S.E.H Kelly - Putting British Mills to Work
S.E.H Kelly Men's Clothes
If The Tweed Pig does nothing else, and it probably doesn't, it serves to highlight that there are many British companies that still make things in the UK. You've just got to know where to look. If we want to support these companies, we need to get used to looking more carefully at labels.
In spite of the impossible odds of global price competition, more surprising, and heart-warmingly so, is the fact that it's not just the heritage brands that have been around since Waterloo that manufacture in the UK. An inspiring and exciting aspect of the news that reaches us at Tweed Towers is of the enthusiastic new companies that are starting for the very reason that they want to use and celebrate the raw materials and craftsmanship of the British Isles - and see a ready market for products with the strong selling point of a UK provenance. This is the new British heritage.
S.E.H Kelly was founded as a menswear brand in 2009. They started with five garments: two trousers, two shirts, and an overshirt. Over time they have added more. They make clothes to last in terms of materials and aesthetics. This isn't fast fashion, and as if to emphasise that point they do not release seasonal lines in the latest colour or cut that has fashion critics palpitating for a week. They release when they have developed a garment that's ready for release. As simple as that.
The founders, Sara Kelly and Paul Vincent, share an affection for British fabrics and the history behind the working mills. Sara, who designs the garments, has a background in Savile Row.
Look Out Japan - 新しい英国の遺産
S.E.H Kelly sell only through their website at the moment - the collection is small and they want to focus on getting the garments just right before growing. The Tweed Pig was intrigued to know whether the company has a presence in Japan. We think their stuff would go down a bloody treat. Sizing would need to be considered, mind.
Paul explains: "We don't yet have a presence in Japan, although given the menswear market out there, it'd be one we'd look to when we expand. Our plan is to steadily expand the collection -- to focus on the garments and to continue to improve on quality. We are confident that as long as we look after the garments, the rest will to some extent look after itself."
(Not sure the Japanese is right. Do correct me if I've inadvertently blasphemed or insulted a nation.)
Brown Hopsack Tweed Jacket
To emphasise the cottage-industry nature of S.E.H Kelly, the flecked brown Hopsack Tweed jacket at the top had an initial production run of 6. And how's this for provenance:
- Hopsack tweed from a mill in Lancashire.
- Horn buttons sourced from a button manufacturer in the Midlands.
- Made and finished in London
Grey Birdseye Wool-Cashmere Blazer
Look too, at the unstructured birdseye blazer below, which has a production run of 5.
It is made from a wool-cashmere cloth from a cashmere mill in West Yorkshire. The fabric has gone through a softening process at the mill. If you're tempted, best be quick. As I said, it has a production run of 5.