English Fine Cottons is working with an up-and-coming menswear label, to make the perfect fabric for their trousers here in the UK.
While we’ve been busy re-establishing cotton spinning in a region once dubbed Cottonopolis, the founders of HebTroCo have been keeping the industry alive in Hebden Bridge, which used to be known as Trousertown.
The decimation of the UK’s textile industry during the last century means the fabrics for their popular moleskin and needlecord trousers must be sourced from abroad.
So now, we’ve teamed-up to develop the perfect trouser fabric on British soil, adding another string to the country’s textile manufacturing bow.
We’re working on a heavyweight chino fabric, to complement their current range of hard-wearing pants.
Truly British-made trousers coming soon
Ed and Brant aim to sell their first pair of trousers made from our star grade Supima cotton yarns in the next few months.
Ed said: “As our brand has grown, we’ve realised that people want to buy products with a story, and they want to feel connected with where it comes from and how it’s made.
“We heard about this cotton mill that was opening up a couple of years ago and it was so exciting. The story of English Fine Cottons is a great one and it fits with ours perfectly.”
Pride in British provenance
Ed and Brant pride themselves on the provenance of their products, right down to the accessories they’ve added to their collection.
Their Chukka and Moto boots are made by the UK’s last remaining heavy-boot manufacturer, William Lennon & Co, based in the Peak District. The belts are made with buckles hand-forged just down the road, and leather from a Devonshire tannery.
We visited Ed and Brant at their West Yorkshire HQ, as they were getting ready to take some trouser orders to the Post Office on their bikes.
Ed added: “We need to keep this part of British heritage alive.
“We started our business after a conversation in the pub and we knew nothing about manufacturing. Over time, we’ve worked with some incredible, traditional craftsmen and women on our doorstep.
“There are prestige labels who just sew a ‘British-made’ label into something that was made abroad. It’s a travesty and it will run the small factories where these people work into the ground.
“If we can make products that keep the people living around us in work, then we should.
Bringing back an industry
Our general manager, Andy Ogden, says working with businesses like HebTroCo is the key to success.
“It’s always exciting to work with a customer when they have an idea and they want to make it happen in Britain.
“This is exactly what we’re all about. We’ve always said that we can’t just bring back an entire industry by cotton spinning alone. We need to work with labels and other manufacturers to re-establish production chains.
“Projects like this are proof it can be done in this country, the skillsets are still here and a stronger, more diverse industry can emerge.”