Have you ever tuned in to watch the Great British Sewing Bee? It was an unknown programme back in 2013, on a topic very few of us really considered to be of interest. But this is just one of the many things that has focussed the spotlight on the often detailed workmanship involved in creating a garment, something that was highly produced locally here in the UK until the 1980s.
Every essence behind a garment’s production was situated in the UK until relatively recently. Styles were generated in moderate numbers and less often throughout the year until the discovery of cheap labour overseas was discovered. Combine this with the increase of catwalk collections in the 90s from around two collections per year increasing up to six (holiday, pre summer, high summer, plus a similar pattern for winter), and this created a craze with staying in the loop with what was hot on trend, and the beginning of what we now recognise as ‘fast fashion’.
It was at this point UK manufacturing slowly started to disappear.
The talent and traceability involved in the development of a garment using techniques that brought passion and precision to each piece, be it the tension of a French seam to the finish on a buttonhole, slowly disappeared.
At h.huna we pride ourselves on the skilled workmanship involved in every step of our garment’s production (find the behind the scenes production of our current collection via the link below). We know we’re one of a growing number of small collections focussed on ethical production, and recently we’ve been seeking out those that share our values.
We connected with a fellow locally sourced brand, one of whom has wealth of knowledge stemming back generations of production here in the UK. I asked Elaine of Elaine Bernstein, a wonderful vintage inspired womenswear brand, for a chat on what keeping production local is all about.
We talked about how production has changed over the years, the wonderful workmanship we see of each individual and their attention to detail, to the stemming of the inspiration behind our mini brands. Have a listen to Elaine’s wealth of experience…