The GuardianThe Guardian

Why the new era of British fashion is all about the factory

By Jess Cartner-Morley

14 Aug 2021 · 10 min read

On the factory floor at Pittards in Yeovil, Marta, Gabbie and Gabriella are working together on a new product. They fasten strengthening layers to the leather base of a cylindrical handbag, attach a shiny brass zip, and handpaint seams so that the raw edges of the hide match the lipstick-red surface.

Pittards employs more than 150 people and does brisk business in baseball gloves, dog leads and walking boots, but the bag being made today comes with a waiting list and a £350 price tag. The Somerset Love bag, designed by Alice Temperley and named for the county where it is made, represents a new movement in the British fashion industry. Designers and models are beginning to share the spotlight with the people who actually make the clothes, bags and shoes.

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