With tough times demanding cut backs and change from us all, I feel it is important to highlight some of the positive shifts happening around me to counterbalance the negativity generated by the recession.
The quality and exclusivity of fabric in the Ann Louise Roswald range is key to the brand and naturally has an impact on costs. To maintain high standards and bring my collection in at a price level that is acceptable, I have to be strategic with my fabric sourcing, particularly with printing. To date, I have been getting more for my money in Italy. However, this year exchange rates make Euro zones far less viable.
For spring 10, therefore, I am really happy to be commissioning my printed cloth in the UK. I am so pleased that we can make this shift in production; in fact, I’m quite emotional about it.
We have been developing our woven fabrics in the UK for many seasons, a point we often use as a selling tool. But it was during the autumn 09 selling season that we noticed retailers were even more interested in these sorts of facts – in anticipation of consumer demand for a reason to spend, perhaps? With shoppers becoming more discerning, products sourced from the UK provide another point of difference.
I would love to see British cloth at the forefront of the fashion industry. Perhaps the global economic chaos is the rallying call for us to become once again a nation of manufacturers, not just consumers. I know it is unfeasible to have all the northern mills running again, but it would be great to see this industry strong enough to compete internationally. On a more altruistic level, as a Yorkshire lass I would be honoured to have contributed in turning the wheel of commerce back to my roots.
- Ann Louise Roswald owns and designs the eponymous contemporary womenswear label