Bespoke Textiles launched seven years ago to design and supply the world of hospitality textiles. Offering everything from uniforms, aprons and napkins to blankets in an ethical way, our ethos is based on a sustainable supply chain that saves waste and reduces consumption; using recycled resources, garments and vintage inspired sourcing wherever possible. We work with fabric manufacturers, factories and mills, both locally and internationally, who also operate in a sustainable manner.
Our dedication to sustainability comes from our Founder, Katie Young Gerald. She has always been passionate about vintage fashion and upcycling what may seem like tired, old garments. So naturally, Bespoke Textiles inherited Katie’s values on sustainability and ethical practice, and this has become embedded in the business. Throughout our uniform and textile design, we have ensured that our dedication to ethical and sustainable practices remain firm.
Most recently, we have been shortlisted for The Lloyds Bank National Business Awards 2017, for the Sustainability Award category. We believe our longstanding dedication to bringing sustainability to such a large sector like Hospitality has aided this.
We were also commissioned by Dyberg Larsen to create a raincoat made out of recycled resources. With the use of plastic water bottles and the help of textile designer, Emma Jeff, we designed an environmentally friendly raincoat, created from recycled plastic bottles which are made into pellets and then re-put into fibre to create a polyester woven fabric.
Did you know?
• There are an estimated 170 million child labourers working in the textile, clothing and fabric manufacturers industry.
• In Cambodia, average pay is 50 cents per day - regardless of age.
• £100m worth of used clothing goes into a landfill in the UK each year.
• Treating and dyeing textiles accounts for 20% of industrial water pollution.
• Two billion pairs of jeans are produced each year, with every pair taking an average of 7,000 litres to produce.
• Carbon, waste and water footprints would be reduced by 20-30% if you extend the life of your clothing by just nine months.
These reasons, plus many more, are why we’re proud to be a sustainable and ethical brand!
We've made the headlines! Bespoke Textiles has been nominated for the National Business Award for Sustainability. Grab yourself a copy of today’s Times to read all about it, thank you for your support and recognition!
Jackie Hay- the go-getter businesswoman is the silent jewel in retail.
Devoted mother of twins and business savvy achiever; Jackie was the executive
director, apparel and accessories at House of Fraser. Now the vice president of buying
and planning - Retail Europe for Michael Kors, we spent sometime with her
exchanging knowledge and stories of her working life.
Jacqueline has been in strategic business planning and buying sector across a range
of product categories for over 20years and comes to us with a wealth of knowledge,
expertise and strong relationships in this space. Cedric Wilmotte, President of the
Michael Kors’ EMEA business.
A working environment that is enjoyable, fair and organised is what most want-
right? Jackie values the importance of having a comfortable workspace. Her key
message for all members of her team is to realise the importance of each role-
she says there shouldn't be hierarchy at work.
“Being able to read people you need to see and can kind of work them out, how or what
they are going to play in their cards.”
Negotiation is the difficult talent that has separated her from her competitors. Instead
of hard negotiations, her style is relaxed based. A touch of calmness is more
effective, if they see you as hard then the wall comes down but if they feel like they are
having a conversation or discussion about the future then they are more likely to give a
Jackie Hay serves with the intention of getting the job done- regardless of the size.
It’s not based on can the job get done, rather WHO will get the job done WELL. Her
push to create a fair environment at work and her achievements so far is inspiring,
and why we admire her as a leader in her field.
DO you remember when we told you about our magnificent day at the UK House Keepers Association Event? Our brand director Katie Young-Gerald gave a speech sharing her 25 years of knowledge and experience in textiles!
Watch the video to experience the inspiration we felt while connecting with hospitalities heroes and gems!
Rob’s views and knowledge is a reliable and searched after, with over 20 years in hospitality! Amazingly he’s been with- Covent Garden’s club of cool- The Hospital Club for 8 years.
We’ve understood representation playing a huge role in brand identity. Where uniform designs are concerned; style, form and function are the key factors to creating the perfect uniform piece. As mentioned by Rob, hospitality is a rare industry to remain stagnant, which is why he chooses to shift tradition and create his personal blueprint in the industry.
