5 Suffolk Based Clothing Businesses
Nowadays, clothing businesses stretch far and wide, with some taking the step to be strictly online, and others having stayed on the high street for generations. Clothing brands are also easy to be associated with huge corporate chains, but there are many thriving independent retailers.
Suffolk has its own share of local clothing brands and businesses which have become hot spots for consumers from all walks of life. Here, we will be taking a look at a few of them.
Lavenham Jackets began operating in 1969, with a big appeal for the brand coming from the fact that they manufacture their products in-house and accommodate for a variety of services. Many products including horse rugs are made to order, so the personalisation and the individuality of the pieces are a draw for consumers. Additionally, Lavenham Jackets offer a repair service for their customers, again bringing in that unique customer experience association.
As for garments, Lavenham Jackets primarily sells outwear with their brand encompassing a modern, minimalistic, and earthy tone. This corresponds with the equestrian centered style of the brand’s heritage. Lavenham Jackets pride themselves on being able to provide quality and durable products, which is important given the target audience. The brand gears itself towards being a traditionally British company from the sourcing and all the way through the manufacturing process. However, this hasn’t stopped Lavenham Jackets from branching out to participate in collaborations with brands such as Saint James.
All of these factors combine to produce a modern brand that stays true to its traditionally British heritage and equestrian focused attire.
Blackshore Coastal Clothing
Based on Southwold’s coast, Blackshore Coastal Clothing certainly tailors to its location. The brand is heavily inspired by the likes of fisherman and boat builders. Blackshore emphasises the handmade nature of the products as well as the coastal background. The brand’s name also takes influence from the location, with Blackshore referring to an area of Southwold’s harbour where coals were often unloaded to stain the banks black.
Although a relatively new brand, having been established in 2017, Blackshore is fixed on producing timeless pieces. They also take a strong standpoint in sustainability and sourcing by using minimal plastic in the manufacturing process and no plastic in the packaging. As for sourcing, Blackshore also pride themselves on using British sourced fabrics and materials. Many businesses naturally follow trends to influence their products, but Blackshore are public on their standpoint of producing classic styles.
All of these factors encompass a brand that is rooted in, and is clearly proud of its heritage, location, and surroundings. All the while, Blackshore presents itself as a traditional brand with forward-thinking ideologies.
Javelin was started by husband and wife, Jeremy and Joanna Clayton back in 1989. The team heavily focuses on the heritage by keeping local communities as the audience in mind. The goal with Javelin is to provide local customers with quality items and a high level of personal service. The store has clearly been effective at this, as Javelin has won multiple awards over the years and recently went on to be named as one of Drapers Most Inspiring Independents in 2020.
When comparing the Sudbury and Bury St. Edmunds shops, you get an impression for the different aspects of the business. The Bury St. Edmunds store is housed in a 16th century building, with history sinking within its walls. This is clearly represented at the store too as it embodies the bold and traditional appearance, but also reflects this with the combination of contemporary and timeless fashion within. The Sudbury store has a more modern and urban edge to the design which is reflected inside by the branded clothing and the Javelin Espresso bar.
Jeremy Clayton says of the business: “Javelin’s desire always has been to be aspirational and attainable. You can buy a £12 top or a £250 designer silk shirt from us. Some of our customers have been with us from the start and now we attract anyone from 15-year-olds to 65-year-olds plus.”
What this presents is a brand which is deeply connected with its local roots to produce a diverse range of clothes which take a contemporary twist on its historical location.
Coes has stemmed from humble roots, with the first shop opening in 1928 in Ipswich. It has now grown to be a third generation family business with Coes stores also in Felixstowe and Maldon, and partner stores in King’s Lynn and Newmarket. Since then, the business has flourished to stock sportwear and high-end brands such as Levi’s and Ralph Lauren. The high-end and modern fashion is reflected in the store front, which presents itself as a chic and luxury business with the gold serif font particularly emphasising this image.
Coes pride themselves on their tailored customer service, and community relationships by treating customers as individuals. The efforts of the business have undoubtedly been recognised as Coes was also named as one of Drapers Most Inspiring Independents in 2020. Where Coes stands the test of time is that it has been able to adapt to the changing times and styles to fit with the modern customer. Perhaps that is one of the reasons why it has continued to grow for more than 90 years.
Coes presents itself as a business that is modern and stylish, but is also able to integrate new trends and stick to its values of having the customers at the forefront.
O&C Butcher was established back in 1884 with the Aldeburgh beach backdrop serving a key part of their brand. They have been a family run business passing on down through the Butchers, Cooks and Staceys, which serves as an integral part of the business’ image. In 2011, they bought neighbouring boutique, Fleur to further grow their coastal roots.
The Aldeburgh location is something O&C Butcher prides themselves in, being heavily reflected in their product styles, website design, and promotional imagery. The products are nautical, stylish, and targeted directly to the local coastal customers. This is perhaps emphasised by the business’s regularly updated blog to engage with the community. O&C Butcher has grown and evolved over the ages by presenting modern fashion as well as timeless classic pieces. This, combined with their tailored and personalised service, creates a brand image of a community embedded and trusted business.
Overall, O&C Butcher is clearly a business that is close to its geographical and family-run ties, which evidently is encompassed into the styles of products they stock.
A common theme across all of these Suffolk based clothing brands is a sense of passion for the business, location or products. With some of the businesses being established well over a century ago, it is clear that they can efficiently stand the test of time.