Building sustainability in sourcing and manufacture across the international textile industry

Case Studies


Since establishing his advisory business in in 2012 David Reay has supported many well established and early stage UK clothing & textile brands and manufacturers. Projects include growing businesses that have reached a stage in their growth that demands a new approach to production, or they may be long established business that require a strategic re-think.

David has undertaken a host of different assignments, working on export strategies, making introductions around the world, sourcing fabrics, pinning-down suppliers and intelligence gathering in global textile hotspots. David has had a busy few years.

And, in recognising a career spent working, leading and supporting others in the clothing industry, in June 2016 David was appointed Chair of the Northern Clothing and Textile Network- supporting the industry in the region; a networking body committed to furthering the careers and businesses of clothing & textile designers, brands and manufacturers in the North of England and the borders of Scotland.

Here are a few examples of David’s work


A young fast-fashion brand – a high growth company in a competitive market

Doubling in size month-on-month and in danger of orders exceeding the capacity to fulfil them in a timely manner David was asked to coach the talented owner of a fast growing brand in the exciting online fast fashion market. A re-engineering of the back-office, fulfilment processes and physical facility has enabled this company to continue to enjoy significant success in this fast growing market in a sustainable manner.


A Ladies sport & leisure clothing brand – well established but in decline

David was asked to undertake a viability assessment of a brand that had recently been acquired by its current owners in a Group acquisition. An in-depth review of every aspect of the business revealed a number of troublesome facts, but, also indicated that the business was suitable for a turnaround project. A turnaround plan was drawn up. It is too early to predict the outcome, but there is no doubt that with a revitalised brand and strong leadership this company has all the credentials for success.


A British Council & University led business development programme for export to China

 A fascinating fact-finding mission to some of the textile manufacturing hotspots of China was the conclusion of a project that started in a lecture hall of a Northern university. Initially engaged to deliver a lecture on doing business in China, David was persuaded to extend his engagement with the programme and embark on a trip to China in the summer of 2016. A number of British & Chinese collaborations have been spawned, including exciting opportunities for British designers to work in partnership with Chinese manufacturers to create brands for export to UK and Europe.


A British knitwear manufacturer established in the 1970s – looking to diversify

An opportunity arose for David to work with this long established family-owned company. Set up in the 1970s by the Father of the current management generation the business had enjoyed significant success in its “day” but had struggled in recent times to compete with cheaper imported goods. David’s role was to facilitate the creation of a new reinvigorated strategy for the business, one that would enable it to find its niche and thrive, rather than continue to be strangled by downward pressure of price.


The Northern Clothing & Textile Network

Launched in November 2016, David Chairs the Northern Clothing & Textile Network; the realisation of a vision of a community for Northern clothing & textile business that he has personally held for some time. It is a B2B environment where designers, brands and manufacturers can come together for collaboration, education, ideas generation, motivation, and social occasions! The North’s major brands have put their weight behind it and speakers for the pre-launch and launch events have included Berghaus, J Barbour & Sons, The University of Northumbria and Manchester Metropolitan University. Smaller growing brands have shared the speaking platform with household names to share their own growth stories and ambitions for the future. There is a real buzz around the network, and even in these early days there are real examples of collaborative business being done.