In case you didn’t already know all of our products are Made in Britain, and by Made in Britain we don’t mean Made in China then assembled in Britian, we do things properly. All of our printed fabric is made in Britain, our pattern cutting and sampling is done in Britain, we use British leather and our final products will be made in Britain. Making in Britain is unconventional and can be costly but there are several reasons why we chose to do it.
Our objective is to release highly limited numbers of beautiful products, this suits British manufacturing perfectly. Firstly British companies are always happy to make you samples and bend over backward to get it just right. This is great because to develop a good product you really do need to do A LOT of sampling. We’ve ordered printed fabric from four different companies in England and one in Glasgow! This leads onto the second point which is that most British companies are specialists at one or two very specific things. The truth is that it’s very hard to be really good at a lot of different things so the company that prints our crepe de chine silk and chiffon didn’t deliver a satisfactory canvas whilst the company that prints our canvas sent us some smelly leather and the company that prints our leather ONLY print leather because they don’t even want to get involved with faffing about in silk, so on and so forth, you get the picture.
This Silk Chiffon printed with a design inspired by Bruce Chatwin arrived today, it’s nice, but probably not as nice as a different chiffon we had printed, throw it in the bin!
The low minimum orders, great service and fast turnaround times of British companies have allowed us to sample a large number of different fabrics which means that not only are we going to launch with a great range that includes silks, wool and cashmere but we are going to have the best silks, wool and cashmere!
Making in Britain has also opened up the opportunity to collaborate with great designers in other fields like Jenny King. Jenny is a highly skilled embroiderer who has worked with clients like Louis Vuitton, Mary Katrantzou and Stella McCartney, she worked with us to do this beautiful embroidery over our Marianne North print:
Of course not every single detail of our bags are made by artists (otherwise we’d never get anything done), for some of our embroidery we made use of local Brighton (where our office is based) manufacturer Able & Willing. Able & Willing employ local people with various disabilities and recently did this charming piece of embroidery for us:
This embroidered dotted line marks Gertrude Bell’s great journey through the Middle East in the early 20th century
British manufacturing may not be the future for soulless mega corporations like Zara but for luxury fashion labels such as ourselves, looking to produce small numbers of beautifully crafted products, it’s perfect. Not to mention the comforting fact that we have visited the factories where everything is made and they are all rather jolly places, no collapsing roofs or slave labour.
Even our business cards are Made in Britain!