A textiles/fashion industry related Q&A with a someone who has been in the industry for years

Seeing as one of the running themes throughout this blog is fashion, I may have a couple of readers that are into fashion too! For that reason, I thought it could be useful and interesting to do a little Q&A with someone who lives and breaths fashion. For some, you may be thinking of a pursuing a career in fashion, but have little knowledge about what that actually entails, so look no further! In this blog post I’m going to be asking someone who has a lot of knowledge about the textiles industry, what it’s like to work within it and is also a very reliable source of information, my daddy!

I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed getting the answers, and I hope my dad enjoyed answering them too! I learn a lot from my dad and he gives amazing advice about anything fashion-career related, so I thought I’d share his wisdom with you!

  1. Have you always been in the same positions?

I Studied Textile Technology & Design & then Textile Management. I then moved from Technical to Technical Sales to Sales & Commercial & Then Management

  1. What position are you in now?

Managing director

  1. Do you have a favourite?

I have enjoyed most but maybe product development along with strategy to build commercial and change management

  1. Anything you wish you could have done?

I would have loved to have worked in Australia, I lived there for a lot of my life growing up and would have liked to have stayed there. I had an opportunity to work in NY, but didn’t move there due to family commitments.

  1. How long have you been working in the fashion industry?

45 years

  1. Have you ever wanted to leave the fashion industry?

Briefly

  1. If so, why?

I became disillusioned with a business I had worked with for 14 years

  1. Why did you continue to work in the fashion industry?

I focused on what I knew & why I liked it, I shifted my paradigm.

  1. What’s changed the most in your time?

Early in my career we had the most amazing UK industry but now it is mainly overseas, which is a little less satisfying.  The pace is much faster now, everything is needed tomorrow, therefore many things to me are not done as well.

  1. Anything you miss?

Professionalism & retail / supplier relationships. I personally miss overseas travel

  1. What do you think has gotten better?

Speed and ease to Communicate

  1. What do you think has gotten worse?

Manners & Professionalism, the element of the blind leading the blind, many pretend to know masses when clearly they don’t! A lot of people don’t like to be given advice/ told they are wrong.

  1. Do you think the fashion industry is damaging on the planet?

Yes. There are many examples, price pressures tempt companies to cut corners, which is often not totally ethical – Worker abuse, Poor control on disposal of dying liquor, water wastage, Not enough re-cycling. 

  1. Designer or high-street?

Both have their place, one is massively overpriced, the other is underpriced, leading to massive disposable fashion. Both have their place, one helps drive the other. Designer labour to mass market.

  1. Real or faux fur?

These days there is no excuse for using real fur!

  1. Any advice for someone wanting to work in fashion?

Clothing will always be required, think about USP (a unique selling proposition), position your product carefully. Commit to Conditional learning, change direction as often as you need in your early career until you find something you really “love doing”, then you’ll never work another day!

  1. Any concluding comments?

The fashion / textile industry is an amazing industry, what you enjoy early in your career may change, so embrace change, grow, blossom & develop. This industry is not “saving lives” but it could be used to make a difference.

Thanks for reading, I hope you’ve learnt something or at least found it interesting. Thanks to my wonderful father for taking out the time to answer these questions, I know I found them really useful.

Until next time

Megan

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