In the news

Here we list some of the publications and media posts which refer to work we have delivered or collaborated on with others. For day to day posts, please connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and/or LinkedIn (links in the footer panel at the bottom of the website).

These are listed in chronological order, the most recent first. Enjoy.

ROOF - the homeless coatbag project

ROOF  

In the news this summer, the first public view of ROOF, our latest project. June 2017

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/local-news/woman-invented-coat-homeless-doubles-13248350.  

Our thoughts on public spend and keeping it British

Aged 16 to 25? Looking for a life changing FUNDED experience?
Aged 25 to 75? Looking for a life changing VOLUNTEER experience?

@ChallengeWales has just the thing! GO FOR IT!

Please share with your friends, families, students and local youth clubs etc - lets get the word out there and change some lives!

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08k1wdl#play

(Click and listen from 1:14:30m)

 Red Dragon Flagmakers and Brexit discussion

 

BBC Wales Today Brexit Swansea Red Dragon Flagmakers

BBC Wales today, interview on Brexit and the triggering of Article 50 at Red Dragon Flagmakers

BBC Radio Wales Sunday Supplement Jo Ashburner Red Dragon Flagmakers talking Brexit with the CBI

(Click and listen from 29:50m)

Good Evening Wales BBC Radio Wales Jo Ashburner Red Dragon Flagmakers

 (Click and listen from 01:17:21)

FSB Regional Voice, South Wales November / December 2016 

Insider magazine Red Dragon Flagmakers European Space Agency contract

BBC Radio Wales Brexit, Jo Ashburner, Red Dragon Flagmakers

Click HERE to listen to commentary (17:00)

World Intellectual Property Day 2016, Red Dragon Flagmakers, Jo Ashburner, Welsh Government and UWTSD

World IP (Intellectual Property) Day, Jo Ashburner, Welsh Government and UWTSD

Click HERE for press link (page 11)

Flying the flag for Wales on St David's Day

First Minister Carwyn Jones lifts the Red Dragon Flagmakers Welsh Flag from the new Aston Martin at the Welsh Assembly February 2016

This press release was published under the 2011 - 2016 Welsh government

Red Dragon Flagmakers literally ‘fly the flag’ for Wales - their hand finished traditional sewn flags are never more evident than on St David’s Day as Welsh flags adorn buildings around the globe. Monday 29 February 2016.
But last week the Swansea based social enterprise landed one of their largest and most unusual order to date – a 10 metre by 8 metre Welsh Dragon flag for a car.

It was a very special car – and a very special occasion. The huge flag was used to wrap and conceal Aston Martin’s new DBX prototype vehicle outside the Welsh Government’s Cathays Park headquarters in Cardiff.

First Minister Carwyn Jones and Aston Martin CEO Dr Andrew Palmer unveiled the vehicle following the announcement that the iconic British car maker is to open a manufacturing facility in St Athan creating more than 750 highly-skilled jobs.

Jo Ashburner Farr, boss at Red Dragon Flagmakers said it was a hugely proud moment for her and the team – and also one of their most challenging.

She said:

We were asked by the Welsh Government if we could make a huge flag to cover something - but weren’t told what it was because it was top secret. It also had to be a sewn flag rather than printed as the highest quality possible was required. When we saw the images of the unveiling we were really excited and delighted to have been a part of something so special for Wales.

“It has to have been one of the largest flags we have been asked to make – it took four people three days and two nights working flat out to complete. The weight of the material meant three people had to work together to get it through the sewing machines – it was definitely a challenge – but we pride ourselves on our ‘can do’ attitude.”

“We're so pleased to have been a (small) part of this great event. Bringing manufacturing back to Wales is a subject very close to our hearts here at Red Dragon Flagmakers and as a social enterprise we do everything we can to nurture the skills for sustainable long term employment in our local community.”

First Minister Carwyn Jones said:

I’d like to thank Red Dragon Flagmakers as they were given a very tight deadline and came up with the goods on time and made a great job.

“It was a memorable moment when the announcement was made and the car, which was wrapped in a distinctive Welsh Red Dragon flag, was unveiled.”

Click HERE to see the press link1 and HERE for press link2.

The Wave and Red Dragon Flagmakers celebrate!

Red Dragon Flagmakers literally ‘fly the flag’ for Wales - their hand finished traditional sewn flags are never more evident than on St David’s Day as Welsh flags adorn buildings around the globe.

