We have had a few customers ask about our factory lately and we think its a good question! who wouldn't want to know where their bag comes from and who is actually making them. We take responsible, safe and ethical manufacturing very seriously and because of that I made a point of visiting and auditing our factory regularly.
We did a blog post about our factory last year showing some pretty nice images i took when i was there visiting. <READ ARTICLE HERE> However, since then, our factory moved from just outside Shenzhen to Kunshan which is just outside of Shanghai. The factories around the south of China have suffered from crippling labour cost increases as high rise apartments sprout up and we are seeing a much more professional and wealthy Chinese youth.
This is actually a good thing, don't get me wrong, but has meant that our little factory had to close up and move up to the north! So earlier this year i went over to visit the new factory. These are some photos taken this week at the factory when our new Stealth Collection has been on the factory floor being made.
I find it fascinating and always ask lots of questions when i'm at the factory. The eye opening thing is that often its the factory that can't get enough staff any more. China is becoming increasingly wealthy and from a manufacturing perspective are making a lot more high tech electronics products. Bags, accessories, footwear and fashion manufacturing in general is moving much more to the newer developing regions such as Vietnam, Cambodia and even Thailand.
Having a Chinese heritage - my dad and mum were born there, i love going back to China and having an excuse to go and stuff my face with delicious food and get foot massages! For me its really important that I use Goodordering to elevate manufacturing in China and give it the credit it deserves.
When i first started the brand Goodordering in 2012, living in London, one of the first things that i did was to research manufacturers in the UK, aside from it being very practical when designing and developing a new range, it was important to me to support the local economy. However, the more i researched the more i had doors close in my face and some manufacturers i contacted didn't even reply to my emails or phone calls. It was clear early on, that in order to be able to offer nicely designed bags at the £65 price point range, it would not be feasible to make them in the UK. This is a question i am often asked, so i wanted to make it clear that it was one of my early intentions to manufacture in the UK and much effort was put in to make it happen.
However, the latest exciting news is that i'm looking into a collaboration with a UK manufacturer to bring out a special made in the UK range. I realised that i didn't have to be a brand all made in China or all made in the UK, but explore having a combination. Above is a pretty abstract image of the lining of our new bags that are part of the TFL range. You can see a press release about this HERE - its launching soon so keep your eyes peeled!
In the image above you can see some of the foam padding that goes in between the body fabric and the lining fabric, as well as a whole bunch of backpack straps.
As far as our manufacturing story so far goes for Goodordering, here are the
- Our factories are Taiwanese owned Chinese factories that adhere to an international standard. Many of their other customers include global sports brands and well known fashion brands.
- I visit the factory once or twice a year, i spend days in the sample room, walking around the factory and meeting with the management to discuss future plans.
- My relationship with the factory is long term, i have been working with the same factory since Goodordering started in 2012 and hope we have a long and fruitful relationship together
- China is no longer the cheapest place to get bags made, in fact its pretty expensive, but for us, quality is so important that we do not skimp on manufacturing costs.
This article was written by me, Jacqui Ma, the founder, designer, creative director and all round dog's body of Goodordering, east London bag company.
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