We’re going to take you behind the scenes and talk you through the process that has to go into making our shirts. Things this good take time you know!
As a small company, we probably do things a little differently to the big boys, we simply don’t have equal resource, buying power, capabilities or cold hard cash to do things in the same way. This way, for now, works for us and we can ensure quality, consistency and price are monitored through every step of the way, allowing us to give you the best across the board.
So, here’s how it starts.
Literally, paper & pencil. (This was the first shirt we ever designed at the back end of 2014).
We take our ideas and get them out of our head and onto paper.
From collar styles, to button placements, to thread colours, to logo position, it all gets drawn out to resemble the ideas we want to turn into real life.
At the same time, we’ll be browsing through fabric samples sent to us by Ella, our lovely design co-ordinator, who works as an intermediary between ourselves and our clothing manufacturer to develop our products. We literally have hundreds of incredible fabrics to chose from, so this takes time and can be very, very difficult to decide on! We are very picky about the fabrics that we choose, they are always premium quality and always have to look & feel great.
Digital Design Stage
Once we have our fabric swatches and colour grades for the certain styles, we’ll develop our ideas into digital form, giving us a further indication of how the finished product is going to look.
In the image above you can see the digital design stage of our Oswald Grandad Collar shirts.
When we’re happy with the colours, the fabric choices and the design detail, we’ll get the ball rolling with the sampling team. We’ll have one or several meetings to talk through the products to ensure everyone is clear on what needs to be done, down to the very last detail.
We then buy the fabric and the team make up a first sample of each design.
Once the samples are finished, we, of course, try them on, checking the specifications we’ve written and making sure that the product matches up to them.
We check the fabric, the button choices, the wash quality & ensure the fit is “our fit” - it all gets done right here, by us.
Now we’ve established a good relationship with our suppliers and "Our Fit" doesn’t change, this process can be completed pretty quickly.
Then we decide on our quantities. We only ever produce small quantities of our shirts, around 20 or 30 in each size. Our aim is to remain somewhat exclusive, we want you to be one of a select few that are wearing a certain shirt.
Our plan is to make small batches, frequently and launch them onto our store throughout the year, opposed to in the traditional Spring / Summer & Autumn / Winter collections.
We’ll send over our final purchase order to our clothing manufacturer and pay our deposit (or 100% of the order if we’re rushed…….which hurts!).
We send our samples to our photographer to capture product shots for our website.
If we’re really organised, we’ll start making lifestyle images with them, and have a bank of images to use market them even before the stock arrives with us.
The photo above is our very first photoshoot with the very first shirt we designed. We've come a long way since then; the location of that photoshoot was my living room in my old flat in sunny Shropshire! Who said being a fashion designer was glamourous?
It can take up to 60 days from us sending the purchase order to getting all of our shirts fully delivered due to the amount of care and detail required for our designs, and due to any delays or issues.
Once they've all been delivered we will spend a day or two sorting through, checking and organising our stock before it goes online.
All in all the process can take up to 100 days from sketch to storefront.