Sewing Jobs Growth As Demand For British Made Fashion Accelerates

David Nieper confirms recruitment drive and strong sales

David Nieper has hired 28 new members of staff, nine within the period October to December, as UK sales of its British-made fashion and women’s clothing increased strongly in the last six months. The company also enjoyed a 24% increase in online sales, and strong exports, during 2012.

David Nieper's Alfreton workroomsThe Alfreton-based company, one of only a very few fashion companies still designing and manufacturing in the UK, is again on the hunt for more new people to add to the jobs in pattern cutting, sewing, customer service, marketing and design. The latest recruitment drive will bring the number of people employed at David Nieper to 230, and underpins the company’s plans for further growth. The company has also purchased new warehouse/production space in Alfreton to provide extra capacity for growth.

Almost all of those taken on have previously worked in textiles and have left the industry disillusioned or after being made redundant as a result of retailers and manufacturers going offshore in search of cheap labour. The new recruits include seamstresses, pattern cutters, knitwear linkers and technician.

Janice Burgin, 50, from Ironville is one of those taken on recently at David Nieper as a full-time knitwear linker, a highly skilled and traditional job linking knitted garments together. Janice said: “I’ve worked in knitwear for more than 26 years but was made redundant back in 2007 when the last company I worked for moved all its manufacturing overseas. I’d lost confidence in ever finding a skilled position back in the industry, so it’s great to be back doing a job that I love with such thriving company that recognises and values my skills and years of experience.”

Christopher Nieper, managing director of David Nieper, said: “All David Nieper garments are 100% British designed and made, and have been for more than 50 years, so recruiting, developing and retaining skills is crucial to the success of our business.

“The jobs that have been filled are all skilled jobs, many that have been shed by other textile employers in the region over the past few years. Our recent recruits have valuable skills that could have been lost forever but there is a strong appetite amongst customers for high quality, British-made goods and a real need to protect and develop traditional skills right here in the East Midlands.”

The new jobs are great news for the textiles and clothing industry in the UK which has suffered after years of decline and is further evidence that demand for British Made fashion is leading to a resurgence of the industry. Whilst many companies are looking to bring back some manufacturing back to the UK, David Nieper has always stayed committed to the UK, designing and manufacturing in Derbyshire, and is doing all that it can to safeguard traditional skills for the future.

The East Midlands is the largest clothing and textiles region in the UK and Europe*, and also has the highest proportion of people working in manufacturing than in any other UK region**. According to the British Fashion Council, the UK fashion industry is estimated to support 816,000 jobs and is the largest employer of all the creative industries.

Total contribution to the UK Economy of fashion and textiles is estimated at £37 billion UK Fashion and Textile Association (UKFA).


Photo © Steve Hill Photography