The Festival of Making


The ever-inspiring Wayne Hemingway (founder of Red or Dead) was on radio 6 Music this week, talking about a new festival he’s created.

The Festival of Making is the first of it’s kind, held in Blackburn in the North West of England and I’m hoping to visit it this weekend.

Created to celebrate the Art of Making in the UK – which coming from a former textile town (albeit over the other side of the Pennines)  I’m all for. It promises to feature artisans from the food and drink industry, as well as local designer/makers, so it sounds quite exciting and well worth a visit!

There seems to be a gradual shift towards hand crafted goods with a known provenance. Consumers are increasingly less enamoured about mindless consumption of “stuff”, caring more about objects made to last and who made them.

Reminiscent of The Slow Movement, trend predictors suggest that as people become more disengaged with runaway consumerism, artists and designers will look to incorporate craft into their work.


“Whether you make it by machine or by hand, or half and half, that’s fine. For me, it’s the spirit behind it that counts, not how you do it”

Adrian Joffe, President Comme de Garçons

As we become over saturated with endless streams of digital information filling every second, have we lost the ability to slow down and just “think”?

Someone I used to know said you needed to “GET BORED”. He created a multi million pound company and felt getting bored was integral to understanding the customer – just sitting, watching and absorbing. It’s almost Mindfulness applied to business, slowing down and taking it all in.



Fashion Revolution recently ran a campaign #whomademyclothes encouraging all sectors of the fashion industry to be transparent about their own supply chains. Founded in the wake of the Bangladeshi factory collapse, it’s pushing for ethical and sustainable change across manufacturing in the fashion industry. They promote their message year round, so click here to join the revolution.



The Festival of Making is bucking the trend, a return to fashion manufacturing in the UK has been steadily increasing it’s groundswell over recent years, with new factories emerging up and down the country.

See also Meet the Manufacturer which is a trade show/conference connecting various designers and manufacturers based around Britain, which takes place in London on 24-25th May.

I attended the first one whilst on a fact finding mission and it was well attended – there was a definite buzz of opportunity. I first came across it some years ago after reading Kate Hills blog Make it British, which is a great resource for those looking to upscale their manufacturing base or move away from off shore.

I’ll report back next week on The Festival of Making, so watch this space…

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