since then, the school has moved into a brand new building and doubled student numbers.

Dr Kathryn Hobbs, Headteacher David Nieper Academy commented:

“What an exciting time our students have had today!  We would like to thank The Countess on behalf of everyone at the school for taking the time to visit and officially open our Academy.

This visit marks a real milestone in the history of our school, which has been on an incredible journey striving to become a school of which the whole community can be proud.

   

The visit by The Countess has made this an occasion that all of our students will remember and cherish for years to come.”

The Countess made a second stop in Alfreton at the David Nieper fashion house, where she was given a tour of the sewing rooms and presented with a gift by the company.

The Countess is Patron of the London College of Fashion and also works to support the Campaign for Wool with the Prince of Wales; The Countess also supports many prominent children’s charities including NSPCC and the Wessex Youth Trust established with her husband the Earl of Wessex in 1999

Christopher Nieper, Managing Director of David Nieper Ltd and Chair of Trustees at the David Nieper Academy commented:

“It has been a great privilege to receive The Countess at both our Academy and the fashion house today. The David Nieper Education Trust was established to forge closer links between business and education, giving children a privileged connection with local employers and a career enriched curriculum.

We are incredibly proud of all the teaching staff, students, employer partners and also staff from our own business who have worked so hard to make the Academy such a success.

We are grateful to The Countess for her support and endeavour to continue our work to ensure that all young people have equal access to good education regardless of where they live.”

 

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For further information on David Nieper visit https://www.davidnieper.co.uk/

For further information on David Nieper Academy visit https://davidnieper.academy/

For press information and photography contact:

David Nieper Press Office, [email protected] 07904 257687

 

Year 7 Student Challenges David Nieper Design Team

The team at David Nieper fashion house in Derbyshire is challenged every season to come up with a new collection of luxury styles for discerning customers all over the world. However, this season the team was tasked with one of their biggest design challenges to date, when they were asked to redesign and reconstruct a school uniform for a Year 7 student, starting at the David Nieper Academy. 

Laura Worthington measuring up for Libby’s new uniform.

Libby Whitehouse, age 11 suffers from a Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) which means she is hypersensitive to wearing clothes and wouldn’t normally be able to tolerate something as restrictive as a school uniform.

David Nieper, Managing Director, Christopher Nieper challenged the grading team to come up with a design solution that worked for Libby so she felt as comfortable and smart in her school uniform as her classmates.

SPD is a neurophysiological condition where the brain and nervous system have trouble processing or integrating stimulus. It is common for children with SPD to be intolerant to textures and often they are not be able to wear certain fabrics, or have to wear clothes inside out to reverse the seams.

Libby’s mum, Sally Whitehouse commented:

“It’s daunting for any child to start a brand new school, but for Libby because of her SPD we were worried that the whole experience would be overwhelming, we knew Libby’s main concern would be her uniform. She was dreading wearing a shirt, tie and blazer as she knew the sensations would be unbearable, but at the same time she was adamant she wanted to be the same as everyone else.

Alison and her team have been so supportive in creating a uniform that is just right for Libby – it has made starting a new school so much easier.”

It is the job of the David Nieper grading team to ensure that clothes are made to be the perfect fit. So, after spending time with Libby and her mum they started the redesign by taking apart a David Nieper Academy school uniform and piecing it together in a way that Libby would find comfortable.

A regular sized blazer was no good for Libby as she found it too constricting. The team selected an oversized blazer which was taken apart and shortened; more panels were added to the lining which was reshaped to give her more room around the arms, this allowed more space to move without the fabric pulling.

The trousers were trickier – school trousers are required to be durable and hardwearing, usually made from a synthetic reinforced fabric such as polyester. Libby was unable to wear this type of fabric, so after several attempts at reshaping the trousers the team opted for soft jersey trousers from the David Nieper collection, these were quite similar to the fabric of Libby’s sportswear and after alteration were a perfect fit.

Alison Kelly, Head of Grading said:

“It was really important that Libby felt comfy, she has enough to contend with starting a new school without worrying about her uniform. Outside school Libby likes to wear sportswear and soft leggings, her parents often have to ‘break in’ her clothes and by wearing them first, to soften the fabrics before she can wear them next to her skin. It was our goal to create soft linings and a roomy fit within the garment, while keeping it looking smart enough for school.”

Christopher Nieper, Managing Director of David Nieper commented:

“We think Libby looks great! She is very smart and can wear her uniform with pride. The staff at David Nieper Academy has done a superb job supporting Libby to help make the transition to her new school as smooth as possible. We wish her all the very best at the David Nieper Academy.”

For more information on David Nieper Ltd visit https://www.davidnieper.co.uk/

For more information on David Nieper Academy visit https://davidnieper.academy/

 

-ENDS-

For more media information contact:

[email protected] 07904 257687

The Derbyshire Dressmaking Gene Gives Boost to David Nieper Sewing Academy

The David Nieper Sewing Academy in Alfreton has seen an influx of new recruits this season with 10 new starts in the sewing room after scoring highly in their sewing skills assessment tests.

The Sewing Academy was set up in 2015 to address the chronic skills shortage in the UK’s fashion and textiles industry with the intention of developing specialist skills locally.  For decades the UK’s fashion industry has designed in the UK but manufactured collections overseas, leaving a lack of skilled British dressmakers.

The new team of dressmakers at David Nieper have come from a variety of backgrounds – some returning to dressmaking after career breaks, some totally new to the profession and several having recently graduated with university degrees in related subjects such as textiles. 

However, interestingly  one common element shared among the new trainees  is that several have had a mother, grandmother or family member that has either sewn as a hobby or professionally, many growing up to the sound of sewing machines at home.

Christopher Nieper, Managing Director of David Nieper commented:

“Dressmaking seems to be in the genes of Derbyshire people, perhaps unsurprisingly as this region was the heartland of the UK textiles industry for hundreds of years – with a rich industrial heritage of cotton spinning, silk throwing, lace making and framework knitting.”

The Derwent Valley UNESCO World Heritage site has one of the most highly concentrated clusters of mills in the UK. We do believe that some of the industrial heritage of the area has been carried down through to the community today, with a high percentage having a natural inclination for this type of work.

As part of the David Nieper recruitment for dressmakers, candidates are asked to complete a practical dexterity test or pin test which measures their speed, accuracy and hand to eye co-ordination to ensure they have the natural ability to develop dressmaking skills. Our last round of trainees in our Sewing Academy shows us that the Derbyshire dressmaking gene is alive and well!”

Lucy Eaton, a new trainee at the Sewing Academy and Fine Art a graduate from Sheffield Hallam University, took up sewing as a hobby several years ago, making her own clothes from commercial patterns with the help of her mum who is a lace maker.

Lucy commented:

“After only a few weeks’ training I’ve learned so much already!  I’ve wanted to do something creative and this is the perfect opportunity. It’s great working with really experienced dressmakers to learn all the essentials such as cross-stitch, overlock, lockstitch and bar tacking.

After starting work on paper patterns we progress through a range of different fabrics including; pure cotton, pure silk, viscose elastane and luxury wool.

It is definitely a challenge – A very high level of skill goes into making clothes from scratch.  I have found adding collars to be really tricky and it has taken a while to get positioning exactly right, but I do find that seeing the end result and knowing that I have made a beautiful garment that someone will wear to be hugely rewarding.”

The Sewing Academy acts as a platform for trainees to pursue a variety of careers in fashion manufacturing from dress making to pattern cutting, fabric cutting, design, knitwear and quality control.

-ENDS-

For further media information contact

David Nieper Press Office, [email protected]

07904 257687