We recently made the transition our production to the UK and wanted to share with you a few thoughts from Simon Bourne, our Founder and Creative Director why this is such an exciting move for The Hand Dyed Shoe Company and why it has taken such a long time for us to be able to do.
Q. What does it mean to be Made in Britain?
It means everything. It means local people here in the North East of England are bringing alive the craft of hand dyed, this very Parisian, very Italian skill. We’ve got people here in the North East perfecting that art and skill.
One of the big opportunities that made in Britain is going to bring is more choice, more ability to customise and more bespoke. One of the challenges that we faced is that over the last 3 yrs, is if I have a new design or a new creation or something that I want to do within Hand Dyed Shoe Company to evolve the business and evolve the brand it can be quite difficult to influence when you’re working with workshops overseas.
It means so much for a brand like HDSCo to be Made in Britain because if you think about some of the wonderful products and heritage that are exported from the UK, people from around the world want Made in Britain and to be part of that is fantastic, I’m really excited about it. It is a massive opportunity to really celebrate British culture. The massive thing here is the USP, it really makes our brand so different to anything else on the market; being made in Britain, being hand dyed and hand made here in the North East of England.
Q. How does the new production affect HDSCo products?
The new production doesn’t effect the overall quality of the product and that’s because we’ve spent 18 months transitioning this. It hasn’t been something we’ve done in the spur of the moment, the quality of the leather, quality of the uppers, quality of the soles, the welt, everything to do with the shoes essentially remains the same. The very, very big difference is that it says Made in Britain on it and that’s something I am so proud of, I can’t wait to start getting these shoes out.
Q. Why did you decide to move production to the UK?
When The Hand Dyed Shoe Company first started I always had this vision that it was a UK brand, it was a British thing and in fact our very first logo if you look back through the archives of The Hand Dyed Shoe Company, you might see that in the bottom of the logo it actually said ‘Great British Artisans’ and that was because it was something that I really believed in and something that I really wanted to be part of the brand.
One of the big reasons that I’m really passionate about bringing the whole production process to the UK is, I have always felt like since I established the business in my bedroom and there was photography and lots of media out there showing me perfecting the art of hand dyed and since we transitioned and began to work with other people, it was no longer that bedroom business and felt like we needed to share the story of the craft and other people involved in the hand dyed shoe company. One of those big things is that we had workshops in Portugal who have done an incredible job for the last three years, however it was difficult for me to be there to share the story and journey of the craft. By bringing production to the UK it really opens that door, we are making our shoes not only in the UK but here in the North East, 30 minutes from HDSCo HQ.
This means that we can be there regularly, be there and see the shoes being made. I’m really excited to start sharing those stories and crafting journeys where you can actually see your shoes being made. The values of the HDSCo and the vision is very much being realised with this exciting news.