There’s an interesting new feminism narrative happening in clothes, which is focusing less on the end product (although that is still important) and more about who’s involved in the supply chain. Women entrepreneurs make up a big percentage of the sewing industry, but they are rarely acknowledged. When Anne Muir, co founder of our favourite waterproof outerwear brand Protected Species told us using all women in the supply chain was an integral part of their design philosophy, I asked her to write a post for us.
We also have a wonderful give away offer of EITHER a City Walker or a White Mac from the range. I have had my Parka for a coupe of years now and it has been a totally brilliant, much admired coat. I can not recommend them highly enough. Details below.
“One of the luxuries of creating a brand and new product is that you can choose who you work with (the rest is just really hard work!) We set out at protected Species to reinvent waterproofs for women and we felt really, really strongly that they had to be all about women in every aspect. We wanted our coats to fit in with the busy, multi-faceted lifestyles we all have.
We wanted to be the antithesis of outdoor brands which are masculine and whose women’s ranges tend to be pinked and shrinked (love this description, may have to nick it- A). We felt we needed expert women involved throughout our supply chain, from design to manufacture, because we think it makes a tangible difference to the product.
Specialist fabric supplier and developer – our fabric was developed by Greta who is based in Taiwan where she owns and runs a successful mill specialising only in waterproof fabric. She is all about innovation and what they do is very highly skilled and technical. She understood what we wanted and why we wanted it (had to be about wearability, comfort, fitting in with all the parts we play, effortless and something that fits in with our day to day wardrobes). She is incredibly passionate and talented – a true entrepreneur.
Our manufacturing base – we work with a small, highly specialised factory in China which is owned and run by Carrie, a young, talented woman who set up her own factory as she saw a gap in the manufacturing base in China for highly specialised, low volume high quality sportswear. Again, very technical and highly skilled all-female workforce – its no sweat shop. The factory is attached to her house and has a co-operative type feel. She works with smaller brands, specialises in performance clothing and supplies a lot of European team sportswear as well as smaller UK brands. She is an integral and important part of our development team – she understood the flattering cut and fit we wanted as well as the clean, minimalist design we stick to (she added to a lot of that with laser cutting techniques). She calls her work “artwork” and it is.
Overall very passionate, very strong, highly professional and entrepreneurial women. What it means is that our product has had a women’s eye throughout its development – we think you can see it.”
To win a beautiful City Walker (£149.00) or White Mac (£179.00), let us know below what essential detail you would include in any waterproof jacket design -silly or sensible, we don’t mind. I’d like a removable warm inner lining for mine for when it gets really chilly, then I wouldn’t have to buy any other coat evs! Leave your comments below, the winner will be be picked out of a hat by Anne on Friday 20th May. Good luck!