On 30th September the Factory welcomed two cohorts of buying and merchandising students from the Fashion Retail Academy (FRA) for an on-site factory tour.
It was fantastic to see students at the factory again following a year of virtual tours. We are now finally able to welcome students back on site and show them firsthand how a garment is manufactured and what makes a factory ethical.
Each two hour tour was led by Production Director Caroline Ash who explained the complete garment production process, critical path, how a garment is costed and how a factory is compliant
The students were able to see where the fabric was delivered to, what happens on the cutting table, how the pieces are put into bundles and all of the different machine operations including cover stitch, over locker and flat bed. Caroline explained that quality was extremely important so at each stage of the process there was quality control in place.
The students were then taken to the Fashion Studio where they learnt about sampling, creating patterns both manually and digitally and short production runs. They were taught the difference between the factory for bulk production and the Fashion Studio for more high end shorter runs.
The tour ended in Unit 4 where the students were shown the latest manufacturing technologies and explained what the micro factory concept is – the future of garment manufacturing.
Overall the students found the tour interesting, they learnt a lot about what goes on in an ethical factory and could see how this information related to their studies and future careers as buyers or merchandisers.
‘I heave learnt about the running of a factory. I came into this not knowing what to expect at all and the main thing I have learnt is how much work goes into making a garment and the speed. The tour was very informative. Not only did she explain the factory side but also related it to buying’
We look forward to the next group from the FRA!