Chairman - Richard Hurtley

Specialism - Fashion Startups / Events / Multi-channel sales and marketing strategy

Career Snapshot - MD of Rich Insight / Board member of UKFT / Founder & MD of Rampant Sporting / Board Observer for Joules / Member of the Maserati 100

Motivation - "I want to help break down barriers within the fashion industry and make it more collaborative."

Gillian Mead

Committee - Gillian Mead

Specialism -  Sustainable fashion / Fashion design / Brand start ups

Career Snapshot - Founder & Creative Director at Araminta / Member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Ethics and Sustainability in Fashion / Sustainable Fashion Editor at Hubbub / Consultant at Ethical Fashion Forum 

Motivation - "I believe that bringing together the most creative minds into a strong network is the greatest asset to a bright and exciting future for the fashion industry"

Committee - Virginia Grose

Specialism - Production / Education

CV Snapshot - Principal Lecturer and Course Leader MA Fashion Business Management at University of Westminster / Design Executive & Product Developer at Courtaulds Textiles

Motivation - "Education is a passion for me! I believe in passing on my 30 years of knowledge in fashion to help others who are up and coming in the industry."

Committee - Beth (Finnigan) Pettet

Specialism: Brands / Buying

CV Snapshot - Buyer at John Lewis / Junior Buyer at Moss Bros / Assistant Buyer at Mothercare

Motivation - "As a buyer, it goes without saying that I am always on the look out for new brands, products and ideas.  Being a part of RISE gives me the opportunity to make sure that those new brands and ideas that deserve to be taken to market don't go unnoticed."


Committee - Patrick Dudley-Williams

Specialism: Brand startups / Creative Design / Physical Retail & PopUps / Business Strategy

CV Snapshot - Founder & Creative Director of Reef Knots / Co-Founder of Knots & Socks / Senior Vice President at Morgan Stanley & Citigroup

Motivation - “UKFT RISE has helped me through the journey of starting and growing my company. I understand the challenges involved and I am passionate about supporting young entrepreneurs start the fashion brands of tomorrow.”

Mentor - Belinda Dickson OBE

Specialism - Enterprise / Brand / Textiles / Fashion

CV Snapshot - Owner & Founder at Belinda Robertson & BJD Design Ltd / Designer of the Year – Scottish Style Awards 2002 / OBE for services to the textile industry – 2001 / Entrepreneur of the Year – 2000 / Scottish Businesswomen of the Year – 1999

A Summary of UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKFT)


The UK Fashion & Textile Association is the most inclusive British network for fashion and textile companies. UKFT brings together designers, manufacturers, agents and retailers to promote their businesses and our industry throughout the UK and internationally and is in a unique position covering businesses from spinning right through to catwalk.


Over the years, UKFT has worked with many smaller companies that have gone on to become household names, including Simon Carter, Orla Kiely, Jenny Packham, Fyodor Golan and Tateossian. From developing an export strategy, to identifying agents and the right trade fairs and, where available, accessing government funding from UK Trade & Investment; all of this is part of UKFT’s mission.

As the umbrella body that includes 17 Federated Association Members, UKFT represents over 2,500 companies throughout the UK. These companies cover menswear, womenswear, childrenswear, lingerie, beachwear, accessories, footwear and textiles. UKFT are proud of the wide diversity of companies who are part of the association, including John Smedley, Emma J Shipley, Allied Textiles, Margaret Howell, Panache Lingerie, Samuel Brothers, Barbour, Marks and Spencer and Ted Baker. Many of UKFT’s members are major international brands but a large part of UKFT’s work is with smaller companies, helping to build the industry of tomorrow.

UKFT is committed to being the industry champion for the next generation and it is from this passion that UKFT Rise was established. As a voice representing the industry to Government, UKFT also champions UK manufacturing and promotes skills and training within the sector, along with providing a central meeting place for members to meet and develop their networks through an extensive annual programme of events and seminars covering all areas relating to growing and running a business