We were so excited to launch our Made in Britain Collection last week! Inspired by British textile craftsmanship and bringing colour to British production, each piece is made by our small but wonderful team of skilled female tailors in our warehouse in Barnsley, South Yorkshire.
The collection consists of 9 pieces - reworked pini dresses, midi pinis and cargo trousers, featuring signature Lucy & Yak design statements and new colourways lime green and strawberry pink. We used practical hardwearing fabrics (thick 100% cotton twill) from a local Yorkshire family run business who have been developing high quality fabric since 1901. With large pockets, classic shapes and utility details with modern twists on traditional colour pallets.
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#whomadeyourclothes? These guys!⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ Our lovely team of machinists and seamstresses (Amanda, Carol, Trish, Tracey, Mary and Sylvia) have over 150 years of experience between them and have made every piece of our Made in Britain collection in-house, from start to finish.⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ “It sounds like a small change but the importance of well paid, stable jobs in rural Yorkshire, which employees can take real pride in, cannot be understated. We hope to one day to inspire a new generation of seamstresses and machinists to train and learn these wonderful skills so that they don’t die out." - Lucy⠀ ⠀ Read a little bit from each of the team on our Made in Britain story highlight 👀
Following the success of working with our partners and teams in India, we wanted to bring skilled textile jobs back to Yorkshire with the same ethical production ethos. Barnsley used to be home to thousands of garment workers and a thriving textile industry. As the factories closed down, it left many workers unemployed and no longer using their skills. We believe that creating and sustaining well-paid and rewarding jobs is the single best way to benefit a community and that’s what we try to do both in India and the UK.
Here is Lucy, our co-founder explaining more on why this was important to us...
"People have always been at the heart of Lucy & Yak; the brand is built around our team. We always want to see people do well and be looked after, however, we know in the fashion industry this isn’t always the case. When we started the brand, we knew we wanted to work with a supplier that looked after their team, someone who shared our values. We found the perfect partner for this in India and together we built a factory and a team, and the rest is history!
This went so well that we thought, why not do the same here in my hometown (Barnsley)? Barnsley used to be home to thousands of garment workers, mostly women that worked in the factories that made clothing for the high street many years ago. Most of these factories closed down or moved abroad, leaving many skilled people working in places where they couldn’t use their skills.
It sounds like a small change but the importance of well paid, stable jobs in rural Yorkshire, which employees can take real pride in, cannot be understated. We hope to one day to inspire a new generation of seamstresses and machinists to train and learn these wonderful skills so that they don’t die out."
Transparency in the supply chain
We want to have as much control over our supply chain as we can. It’s the only way to make sure our clothes are as sustainable and ethical as possible, and we want our customers to be able to see what we are doing. It’s so important that we know that everyone involved is paid well, treated fairly and are happy at work. Making our own collections in-house also means that we can make fewer garments at a time and then top up our supply as they sell. This is an important way to reduce waste and also cuts down re-stock times. We’re still partnering with Ismail and the team in India, and adding to what they do with our Made in Britain collection.
We wanted to photograph all the campaign images in South Yorkshire, with all the lifestyle mages taken at the Barnsley Main Colliery.
As Lucy says…
"We wanted to shoot the collection where it was made. The sewing factories and the coal mines were at the heart of communities in Barnsley where everyone used to work. It felt right to shoot the collection at Barnsley Main Colliery which was one of the entrances to the old coal mine, paying homage to the old industries of Barnsley and the communities that live and work here. I know most people in Barnsley will recognise Barnsley Main and feel proud, especially my dad."
Meet the team!
The collection was handmade but our wonderful team of 5 skilled female tailors in our warehouse in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. Meet the whole team below…