May 28, 2024

I don’t make any secret of the fact that here at TRiCKETT we rely on two things:

1.⁠ ⁠You lovely lot. You support us and our ideas and we appreciate each and every one of you.
2.⁠ ⁠The suppliers who make our ideas into actual products. We are in perpetual awe of their skills.

Today I am writing a post about our suppliers and how fragile the manufacturing ecosystem can be. Since the very start of TRiCKETT and right up to this moment, we decided to use only the best, most ethical and environmentally sound suppliers that we possibly find. We have no problem making outside of the UK and over the years we have actively sought out suppliers in excellent textile-producing countries such as Italy, Portugal and the USA. However, manufacturing in a country where we don’t know anyone and can’t speak the language is always a stumbling block that we never cross, not because we have any issue with these places, we just can’t communicate as effectively as we would like to.

This week, we got told that our dear friend Marina and her family would be closing down their sock-manufacturing operation, ceasing decades of wonderful work and moving on to other projects. Without this sounding like a love letter, Marina has always been incredibly kind, adaptable, passionate and above all else, a wonderful friend who is a credit to the age-old Brescian work-ethic that she has told me so much about… One that is unlike any other that I have ever encountered before or since.

Whilst it is incredibly sad that we won’t have her beautiful hiking, air-conditioning or activity socks anymore, it just goes to show how lucky we are to work with such wonderful people and get to be associated with their craft and skill. These skills that many of us take for granted and in many cases are all too quick to reject for ‘well I can get that for cheaper from X place.’

Making here in the UK is a privilege, one that fewer and fewer companies get to experience with profits preferred over people. Goods are designed on computers, sent as a file to be manufactured in a place that is seldom vetted, sent back to an anonymous warehouse for them to be delivered to a doorstep somewhere in the world. I read an article today about a collapse of a well-known online luxury goods retailer who have been placed into administration owing thousands of pounds to companies ranging from cleaners to some of the biggest brands in the world. Unfortunately, one of the smaller brands that had been affected was our friend Roy Powley, who makes our wonderful rugby shirts.

You can read the full article here, but the jist is that Roy has had to cash in his pension to support his work due to not being paid what he is owed by the above company. All whilst selling the product that he has made, but not receiving payment for it. I am a real romantic when it comes to taking care of suppliers and I fully understand that the bigger the company, the bigger the risks, marketing budgets, wage bills and cash flow issues, but companies like this help to destroy what little manufacturing we have left in this country. Ultimately, ‘investing in local’ (or whatever other trite marketing spiel that these companies come up with) means nothing unless they put their money where their mouth is and support these manufacturers. Otherwise, all they are doing is expediting the demise of our nation’s textile manufacturing industry.

This isn’t meant to be a negative piece, far from it actually, because we are lucky to be working alongside incredible people and align ourselves with other wonderful brands like HebTroCo, Anglo-Italian, S.E.H Kelly and others who pay their bills on time, appreciate their suppliers and support them in every way that they can.

We may be in the final act of British / Western manufacturing, but I think if it is going to finish on our watch, let it be a beautiful ending rather than a whimpering limp into the darkness.

3 6 9 12
3 6 9 12
3 6 9 12
Los Angeles

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