Why did you start the company?
After many years working for high street retailers such as Next – Topshop – River island, I decided that manufacturing within and outside the UK can be better managed from a supplier basis, most of my employers had been hiring students out of university into senior roles with many not having a great amount of experience hands on within a manufacturing environment or even regarding garment construction and I felt that with my many years’ experience in garment construction, pattern cutting and production management that I could fill a space which was necessary in UK manufacturing sector with a direct understanding of client needs and knowledge of UK customer’s working structure.
How do you feel about the future of garment manufacturing in UK especially now we have left the EU?
I feel that UK based garment manufacturing is in a great position if supported by the Government, but unfortunately its been evident that this is a sector that has been totally ignored and it will become harder and harder for UK based manufacturers to keep maintaining their staff and expenses at a controllable level.
I also feel that the ever rising costs in general within the UK will only push brands and retailers to their limits with raising logistical costs and staff and rent increases. This will push clients to reduce manufacturing costs so as to not relay the cost to end consumers and will have a negative impact on UK based manufacturers: lack of incentives from the UK government is also another major blow both to UK brands and manufacturers.
GFW says: without any government support the UK based manufacturers have to reply on consumers being happy to pay more for their clothing than mass produced goods taking advantage of cheap developing word labour. We think you are happy paying more for a well made product with people paid a fair wage. Are we right? Do drop us a line if you think we are wrong.
What is the advantage of choosing UK production over cheaper overseas.
The main advantage is the speed of production and ability to rectify and change production if requested with a very short period of time, generally speaking communication is a major issue for overseas production and also the logistical time frames are another issue in regards to this. We can turn around production often within 2 weeks from start to finish of an order and also the customer benefits from not having to export all materials and then to re import them if producing under a CMT basis (and the time that takes for the goods to travel from one country to another).
GFW says: As the point above, but also reduces the carbon footprint of our garments, which is a big plus.
What do you think of the gender free world concept?
I think that the Gender Free World concept is great and one that is very lacking in modern Britain, with the ever expanding diversity of the UK a lot of people with different shapes and sizes to this regard have been forgotten and forced to purchase general population style based garments which are produced for the masses with a 'one size fits all' mentality but this of course does not always reflect the differences in bodies. We generally do not see clothing made without gender based label which is not produced specifically for men or women and I feel that having such a brand is great for everyone, those who do or do not identify as binary genders of our world, and gives people an alternative option with regards to clothing. I also feel that rather than telling people what to wear allowing people to choose with the ALEX-BILLIE-CHARLIE-DREW shapes is great . Gender Free World is a concept that many retailers should have started many years ago so I am proud to be part of the manufacturing of garments for the brand.
GFW says: Shucks, thanks Josh!
I hope that the brand will grow and keep growing to supply garments to a totally ignored part of our modern day society and I hope to keep producing for Gender Free World for many years to come.
GFW says: we hope so too.