Saturday, September 19, 2020

Menswear firm turnover has grown from zero to £1m since Brexit referendum

Two-man menswear start-up HebTroCo hit its first Brexit-related stumbling block on the day it placed its initial fabric order – but has hit the £1m turnover mark just ahead of Article 50’s expiry date.

“The first time we ordered cloth we’d had a quotation, then the Brexit vote happened and it went up by 10 per cent. That was a bit of a blow,” says HebTroCo co-founder Ed Oxley. “But we’re from Yorkshire, so we just get on with it. We’ve been through civil war, we’ve been through the industrial revolution, something like Brexit’s not going to stop us.

“But really, we don’t have much choice because we don’t know what Brexit is, so what can we do other than carry on?”‘Carrying on’ has led to HebTroCo selling more than 6,000 pairs of trousers to customers across the world.

The business started with a conversation about whether it would be possible to get Hebden Bridge, nicknamed ‘Trouser Town’ during the industrial revolution for the volume of garments it produced, making trousers again. Co-founders Brant Richards and Ed Oxley launched a Kickstarter to find out.

“We had a stupid idea down the pub and now we’re stuck with it,” says Brant. “We’re up against fast, dirty fashion, the challenges of Brexit and a market that’s geared towards big businesses selling cheap. But it’s working!”

Now into their fourth year, the pair has expanded its business to include menswear items and accessories including boots, jackets, belts and pocket knives. Everything is designed and made in collaboration with some of northern Britain’s best factories and artisans.

HebTroCo currently works with makers from Yorkshire, Lancashire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. Its partners range in size from Cookson & Clegg, a 159-year-old business with a state-of-the-art factory that produces 2,000 garments per month, to Thomas Greenwood, a blacksmith and belt-maker who forges his buckles on an anvil.

“You get these men come in who don’t really like shopping much but do like to have something that’s good quality and makes them look better. That’s our stuff,” says Ed. “And I think they like us because even though we’re mouthy, we’re down to earth. Our business is in a former chicken shed, and there’s no slick team of marketers or advertising people. We’re quite for-real. People like that.

“We’re trying not to be greedy, we’re trying to do it well and keep the price right. We’re trying to make ourselves last as a company in the same way that we try to make clothes that will last.”

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our news site - please take a moment to read this important message:

As you know, our aim is to bring you, the reader, an editorially led news site and magazine but journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them.

With the Covid-19 lockdown having a major impact on our industry as a whole, the advertising revenues we normally receive, which helps us cover the cost of our journalists and this website, have been drastically affected.

As such we need your help. If you can support our news sites/magazines with either a small donation of even £1, or a subscription to our magazine, which costs just £31.50 per year, (inc p&P and mailed direct to your door) your generosity will help us weather the storm and continue in our quest to deliver quality journalism.

As a subscriber, you will have unlimited access to our web site and magazine. You'll also be offered VIP invitations to our events, preferential rates to all our awards and get access to exclusive newsletters and content.

Just click here to subscribe and in the meantime may I wish you the very best.




Latest news

£1.1m engineering skills boost for Sheffield

In a national first, teenagers at UTC Sheffield will develop a new range of in demand high-level digital engineering skills following a £1.1 million...

Cable cleat manufacturer expands North Yorkshire headquarters

Cable cleat manufacturer, Ellis Patents, has invested £500,000 in a 25 per cent expansion of its North Yorkshire headquarters. The main element of the expansion...

Time Out: Spencer Coffin, director of Procure Direct

The weekend is just around the corner and that means another ‘Time Out’. This week Business Link talks to Spencer Coffin, director of Procure...

Yorkshire hydroelectric projects acquired

Two hydropower projects in Yorkshire have changed hands as part of a £4.74 million acquisition. The deal sees JLEN, a listed environmental infrastructure fund, swoop...

Leeds med-tech firm raises £2.2m via share placing

Surgical Innovations has successfully raised £2.2 million to reinflate working capital, invest in new product development and sustainability support initiatives. The AIM listed Leeds-based med-tech...

ITM Power part of major hydrogen partnership

Sheffield hydrogen specialist, ITM Power, is one third of a new partnership which aims to use the clean renewable fuel to help Scotland achieve...

Related news

£1.1m engineering skills boost for Sheffield

In a national first, teenagers at UTC Sheffield will develop a new range of in demand high-level digital engineering skills following a £1.1 million...

Cable cleat manufacturer expands North Yorkshire headquarters

Cable cleat manufacturer, Ellis Patents, has invested £500,000 in a 25 per cent expansion of its North Yorkshire headquarters. The main element of the expansion...

Time Out: Spencer Coffin, director of Procure Direct

The weekend is just around the corner and that means another ‘Time Out’. This week Business Link talks to Spencer Coffin, director of Procure...

Yorkshire hydroelectric projects acquired

Two hydropower projects in Yorkshire have changed hands as part of a £4.74 million acquisition. The deal sees JLEN, a listed environmental infrastructure fund, swoop...

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close