On the train, the heater is blowing in cold air and it’s snowing.
The lady opposite me is wearing earmuffs and chatting away chirpily about the weather to an elderly couple she has found a seat next to. The man in front of me is wearing a tweed suit, he is also chatting... about the weather... Everyone in this carriage is talking about the weather. I love the British! I honestly believe that come the apocalypse, the first place everyone would head to would be the PG tips factory for a nice cup of tea, followed shortly afterwards, by McVities (biscuits, for dunking obviously).
Every day we receive a ton of emails, inviting us to have our bags made abroad, mostly in the Far East... I see the proposals and sometimes it’s a tempting offer, well, financially tempting at least…
The thing is, would I be able to travel in a couple of hours for a face to face meeting with the ladies who are actually making our bags; they tell us EXACTLY how it is... ‘We don’t have the rivets you wanted originally, but you know what - sh*@ t happens and ours are nicer anyway!’ Cindi knows. She has made bags for well, years. Those of you who work mostly on your own will identify with this – it’s easy to get carried away with an idea. Cindi will tell you whether or not it can be achieved. Very quickly, very politely, with a very broad West Country accent, then offer you an alternative that blows your original idea out of the water! This is important to us.
We want to know the people who make our bags and meet them. We want to make sure their production is not leaving a massive carbon footprint when it makes its way from supplier to customer and that everyone is being paid a fair price; from beach concessionaire to you.
Manufacture in Great Britain is on its knees but look around for the little pockets in this little country, there’s some cool stuff going on and some skilled craftspeople, quietly working away… and drinking tea, whilst talking about the weather...
Cindi reckons, if I don’t leave now, I’m going to be snowed in... I tell her I don’t mind, as long as she’s got some Custard Creams.
We are made by the sea. Here. In Britain.