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M.Hulot/ 69B Store: Purchasing power- What's important to you?

3/24/2014 11:25:00 am

M.Hulot is first and foremost a design-led collection, but something on my mind recently has been the 'brand values' behind M.Hulot and why I set up the label in the way that I did, and most importantly how to make the customer aware.

69b store, Broadway Market, is one of our newest and most interesting stockists and a store dedicated to sustainable style. Selling our strapped Howe bags in four colour ways we sit alongside Christopher Raeburn, Veja, Partimi and Milena Silvano amongst others. Set up by stylist, Merryn Leslie, each designer or brand stocked has an element of sustainability from supporting local manufacturing units, working with women's groups in India, using Organic cotton, through to exploiting recycling materials. Each brand is different and each contribution is different. What's so refreshing about Merryn is that she is completely on the side of small brands, and her experience means that she is realistic about what's achievable for a micro label with a limited budget.

We both agree that the most important thing is to 'begin' that conversation and to make small movements towards sustainability.

Having worked with factories in the Far East, in a former job, it was very important to me to work with, and support, factories close to home. We do have a wealth of manufacturing knowledge to draw on, but also an increasing lack of 'skills' as younger people reject these jobs. Then, there are the high manufacturing costs. However, this is something I am passionate about, and what better way of developing your product than having it down the road or a short train journey a way. Having launched in 2011 there have been plenty of teething problems, factories have gone bankrupt, some proved too tricky to work with, some couldn't deliver but as we perserve we are building great relationships and a beautiful product.

Our UK products have a crafted, artisan feel with a heavy structured  leathers, but we had some ideas for some softer shapes with turned edges and constructions that were not possible to make in the UK. Having heard lots of great things about the quality of leather and the finish of goods made in Istanbul, but also about the fair wages paid, we took a trip to our selected factory. We were delighted to see a clean, neat, bright and airy space with a happy and productive workforce.

Merryn and I both think that TRANSPARENCY is the most important step. Do you make part of your range here and part elsewhere? OK. Do you make some from natural dyes and some from organic cotton but not everything? OK. Just tell the truth, tell people why and tell your story. If it's worth hearing and your product is good, people will listen.

So ladies and gents lets start the dialogue, get people talking and work out, what is important to you when purchasing?

Get down to 69B store for more fantastic products and more fascinating stories.

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