The Society makes grants both to individuals and to organisations in support of cultural and scientific activities which increase innovation, outreach and diversity in Leeds and its immediate area. It also supports local museums and galleries and publications relating to the city.

About the Society

The Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society, founded in 1819, is a charity that promotes interest in science, literature and the arts – in the city of Leeds and beyond. We have meetings, lectures, entertainments, publications and visits.

The battle for textiles

From West Yorkshire wool to global multi-fibre business: shifts in power & environmental impacts – David Hart & Shirley-Anne Sherriff

The textile industry is the oldest and largest manufacturing industry in the world. But since the late twentieth century there have been unprecedented changes in its structure. Global textile demand has doubled just since the turn of the millennium to reach 100 million tonnes a year. This aggressive growth has been accompanied by huge migration in textile supply chains, reflecting dynamic shifts in regional competitive advantage.

How did we get from West Yorkshire as the centre of the wool industry to a global multi-fibre business with China dominating more than 50 per cent of world textile activity?

In this presentation David Hart defines the key strategic drivers of these historical and current business dynamics.

Shirley-Anne Sherriff examines the consequent challenges for this huge global industry as it confronts demands for more sustainable patterns of activity.

This presentation addresses key questions:

  • What factors are driving aggressive increase in global textile demand?
  • How has this influenced the range of fibres types that we use?
  • What are the key forces determining migration of textile supply chains?
  • How is the massive environmental impact in both manufacturing and waste disposal being addressed, and where are the opportunities for innovation?
  • What will the future of this crucial global industry look like?

David Hart is a graduate of the University of Cambridge and Shirley-Anne Sherriff of the University of Cape Town. Both have occupied senior management positions in the chemical fibres industry within a number of countries. They subsequently moved into business consultancy working with two main kinds of clients across Asia, Greater Europe and the Americas: leading fibre/textile companies and also international fibre organisations, trade bodies and charitable foundations. They are acknowledged industry experts in end-use modelling to project business dynamics and guide market development.


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