IT’S TIME TO ASK, “WHO MADE MY CLOTHES?”
This week is Fashion revolution week, something I/we feel really passionate about here at The bonnie mob, we work with a handful of trusted, high quality suppliers, (some for over 10 years since we started in 2005). We’ve built up great relationships with like minded people that share our belief in good quality products, at a fair price. We regularly visit our factories and would never work with anyone who does not adhere to good working conditions with fair wages.
Our factories are so special, they love a challenge, have open thinking, creative staff and always find solutions to some of our quirky design ideas! Most of these factories are in Hong Kong and China, something that sometimes raises an eyebrow, but we would like to explain a few things to set the record straight, This is #whomakesyourclothes and we love them;
As a designer, over my career I have worked with factories in the UK ( back when we had a thriving clothing manufacturing industry), Italy, Turkey, Portugal, France, Hong Kong and China. When we started 10 years ago I chose to work with a few factories in Hong Kong, I counted the owners of these factories as friends and believed they would offer me the best service for my small babywear brand as we took our first tentative steps. I still fully trust these factories, we have grown together and we understand each other. The situation in our factories is far removed from the stereotype view of Asian manufacturing, the workplaces are clean and tidy and not cramped, China has a 40 hour working week, has set high standards for workplace safety and has a minimum fair wage (unlike many other countries). To find out more here’s a great article about Chinese factory standards by Quartz >
I have to say that our factories in Hong Kong and China are among some of the best I’ve ever worked with, they have evolved from hand knitting on single man machines to now having state of the art computerised knitting machines, with highly skilled technicians and programmers or ‘Shifu’ (think Kung Fu Panda!). As a self confessed knit geek, I love nothing more than working with the Shifu and discussing how we can make my designs, the conversations are filled with lots of hand jestures, drawings, laughing and much head shaking, I love it! So as I return from a great week visiting factories, here’s a few pictures of the people who make our clothes: they are happy, talented, productive people, I could not not do this without them and count myself lucky to be working with such a great bunch of people.
by Tracey ( Designer and Founder The Bonnie mob)