First Corporate Featured in Printwear & Promotion Magazine!
5th September, 2017
We have been featured in the September issue of Printwear & Promotion
The feature covers the decline of UK manufacturing and how we, First Corporate Clothing, are the last remaining UK manufacturer of corporate suiting.
You can download the full Printwear & Promotion Feature but here are some excerpts -
Formed in 1998 by Mal, whose background lies in high street fashion, First Corporate Clothing employs 20 machinists who manufacture everything from a ladies blouse, to a shirt or jacket through to bespoke pieces of corporatewear. The level and the skill of these workers is extremely high, and Mal says it can take six months to train someone to learn how to sew together a blouse, before even learning how to sew a pair of trousers. However, it is a skill set which Mal says is declining among the youth of the UK as many school leavers do not see this line of work as a viable career path. “Itʼs not like Coronation Street, where you can take someone from the café to work straight away in the factory. These machinists are highly skilled professionals,” he adds.
Over the years the company has become an expert in its field and manages well the hurdles that come with manufacturing corporatewear, for it is a whole different ball game to manufacturing for the high street. When manufacturing for the high street factories are only required to consider garments, generally speaking, for one gender or age bracket. However, for the corporatewear market a designer has to consider making a stock range that is flexible for all ages, genders and sizes. The fabrics used are also completely different. Garments on the high street are not designed for longevity, whereas a corporate uniform needs to have both washability and durability. This is where First Corporate Clothing comes into its own. Mal says that his companyʼs USP is the design team. This small, but highly skilled team has decades of experience. They have created a stock range of corporate clothing that not only meets the demands of wearers, but is stylish too. The design team will also work on a one-to-one basis with clients to either bespoke the stock range to suit or to redesign a new uniform from scratch.
Once a design has been confirmed, it moves into the factory to come to fruition. First the roll of chosen fabric is laid out in layers on a table, depending upon how many of each size are to be made. Then a paper template of each segment of the garment is pinned on top of the layers of fabric and then cut out by hand.
The pieces of cut out fabric are then passed through several machinists, who sew the garment together, with each machinist adding another piece to the jigsaw puzzle before the final garment is complete. It is then labelled proudly with a Designed and Made in Great Britain swing ticket tag. On an average week, the machinists can manufacture around 600-800 garments.
Some clients have been working with First Corporate Clothing for as long as 10 years and highly rate the dedicated service that the company provides. Each client is allocated a dedicated account manager, who becomes their main point of contact throughout the manufacturing process.
“The set-up that we have in our factory, gives a better service. We donʼt gain contracts purely on the basis that we are a UK manufacturer, we gain them because of the excellent level of service we can offer. Companies like the comfort factor of working with us,” says Mal.
He continues: “Companies that have taken their manufacturing offshore have lost their flexibility. They receive a poor service after the initial roll-out, they are put off by large order quantities and how difficult it is to reorder stock. These are not issues they face when working with us.”
Letʼs hope that many more retailers and businesses realise the benefits of working with UK garment manufacturers and the industry begins to see a resurgence in skills and work.
If you would like more information or have any questions, feel free to contact us!