How Exploring the UK Textile And Manufacturing Industry Inspired Us To Make It Locally And Sustainably
With the growing awareness of importance of green fashion, what does the UK market has to offer you, a valued consumer, today? Availability and affordability of fast fashion versus quality and made-to-last approach of a UK-based manufacturer are two ends of the same stick and there are a number of issues surrounding each of those aspects.
Here at Zalinah White we are proud to be a truly British-made brand. Whilst our designs sell across the globe, there is nothing quite like being able to sell our locally designed and expertly made creations to those who call the UK their home.
Sourcing and producing locally allows us to not only closely monitor the quality of the process but regularly improve our staple pieces upon receipt of customer feedback. Here are few more reasons why we think it is important to support the British textile and manufacturing industry today.
Made to last
When you buy from a British brand rest assured that you are buying a garment made to meet the highest standards set by the UK manufacturing consumer market alongside the skills and expertise of British artisans. Years of experience spent behind the ateliers' closed doors mean keeping a keen eye on detail is key to a clean-finished and high-end looking piece that will last you for several seasons.
Indeed, the UK textile and manufacturing industry does not offer mass manufacturing in quantities the Far East does. Yet this is another reason why locally produced garments deserve another chance to be given a long life in your closet.
Because making in smaller quantities means spending more time on each piece and allows the manufacturer to become more familiar with the material and the end product. This, in return, offers an opportunity to monitor fabric behaviour when items are washed, dry cleaned, worn for a long period of time and even creased. The so-essential wear and tear process that certainly reflects on the overall circle of life of your garment and its utilisation.
Challenge the concept of fast fashion
Let's face it, fast fashion is something everyone loves for its affordability, almost immediate availability and a vast choice it has to offer within weeks after key trend setters showcased their successful runway performance and made a worldwide statement.
Key industry players heavily rely on mass turnaround, underpaid labour, and lack on the eco-aware front, too. Yet manufacturing locally gives smaller brands a better opportunity to ensure living-wages are paid in a timely manner and little to none manufacturing waste ends up in the landfill.
Opting for smaller batch runs perfectly fits most of local manufacturers' capacity and permits for development of a close and transparent relationship between you, the end consumer, the manufacturer, the materials supplier and the brand itself.
It is a little more pricey, a little more difficult to make that decision to spend more than you usually would on that Asos piece. Yet the long-term aspect of investing in a basic wardrobe line which most of the UK brands are here to offer, mean a versatile outfit again and again. Learn to wear a selected item and discover numerous variations of wearing it for different occasions. You'd be surprised how well a pair of nude shorts could be styles to fit a school run, a lunch catch up with your bestie or a date night with that handsome guy from next door department.
Treat yourself to a long-term happiness and allow yourself to be free of the need to try and keep up with the fast fashion - trends are short-lived, aren't they?
Support the UK economy
'Britain's textile industry gets an unexpected boost from COVID-19' says Kate Hills of Make It British, an advocate of all things made in the UK. Hard to disagree with Kate seeing a high rise in needs for PPE and face coverings we must wear today. Every time I leave home now I ensure I check on keys, a wallet, headphones and ... a face covering! Higher demand for small items like these items means there were skilled machinists out there whose skills were not needed until the coronavirus outbreak. Reconsideration of having local and, most importantly, short supply chains is a strong enough reason to turn back to British manufacturers. Security of supply, creation of jobs and circulation of money within the trusted circles is a long-term economy boost.
One of the biggest fails would be to let the situation slip though the fingers of fast and 'someone else is paying' approach to fashion. Plan your purchases. Buy local. Buy responsibly. Help keep it British.
Pieces featured in the above article:
Phoenix Skirt made from locally sourced materials
Sophia low back midi with side pockets - made from organic brushed cotton