When I started the brand I had always wanted to produce the products in the UK. I remember driving all over the North and Midlands with my husband one weekend calling in on factories to ask if they would stitch my fabrics for horse boots. No one took me up on the idea as they said that the fabric would damage their machines, they all wanted to make upholstery for camper vans, not horse boots. I then found someone in the South East who was willing to give it a try, he made interiors for cars. He tried, the outcome wasn’t great for any of us. The boots were not great and the fabric did damage his machine! I was so determined still to make the boots I was forced to look outside of the UK and the only country that was willing to work with these technical fabrics was China, so I was forced to start there. The issue that I always had was quality control, time to make changes, trust in not sharing our unique patterns, and also the fact that I really didn’t know how the staff were treated and paid, nor how environmentally friendly the whole practice was.
As the brand grew, as did my desire to bring the manufacture home, but we were so busy, I felt that time was never on my side. Then in 2019, the urge was stronger than ever, we had Bryony in the office sharing the work load, which freed me up to achieve my final big goal for HUSK. I firstly set out to source fabrics in the UK that would suit the quality of the boots that I had expected, something that when you make in the Far East, you cannot do. Although the products in the Far East are very cheap to buy, you get what you pay for, and that is cheap materials that don’t last long, often poorly put together, the practices are rarely environmentally friendly, nor employee friendly.
So the first task was to source the fabrics that I wanted for the boots to ensure that the technical promises were fulfilled as well as the quality. This was a painstaking task, but worth it! I didn’t realise how many statistics came with well made fabrics, and we ensured that we analysed all of them to get the right gear; the number of times you can open and close hook and loop, the tensile and thermoregulating properties of the 3D fabrics, the longevity and thickness of the binding, and the elastic we have custom made for our boots to ensure that they hold well and cannot be over tightened! Everything was considered! Then as we met more fabric mills, we were introduced to more manufacturing houses, and we met and created our team! And we have a fantastic bunch of people now that are all vested in HUSK, they assist us in sourcing good prices for our fabrics, the best ways of producing our kit, they even worked tirelessly behind closed doors during the lock down to continue to produce the boots and meet the huge demand that we had! It’s been a very humbling experience to say the least!
So now we can proudly say that we support our country, we have secured peoples’ jobs and livelihoods, we produce ethically, and we are kinder to our environment with our production processes. We can also proudly say that we are fully vested in the quality of our products, and yes this comes at a price to our customers, but our customers know that the price is a true value of what they receive. We check every stitch! And if there is a problem, we can correct it with our mending service! Again to be kinder to the environment we source recycled materials, and our boots are recyclable! We don’t over produce and create waste, we make what we need when we need it. We love what we do and we love where we live, and the fact that we can do what we love where we love is a true blessing, we hope that you feel the same…..