Fashion For Free

Fashion For Free! – Passing on skills to the next generation.

Headline results:

  • BBC East Midlands’ main presenter and fashion fan, Anne Davies, attends the Fashion for Free! event – resulting in lead coverage on the evening programme
  • The event was covered by all key regional media, including key interviews with managing director Christopher Nieper around the skills issue
  • Secured a full-page thought-leadership piece on skills and training in the Derby Telegraph
  • Over 180 students, parents and grandparents spend the day at the David Nieper factory.

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The challenge:

Made in Britain may be back in fashion, but garment manufacturing skills in the UK have long been in decline, following the offshoring of many of the UK’s biggest clothing retailers. With a lack of new blood coming into the industry, fashion house David Nieper warns that if nothing is done the industry could face a severe skills shortage.

Rather than wait for this to happen, David Nieper has been working with local schools to grow its own skills – running the Fashion for Free! competition to encourage more young people into the industry and learn from experienced hands. Our challenge was to:

  • Bring the skills issue to a wider audience putting the spotlight on the range of careers opportunities in the fashion manufacturing industry
  • Help boost interest and participation in David Nieper’s Fashion for Free! event
  • Position David Nieper as a thought leader in the skills shortage debate
  • Raise awareness of David Nieper as a key employer in the East Midlands.

What we did:

  • Created a detailed media call to secure media attendance on the day – outlining what journalists could see at the David Nieper factory, explaining the wider issues around the manufacturing skills shortage – securing attendance from BBC East Midlands, Derby Telegraph and BBC Radio Derby amongst others
  • Coordinated media attendance and interviews on the day, including, television, radio and various print media to secure photo opportunities, interviews and more
  • Coordinated post-event interviews and liaison with schools to secure interviews and quotes
  • Arranged photography brief and photography to document the event and to support PR
  • Issued a post-event press release along with high-quality images to secure additional press coverage.


  • BBC East Midlands’ main presenter Anne Davies took part in the event – even having a go on a sewing machine herself – resulting in lead coverage in the main evening programme
  • BBC Radio Derby carried out an in-depth interview with managing director Christopher Nieper around the skills shortage issue
  • Extensive coverage in the regional press, including Derby Telegraph, Belper Today, Ripley and Heanor News, Amber Valley News, Our Alfreton, Amber Sound Radio, in addition to online and trade coverage in the likes of Make it British and Still Made in Britain
  • The highest-ever number of entries from local schools in the four years the event has been running
  • Secured a full-page thought-leadership piece on skills and training in the Derby Telegraph and PR campaign around the event has been used to secure coverage in the national media focusing on skills
  • The campaign received very positive feedback from students, teachers and parents alike
  • The campaign also provided great leverage to secure strong national awareness about the skills shortage – helping us to position David Nieper as a passionate and committed skills champion and campaigner.

Want to know more?

If you’re interested in this PR campaign case study and want to know more about what Nellie PR could do for you, contact Ellen Carroll at or give us a call on 01392 927746, we would love to hear from you. You can also see more Nellie PR case studies.

The credits:

Client: David Nieper

Agency: Nellie PR

Campaign: Fashion for Free! – David Nieper’s manufacturing skills campaign

Timeline: June 2013

Services: PR campaign utilising public relations, media relations, online PR, video, social media, events,

Photo Used: © David Nieper

See more PR campaign case studies on our Work and Impact page.