Moving deeper than just providing a service, hospitality is and sells a lifestyle. For your audience to gain a stronger understanding of what the brand is, your brand DNA need to have through research ; and never to be rushed! When this is in place,
It was a pleasure grabbing awesome information from such an icon in hospitality, Rob Seals!
ROB SEALS | Part 2: Uniform is part of your brand identity and a lot of companies are not grasping this important rule!
Traditionally uniform’s have been used to stand out and convey a consistency in a group- and like Rob mentions, also having uniforms distinguishes who is who in a work space. He described The Hospital Club’s uniform as ‘matching the service’ provided.
A well made uniform is about extending an existing brand and putting customers in a frame of mind where they unconsciously interact with the employees in a suitable way. A good example is with doctors, policeman and nurses. Also staff that express their individuality leads to a authentic and pleasant service shown.
Rob’s first job at Springles at 16 years old, never gave the staff freedom to incorporate their personal style in their uniform. Despite the “fun”, the disconnect that the staff felt between the uniform and their own style made them feel silly- which essentially played a part on the service given.
As Rob points out, uniforms create identity and a good uniform can form part of a broader marketing and branding effort…
This week we got a chance to to speak to hospitality's hidden hero, Rob Seals. The operations director of The Hospital Club, Covent Garden's finest private members club, this industry icon has golden insights we had to share!
Rob says "Chef’s are the new designers". And we couldn’t agree more! Hospitality, food and style are now more aligned than ever.
You may have noticed that our TV screens are filled with chefs, kitchens, baking... the list goes on. When you're sitting on the sofa watching Hell's Kitchen or Master Chef, you're probably not thinking about how creativity and hospitality have been so ingeniously incorporated. But just think about it, from the service to the uniform, decor to the plate presentation - every small detail creates the atmosphere for both staff and customers to experience.
High end fashion brands are plating up a piece of the hospitality pie too. Armani have their own hotel now. Tommy Hilfiger has bought the Raleigh Hotel in Miami Beach, for which he is designing his very own hospitality brand! The Bulgari, which now has 8 hotels worldwide, is but another indication that high-quality fashion is strutting into the hospitality industry.
compelling and inspiring transition for many fashion leaders.
As well as the blending of these two industries, Rob Seals has emphasised the importance of
attracting the right people for you brand. In order to do so, "you must be your target" and, as he calls it, “deliver where you want to live”. The Hospital Club is expanding to LA and is expected to be open April '18.
As Rob knows, now more than ever, brands are used as a marker of social identity. Creative hospitality is playing a major role on helping brands strengthen place in today's bustling market.
It seems that there’s many ways to stand out in hospitality, but now fashion and style have arrived at the party, things will never be the same.
When staff know they are easily identifiable via their uniforms, they are more aware of their actions. This is of course an important consideration for all businesses, but particularly businesses where staff are often out and about without colleagues and managers watching over them. Certainly an important factor to bear in mind.
According to marketing professor Victoria Seitz, uniforms can result in employees becoming 'entwined' with their company, which ultimately leads to greater success for the company and increased employee loyalty. She also makes another very important point in that you can't just give you staff a uniform and think that's enough:
"You have to follow up with policies about how the uniform will be worn, such as requiring appropriate belts, shoes, socks, hairstyles and make-up. If your employees don't keep the unifom clean and pressed, or their posture is poor, or they're not making eye contact with the customers, then they'll be killing the opportunity to communicate credibly with the uniforms."
An important factor with any uniform is that it is smart and atractive. An ill-fitting, ugly uniform will certainly not invoke confidence in your staff. On the other hand, a well fitted, quality, stylish uniform can do wonders for your employees self esteem. Perhaps keeping your staff involved in the uniform decisions will ensure you end up with a more desirable, popular and stylish uniform which your staff will take ownership of, thus improving morale, confidence and performance.
Bills Restaurant started off as a tiny fruit and veg stall and has know turned in to the massive restaurant group it is today.
In a three part blog series, the Journey of a Bills shirt, from initial ideas and construction to the finished product will be explored.
Speaking to co-director of Bespoke Textiles, Katie Young, she tells us how the journey of the Bills shirt began.
How did you work with Bills first come around?
