Name: Make Thread
Sector: Fashion and retail
2018 marked the exciting beginning of a brand-new fashion social marketplace concept founded by two University of Liverpool MBA students, Katie Roche and Sarah O’Brien. Whilst completing their course, the pair identified substantial barriers for creatives to enter the fashion market. Spending four months researching issues within the fashion industry, they found a gap in the market which proposed to take down industry barriers and offer a solution for creative individuals to follow their aspirations and enter the market without any upfront capital, manufacturing capabilities or business acumen required to go it alone.
Celebrating the originality and imagination of design and talent, Make Thread provides designers with the freedom to develop their own fashion label within an inclusive fashion community. Extending the talent pool for aspiring and creative individuals, Make Thread is built on the principle of quality, speed and individualism, offering a place for diversity, sustainability and social pleasure for both designers and consumers alike. More than just a digital platform it takes on new inspiration, creates excitement and permits a dialogue amongst like-minded people. Passing the power of fashion to its consumers, it marks itself as a virtual connectivity space that does not speak for consumers yet instead provides them with a voice in all things fashion through its unique crowd curated fashion following community.
Katie and Sarah were first introduced to the Activate team at an InnovateHer event and, by utilising the extensive list of contacts, they have built a valuable community of likeminded businesses.
Meeting Activate at a pivotal point before the platform had launched meant that Make Thread had the support needed to drive the product forward, introduce it to potential investors and be guided through the pitching process.
Following its work with Activate and access to new funding and partners, Make Thread has evolved its launch strategy, created a two-phased approach. Phase one will see the company launch the platform to market by the end of June 2019 through a localised strategic approach, working with north west universities: Manchester Metropolitan University, Chester University, Liverpool John Moores University and Liverpool Arts College. Make Thread is currently working with ten new designers, mentoring and helping fashion students break into the market.
Currently, the Make Thread platform is focused on producing high-quality bespoke t-shirts and a community of fashion enthusiasts. The company ambition is to build a University and creative marketplace within the North West, expanding its designer and customer reach during its early stages. T-shirts are only the beginning of Make Threads journey as they aim to expand their offering into garments whilst organically growing its social marketplace.
Katie Roche, director at Make Thread, said: “The support we have received through the Activate programme has been crucial in building our social marketplace. We aim to take down the barriers which heavily suppresses talent in the future of fashion. With unrivalled support from programmes like Activate we have been able to turn our idea into something tangible, making Liverpool City Region a fantastic place for start-up businesses seeking opportunities to get their product to market quickly and effectively.”