But last week the Swansea based social enterprise landed one of their largest and most unusual order to date – a 10 metre by 8 metre Welsh Dragon flag for a car.  It was a very special car – and a very special occasion. The huge flag was used to wrap and conceal Aston Martin’s new DBX prototype vehicle outside the Welsh Government’s Cathays Park headquarters in Cardiff.

First Minister Carwyn Jones and Aston Martin CEO Dr Andrew Palmer unveiled the vehicle following the announcement that the iconic British car maker is to open a manufacturing facility in St Athan creating more than 750 highly-skilled jobs.

Jo Ashburner Farr, boss at Red Dragon Flagmakers said it was a hugely proud moment for her and the team – and also one of their most challenging.

She said: “We were asked by the Welsh Government if we could make a huge flag to cover something - but weren’t told what it was because it was top secret. It also had to be a sewn flag rather than printed as the highest quality possible was required. When we saw the images of the unveiling we were really excited and delighted to have been a part of something so special for Wales.

“It has to have been one of the largest flags we have been asked to make – it took four people three days and two nights working flat out to complete. The weight of the material meant three people had to work together to get it through the sewing machines – it was definitely a challenge – but we pride ourselves on our ‘can do’ attitude.”

“We're so pleased to have been a (small) part of this great event. Bringing manufacturing back to Wales is a subject very close to our hearts here at Red Dragon Flagmakers and as a social enterprise we do everything we can to nurture the skills for sustainable long term employment in our local community.”

First Minister Carwyn Jones said: “I’d like to thank Red Dragon Flagmakers as they were given a very tight deadline and came up with the goods on time and made a great job.  It was a memorable moment when the announcement was made and the car, which was wrapped in a distinctive Welsh Red Dragon flag, was unveiled.”

Click HERE to view the press link.

Devolution 'rush' warning on growth from CBI leader. CEO of Red Dragon Flagmakers comments

BBC Radio Wales Devolution 'rush' warning on growth from CBI leader

Jo Ashburner, chief executive of Red Dragon Flagmakers in Swansea, said she was "cautious" about deadlines on devolution, such as Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb's call for the parties to agree a common plan by St David's Day.

"A national identity is one thing, business is another and for a business to succeed we have to work cross-border."

Click HERE to view the press link. 

Manufacturing Entrepreneur of the Year, 2015

Manufacturing Entrepreneur of the year 2015, Jo Ashburner, Red Dragon Flagmakers

Produced by the organisers of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards and the publishers of Fresh Business Thinking, the Entrepreneur Wales Awards acknowledges the hard work and inspiring stories of Welsh entrepreneurs and businesses in Wales.

Click HERE to see the press link

Natwest SE100 - social impact health check

Natwest SE100 and Red Dragon Manufacturing (Flagmakers) Social mission

Click HERE to see the press link.

Red Dragon Flagmakers invests in print technology from Roland DG

Red Dragon Flagmakers is a traditional sewn flag maker based in South Wales supplying flags to all market sectors. In 2014 it was the Official Supplier of ceremonial flags to the NATO Wales Summit 2014 in Newport. Red Dragon Flagmakers is run by CEO and 2006 UK Businesswoman of the Year, Jo Ashburner, and a team of trustees. The company prints and sews a wide range of the highest quality flags and textile goods and is the only flagmaker in the UK incorporated and run as a social enterprise.

South Wales-based social enterprise, Red Dragon Flagmakers, has recently invested in a Roland Texart RT-640 dye sublimation printer for its new soft signage and flag making production facility in HMP Parc prison in Bridgend, South Wales. The new machine, will sit at the heart of a new textile production facility, which was officially opened in May 2015, and aims to provide inmates with the necessary ‘real-world skills’ to help them secure stable employment once they are released.

Says Jo Ashburner, CEO of Red Dragon Flagmakers: “Red Dragon is a well-established and nationally recognised business, founded by my father in the 1960s and run as a not-for-profit social enterprise, focused on working with those recently released from prison as part of their rehabilitation process. Late last year, we approached local prison, HMP Parc Prison - run by security giant G4S, to propose establishing a print production plant inside the prison itself, a social enterprise scheme to help reduce recidivism rates."