Katie: Bills first contacted us after seeing the work we had done for the Soho House Group (Creating aprons and napkins for Pizza East, Chicken Shop and other Soho House Group establishments) and soon put in an enquiry.
What were the very first stages in the journey of a Bills shirt?
Katie: Bills wanted to see some ideas from us, to help them decide what would be the best and most suitable look for the brand. The shirts they had before weren’t great and were uncomfortable for the staff to wear, and they only had men’s shirts, the women had to wear unflattering and stuffy men’s shirts!
We started to experiment with fabrics that used spandex, man made and cotton fibre, to create a shirt that could be breathable, durable and easy to care for.
Bills were really keen on having shirts that represented the brand and its style, shirts that were timeless but with a twist. Bills have classic dishes with a modern twist, and they wanted the uniforms to reflect this.
How did you source and create the Bills shirts fabrics?
Katie: The fabrics for the Bills shirts were sourced in a mixture of a ways; from UK suppliers and factories but also from a family run businesses in China, which I have worked with for over 15 years, we really trust their ethics and values, and we also enjoy working with them. We started off by sourcing fabric in the local markets of Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong and in Shenzhen, China, as it was close the to factory and we wanted to see what was available close by. From swatches of the fabric sourced, a design was built that was individual and exclusive to the client; we honed down the check for the shirt, scaling it down to create a micro check, which gave a slightly more modern feel to a standard gingham check. Bills were quite particular with what colours they wanted for the shirts, charcoal instead of black, off white rather than white, but we were happy to create something that was unique to their brand. Once the colours were complete, a new fabric was created. The final swatches were woven up in a mill close the to china factory.
After we had established and created the initial swatches, we put all of our ideas together on a mood board and presented them to Bills.
In the end Bespoke Textiles were chosen over other Workwear Companies because we were the only ones to come up with something that was fashionable but also kept up with demands of a high performing restaurant uniform.
Dame Vivienne Westwood is Britain’s style icon. Unapologetically bold, fierce and forward thinking with her trends - her revolutionary attitude towards fashion and tackling climate and social issues, has globally popularised her as the voice of reason. Her outspoken views on sustainability and unnecessary waste, is our main reasons for naming her as one of our British inspirations.
Nine years ago, Bespoke Textiles created an eco friendly raincoat. Using eco fabrics, 3,000 raincoats were sold. At the time, there was only two companies making recycled fibre; the U.S and Taiwan. Much has changed since then...
Collaborating with Sir Richard Branson to create the Virgin Atlantic Uniform was AND is a pivotal moment for fashion and hospitality- a topic we're constantly conversing about. The 22 uniform pieces were designed with the environment as the foundation.
Each piece was produced using recycled materials - including a recycled-polyester yarn derived from discarded plastic bottles. Westwood described her process to find material for the uniforms as 'I am always trying to find fabrics that are more friendly to the environment - working with Virgin Atlantic they managed to research into this and find more eco fabrics.’
The suit fabrics have a nano finish which extends their life and enables the clothes to retain their colour and finish for longer. To add to the wow factor, the uniform is developed with closed-loop recycling in mind. Which means, worn uniforms will be reprocessed into fibres to be woven into new clothing by a new technology - that takes worn polyester clothing and turns it back into fibres that can be woven again into new fabrics.
"Fashion - actually let's call it clothing, because most of it isn't fashion - is one of the biggest polluters, it must be with all that landfill. My main focus is quality, rather quantity, and I've been saying to people, 'Buy less, choose well, make it last', Rather than just keep sucking things up.” - Vivienne Westwood
Currently there's 65 lbs of textile waste per person, per year! A total of 11.1m tonnes of fabric waste yearly, which is far too much and something has to change! What needs to be done? Recycle, choose well, invest in quality not quantity and importantly buy less.
As individuals we each have a uniform we wear daily, a form of expression. We feel better, when we look better. We believe and know that staff build better services when they are in uniform that is complementary to their appearance. We bring out a clients personality with the garments we design, yet maintaining sustainability. All our core messaging is similar to Vivienne Westwood and we are proud Brits because of her bold segment to speak out.
Hospitality, Blog, Style, Fashion, BritishDesign, Blog, Vivienne Westwood, Richard Branson,