Building sustainability in sourcing and manufacture across the international textile industry


Simon Middleton
Senior Brand Strategist | Creative Director | Founder | Managing Director

“David has mentored and counselled me from a distance during the creation process of Blackshore Coastal Clothing, which has gone from a germ of an idea through to manufacturing and retail reality. David’s huge experience and depth of knowledge has proved absolutely invaluable across a range of areas, from sourcing, to processes, to the gritty reality of starting a manufacturing brand. Notwithstanding David’s several decades of experience in the garment industry, he remains right at the front edge in his knowledge of new technologies and business models. He does superb work both domestically and internationally, coaching and supporting the youngest and brightest of designers, makers and entrepreneurs, as well an providing continued inspiration and encouragement to an older generation of apparel brand builders such as myself. I recommend David very highly. He is always affable, personable, and reassuring: but always from a position of real depth of knowledge. He is also a great storyteller and presenter, which is a brilliant asset in pitching, educating, networking and persuading (all parts of building a modern apparel business).”

Sally Smallwood
Fashion Designer | WRECKREATION x SHELBY

“I am honoured to have David as a mentor! With his exceptional knowledge and extensive network, his coaching has been pivotal in my success. His advice stems from four decades of experience in the apparel industry, resulting in expert guidance and invaluable insight. He really has gone above and beyond and I’m most grateful for his continued support.”

Nick Oliver
Northumberland County Council Cabinet, Parliamentary Candidate

“I worked closely with David Reay for around two years at the brand John Partridge. His main areas of responsibility were product sourcing and logistics. We were a small team and so shared responsibility for the strategic development of the business and many day to day functions. David’s straight talking, no nonsense approach and unerring knack of getting to the root of a problem were well suited to this growing dynamic business. He cuts straight to the important issues and has clarity of thought that is rare in this type of environment. His brings extensive global experience in businesses of all sizes and the tactical awareness to apply that knowledge. I enjoyed working with David, valued him as a colleague and would recommend him to any potential client or employer.”

Andrea Freeman
Designer | Entrepreneur

“David brought me into Barbour very early on in the transition of the company. His experience of global supply chain and sourcing coupled with his unwavering belief in new talent and the belief that things can be improved upon no matter what; made for very exciting times. I would highly recommend David to anyone looking to expand their business and reinforce their supply chain exponentially especially in the current climate.”

Joe Scotto
Knitting Technology Specialist – Sourcing & Fabric Development

“David is a no nonsense business man that can lead a team and be part of it at the same time, the time we spent together at Jockey was highly productive, someone I would highly recommend.”

Wendy Leighton

“I worked with David for many successful years……..always a pleasure”

Harriet Skinner
Marketing + Managing Partner Companies: Creatures of XIX and Hella Heels

“David has been a fantastic mentor and is truly knowledgable about fashion, specifically the manufacturing and business side. It has been fantastic to have David as someone I can speak to if I am having any problems with my business (going for 5 years now, and I met David before it began thus he has seen and helped me grow for many years, and is always looking forward to helping with new fresh developments and ideas). North East Clothing and Textile Network helped me to network and gain knowledge from those businesses based in the UK.”

Anna Rennison
Business Engagement Manager at Newcastle University

“David is a fantastic Consultant and has a wealth of experience in the Textiles industry. He has provided valuable advice and guidance to me in starting up my Fashion business. I would highly recommend David’s services.”

Melissa Middleton
Business Support Co-Ordinator at PNE

“David is incredibly approachable and happy to help our aspiring entrepreneurs with any supply chain, investment and textile business related questions they have. A pleasure to work alongside”

Paul Horton
Account Manager, Lindy Electronics Limited

“David provided excellent guidance and support to my business during both the pre-start and early stages of my company development. David supplied professional, friendly guidance, including advice on an innovative route to market, new product development and maximising manufacturing efficiencies. I have no hesitation in recommending David to other SME’s seeking to achieve growth, as his prompt, reliable and truly consummate professional approach and advice is an extremely valuable resource.”

Oscar Gonzalez
Enjoying the Industry Digitization

“I would like to recommend David, on the time that I was under his supervision he was a inspiring mentor and his leadership drove the operations to increasing levels of performance. His direction was always clear and on the right direction.”

Gus Beaini
Independent Consultant at BCS

“Working for David was a pleasant and a great experience. His ideas and projects pushed me to give it my best. He was a great mentor guiding me in the right direction when I worked for him. He was able to pass down his knowledge and experience in a graceful and professional manner. he took pride in what he does. His Ideas and their implementation helped the manufacturing division in increasing its productivity and efficiency.”

Ian Hirst
Keyboard Worrier

“I have worked with David on several recruitment assignments whilst he has been the ops director at Barbour. This has been a time of great change and renewal at the company but at all times he has maintained excellent accessibility and has always taken the time to provide honest and constructive feedback on the candidates I have presented. Even when not recruiting, David has always maintained an excellent rapport with suppliers such as myself.”

Louisa Rogers
Sustainable Fashion Brand Director | Lecturer in Fashion Communication & Cultural Theory

“David has supported me through various stages of my business growth, from initial ideas, all the way through to offering up contacts in pattern-making and CMT. His in-depth knowledge of garment manufacture has saved me a lot of hassle, and most crucially, capital as a small and self-funded business. He has done this not only by connecting me with stakeholders regionally but also globally and has an extensive network of contacts within the sector, with which he has always been generous.”