“The aim of the prison-based printing facility is to offer a degree of continuity from ‘inside to outside’. As part of this, those who work in the prison facility are offered a job, at our flag-making plant in Swansea, upon release, providing them with a chance to immediately use all the skills they have acquired.”

The Texart RT-640, which will sit at the heart of the prison’s production facility, has been developed specifically for the dye sublimation market, delivering superb quality, vivid colour and highly stable performance, enabling users to add real value through the production of a wide range of profitable applications including apparel, soft signage, flags, interior décor, fashion and original goods.

With a choice of dual CMYK or 8-colour configuration, including Orange and Violet, Roland’s new Texart ink offers an extremely wide colour gamut to enable bold and vibrant printing with high contrast, subtle gradations and remarkable fine detail. The new strong Black ink has depth and density to produce accurate and rich output.

Jo, who was awarded UK National Business Woman of the Year in 2006, is entrepreneurial to the core and she has applied her unique approach to business to Red Dragon Flagmakers as well. “We have equality, motivation and personal responsibility at the heart of our rehabilitation philosophy. Everyone involved in the business earns the same salary – from the CEO down, and in return, we expect all staff to turn up motivated each day, ready for work and to take responsibility for their work and their actions during the day.”

Mathew Drake, Business Manager - Textiles, Roland DG UK: “Red Dragon Flagmakers is a great example of a company that has the perfect marriage of innovation, entrepreneurism and social enterprise. I’m very pleased they are now a Roland customer and that our technology will be playing a small part in helping them to give people the skills and opportunities they need to get back on their feet and rebuild their lives."

“Employees will each receive two months’ training on flag, textile, apparel and soft signage production; from graphic design and artwork software management to print production, sewing, cutting and trimming, which will give them a great grounding in flag and wide format print production.

Click HERE to see the press link.

Red Dragon Flagmakers invests in digital print technology from Roland DG

Red Dragon Flagmakers chosen as the Official Supplier of flags to the NATO Summit 2014

Soundcloud interview with Jo Ashburner of Red Dragon Flagmakers about being chosen as Official Supplier of flags to the NATO Summit 2012.

It started with a tweet.....!

Click HERE to listen to the soundcloud interview

The Voice South Wales, Federation of Small Businesses

Jo Ashburner The Voice FSB Red Dragon Flagmakers

A social enterprise founded by an FSB member has made the shortlist for a Wales-wide awards. Swansea-based Red Dragon Manufacturing has been shortlisted among the finalists in the Social Enterprise Awards Wales 2015. Organised by the Wales Co-operative Centre, the awards are mainly funded by the ERDF and Welsh Government.

The One to Watch category recognises outstanding social businesses that have been established less than two years. Red Dragon was incorporated as a registered social profit company in January 2014. It came out of a family flag manufacturing business started in the late 1960s by the current CEO’s father, Robin Ashburner.

Jo Ashburner, CEO and co-founder, said: “This is a huge achievement for our micro-business. We set out to rehabilitate people in the Welsh community through training in practical skills and the medium of traditional sewn flag making. We are one of the few companies remaining in the UK who make this quality product and we’re thrilled that the business community and our customers have embraced what we do with belief in our mission and soul of our products.

Being shortlisted for this award over many very worthy nominations supports our ambition for positive outcomes and sustainable long-term employment for our staff. With this recognition we will strive to set an example and expand the business through diversification and collaboration with other businesses who proactively want to make a real difference on a social basis.”

Click HERE to view the article (page 11).

Insider:  A stitch in time as textile businesses combine

Insider, Red Dragon Flagmakers, Jo Ashburner, Textile businesses combine

A trio of businesses have joined forces in Swansea with the stated intention of revitalising textile manufacturing in Wales.

Flag maker Flags and Bunting Galore, children's organic clothing and soft toy brand NooNoo, and flag pole and heraldic services provider Specialist Flag Services are the businesses involved.

They have teamed up to create the new social enterprise Red Dragon Manufacturing based at the Swansea Sewing Room in the centre of the city. This organisation has a new board of directors, new equipment, new facilities and new resources.

Jo Ashburner, chief executive of Red Dragon Manufacturing and an Insider Rising Star, said: "We've come together so we can cross-pollinate skills.

"We're run as a business but we're putting the money back into the business rather than just taking dividends. We want to develop life skills and bring textile manufacturing back to Wales."

Click HERE to see press link.