Hello to our #everydaywarriors! We hope you're all safe and well. We know lockdown is hard and is taking it's toll for many.... We hope our blog posts keep you occupied, for even just a short period of time during your day and offer you some welcome distraction. This piece is all about our British manufacturer, Reshore Apparel - we hope you enjoy!
As a British brand, YANA understands the importance of supporting the local supply chain, businesses and community, as well as caring for the environment and manufacturing ethically. In early 2020, we switched our production to a larger and more reliable, local manufacturing facility: Reshore Apparel, to ensure our YANA products were finished to the highest possible quality.
We interviewed Reshore Apparel founders Julia and David, to find out more about their business and life in the UK manufacturing industry.
Julia Price ex Fabric Technical and Purchasing Director of a large supplier to M&S with a turnover of £180M, sourcing, developing purchasing and expediting £96M of raw materials globally. Founder of own lingerie design and supply company with a turnover of £13M, manufactured in Thailand, China and Sri Lanka. Currently supporting the front-end sales, design and development of Reshore Apparel Ltd.
David Price, M.D of the same large supplier to M&S with extensive knowledge and experience of all activities within the garment manufacturing arena with particular emphasis to the technical development of the product. Technical expert!
What is Reshore’s area of expertise?
Doing what we claim we will do! Technical expertise in pattern creation and manufacturing quality.
If someone wanted to start a fashion brand and were looking for manufacturers, what advice would you give them?
Manage your expectations with regards to timing, Rome wasn’t built overnight! Time spent on development will result in a better end product. Be realistic with regards to your budget, and continually test your market.
What should someone look out for when starting to work with a new manufacturer? I.e. how do you know they’re the ‘real deal’?
This is a tough one as there are some companies out there who talk the talk but don’t walk the walk, unfortunately this often results in disappointment. Check the pedigree, research and verify their claimed experience. Sometimes you are lucky and find a gem, but sometimes they may not be quite up to the mark; true to any industry I suppose!
What’s your favourite part of working with start-ups or small businesses?
We never have two days the same, which is good and constantly challenges us, but more importantly we love helping and sharing our wealth of experience. Ultimately, we want the clothing manufacturing industry to return to the UK and create skilled jobs.
What made you start a manufacturing facility in the UK?
We tried retirement but could not settle, this industry is fast moving and it was too hard to give up this way of life.
We believe passionately that there really isn’t a good reason to manufacture offshore. Undoubtedly labour costs less, garments that are less labour intensive (and even more structured products) outweigh carbon emissions produced from importing products from overseas. The lack of visibility and credibility of the supply chain overseas can be more difficult to manage. We believe in creating jobs in the UK, so people can earn money, pay taxes and spend money.
We need as a country to become more self-sufficient. We also believe that the large retailers who source from afar do not calculate the real cost of that offshore sourcing. Whether that be the endless trips to buy product and manage the sources and quality, the offshore hub expenses or money being tied up for longer periods of time; the cost is endless. Also, the cost of product failure is often left uncalculated. All in all, this ultimately results in loss of brand loyalty and customers.
How could small businesses help bridge the skills gap for manufacturing clothing in the UK?
The skills gap is mainly in the form of technical ability and manufacturing skills. The development of small manufacturing hubs gives opportunities of a virtual one to one more personalised training. The nature of a small business means the likelihood is that the orders will be lower quantities and therefore the methods will not be broken down into such specific jobs, therefore offering multi machine type skills development.
Where do you see Reshore Apparel going in the next 5 years?
We see that there is huge opportunity to develop the UK manufacturing industry, even more so with the Covid-19 pandemic. Retailers are cancelling vast amounts of product which will damage the supply chain offshore; at some point having sold any residual stock, retailers will need to buy stock more quickly and in lower volume.
Are you working on any exciting projects at the minute?
We are always working on exciting projects, take YANA for example, it is really satisfying to see a new brand with finesse and sophistication.
We also will be developing our own brands focusing on a tailoring brand ‘Studio H’ whereby we offer a semi bespoke service using Yorkshire wools in a ‘fleece to finished product’ in a 70-mile radius.
A swimwear brand called ASS (Always Sunshine Somewhere). Our fashion but functional new range of facemasks ‘Funki Mask Co’ which offers copper coated, carbon activated filters to be worn as a more fashionable accessory whilst offering protection.
We continue with Weardale Wolf, our dog and clothing brand, which offers a lifestyle brand of coordinating dog beds to home furnishings, and the mini-me range of adult clothing to coordinate with your dog’s coat and lead!
Tell us about your office mascot!!
Well there is an internal debate as to whether he deserves a more meaningful title, Chairman of the Board potentially? Our very own supermodel Louis the Cockapoo. He has 5500 followers on Instagram, a popular chap! Louis has been brought up in the industry, he works daily alongside us, meets and greets visitors, oversees break times for the girls (just in case the odd nibble comes his way) and he is sometimes found collecting cuttings from the cutting room floor and collecting them in a pile for us to clear up.
We hope you enjoyed reading about our ethical, British manufacturer Reshore Apparel. If you'd like to discuss anything in this piece, do leave a comment below!
Love YANA x