Grev Lushington from Quantock Clothing Ltd which is an English fashion business that started in 2014 talks to us about his desire to simplify the manufacturing and supply chain involved in the fashion industry through manufacturing clothing here in Britain that is high quality and well priced.
Hi Grev, firstly; what do you make and why?
I’ve worked in logistics and supply chains for over 20 years and it is always apparent that the longer the chain and the more complex it is, the less chance there is of delivering a quality product. And quality for me is not just about the quality of the product itself, but a much wider view of what goes into making it, how it is made, who makes it, how the stakeholders in the supply chain are valued and so on.
It is well known that many businesses chose to relocate production overseas and indeed it is not just British companies who have done this. The prize of buying the same physical quality of product made overseas but at a significantly lower price has been taken. But what cost was really incurred and what now that those same costs are rising? Are we really talking about a sustainable business model with a strong supply chain or one that has taken the easy path for the easy buck?
We still have a very proud history of manufacturing in this country, even though at times we have gone through phases of child labour, poor regard for safety and the environment, poor labour relations, etc. But just imagine if we can rekindle that nation of great makers spirit, creating well made high quality product that is manufactured by engaged, passionate and skilled people.
I believe passionately that there are other people throughout the UK with similar values (MTL: Yep we do too). I wanted to create a business that delivers exceptional product, priced fairly to reflect its quality and the people involved in making it happen.
I set up Quantock Clothing to do just that and to paraphrase Carl Buechner, because we all remember how we feel about something.
What products or people have helped to inspire you to create the products that you do?
The inspiration I’ve taken has all been about making clothing in England. We don’t offer a unique to Quantock style, but the combination of passion, skill and quality and that all our lines are Made in England is what makes us different. I’ve got two cats, but prefer dogs. Life is all about compromises…
We know and love your clothing, but why should our customers buy them?
In terms of clothing, quality stems from both the fabric and the garment make up. You can employ the best machinist in the World, but with poor quality fabric, you will always get a poor quality garment. You can buy the best cloth in the World, but if it’s not put together well, then…
So feel the cloth and look at the garment make up – that is how you know you have a quality article.
For example, our polo shirt cloth has been knitted to our specification. It is heavier than many other brands’ cloth. You take our polos out of the wash and hang the garments to dry – they will not change shape nearly as much as other brands’ product. Why? Because the cloth is of superior quality. Period.
Take our denim that is woven in Japan on Toyoda shuttle looms. Toyoda was the parent company to Toyota motor cars and it has been well documented that Toyota have been the leaders in automotive quality for many years.
Our partners throughout England are well run businesses with tight operations and passionate employees. We are far more likely to get the quality of garment make up that we require by working with such fantastic people.
Whereabouts does your manufacturing take place?
We work with a number of partners throughout England – some in the Midlands and some in London. When you are new, you have little credibility to demonstrate to your partners, so I focussed on my ideals and why the business was setup to help engage our suppliers. And I could not have wished for better support – they are great!
What is the toughest part of the product development process for you?
In terms of design – I’m no textile designer, but I don’t need to be. For example, the humble polo shirt has not changed much since its inception in 1929 and a V neck jumper has been around for many years. And of course, our partners are skilled at design, so by working together, we can move through the difficulties of product development.
What is the most enjoyable part of the process of product development for you?
Seeing the idea turn from just that into a sample, a production sample and then finally clothes ready to sell. That is immensely rewarding.
Do you have any new products/ranges planned for the next year or so?
Of course…. Oxford button downs in April 2015 and a few other items warming up nicely in the wings… All Made in England as always…
That’s enough detail for now…
Which product in your range do you personally use the most and why?
Jeans! Of course I wear my clothes all the time, but my pair of Quantock stone washed selvedge jeans are worn the most
Grev – Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. You have really helped to highlight some of the issues and concerns that we at Made to Last share with you. It is great to get the opportunity to sell your quality clothing.
If you readers would like to learn more and also buy items form the Quantock clothing range then simply click here.