This season I have been working with Makers HQ in my hometown, Plymouth. Makers HQ is a social enterprise with the goal of re-establishing fashion and textiles manufacturing in the city. The partnership between Plymouth College of Art and Millfields Trust launched in early 2018, and profits made from the sampling studio and small production facilities from companies like Dinki Human are re-invested into Makers HQ training programmes. The education scheme focusses on supporting the local community to find employment within the fashion and textiles sector by giving them the skills needed. The scheme aims to retain that talent within the local area, as well as to teach these valuable skills to young people embarking on their careers in this industry.
"We are passionate about people and fashion.
We want to make a sustainable change to our neighbourhood."
The sampling studio is located in the old Jaeger factory where 150 jobs were lost on it's closure in 1997. These highly skilled workers found themselves unemployed and without alternative jobs allowing them to utilise their valuable skills. Stonehouse is an economically deprived area and remains underdeveloped compared with other parts of Plymouth, but is currently undergoing a period of welcomed regeneration. This fantastic project aims to drive economic and community regeneration in an area with a rich fashion and textile manufacturing heritage. Makers HQ celebrates Stonehouse's historical connections to this industry, an industry that once thrived in the UK.
We are so excited to be working with this fabulous company and helping to re-establish the city's historical links to the fashion industry. And being a Plymouth College of Art alumni, I have a personal invested interest in supporting fashion and textile manufacturing in this great city.
With the fantastic team of garment technicians and seamstresses at Makers HQ, we have developed some new blocks that focus on comfort, room to grow, and crucially, allow freedom to play. All styles are "cloth nappy happy", they are designed to fit cloth bum babies as well as babies in disposable nappies, and then of course underwear when your Dinki Human has reached that milestone. We have also ensured leg lengths and cuff lengths allow room for growth, we really want your Dinki Human to get the most out of their clothing. Our clothes are comfort-conscious and designed to last.
The entire Dinki Human range is ethically manufactured in the UK. We are advocates for British design and fully support the resurgence of British manufacture. As long as we can source GOTS and OEKO-TEX certified organic fabrics, dyes, printing inks, and trims we will continue to manufacture in the UK and indeed, grow our business within the UK. We may not always be able to do this, resources are minimal (in organic textiles) and we're not sure how Brexit could affect our business yet, but with our customers support we believe we can make a difference and support our garment trade - close to home!
The Makers HQ Blog Series has some great reads around the importance of slow and eco-friendly fashion. Take a look!