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Carr & Westley Blog

  • Photoshoot for Spring 2013 Range

    Spring 2013 catalogue photoshoot

    It’s an exciting time at Carr & Westley. We are currently shooting the new range of clothing for the 2013 spring catalogue.

    We are busy bees at HQ! We are embarking on not one, but two photo shoots days! I feel that long days, bright lights, costume changes and copious amounts of coffee are on the agenda, but it’ll all be worth it! We can’t wait to share the end results with you. Our catalogue will be absolutely jam-packed full of goodies, perfect for a (hopefully warm) spring! Currently the shoot is going well and we know that our loyal customers will love the new range.

    What’s more is that we are shooting in our brand new studio! The studio is perfect with everything we need for many shoots to come. Onsite but perhaps more importantly warm on these ever increasingly cold winter days.

    Lastly we have a little surprise for everyone in the new catalogue. It’s all very hush hush now, so unfortunately I can’t say anymore but we are all very excited and know you’ll love it!

  • Last Chance for Pre-Christmas Delivery!

    Christmas Delivery

    It’s nearly time for everyone to relax and enjoy Christmas. The lights and trees are up, the Christmas songs are everywhere we go, and the weather seems to know what time of year it is as well. So with everyone thinking about Christmas turkeys, family reunions and excited kids running around, we have made things as easy as possible for you to get your favorite Carr & Westley products in time for Christmas.

    Due to the nature of this time of year we always encourage our customers to order as early as possible but for guaranteed delivery, the cut-off is Thursday the 20th of December! So quick, you still have a week! 

    If that wasn’t enough…we are doing a special promotion of 10% of all orders from Friday the 15th of December to Sunday the 30th. Our little present to you!!Christmas Message

  • Brand In Focus - Hawick Knitwear

    Hawick Knitwear

    The Hawick heritage predates even our humble beginnings in 1919. Hawick is a mill town with a successful textile industry supplying the world with the best knitwear available. Located in the very heart of the industry they can trace their proud history of manufacturing back to 1874.

    Ever since then, they have been perfecting the art of designing and producing knitwear to the highest possible quality standards. All sweaters and pullovers are made in their Scottish factory by skilled craftsmen and craftswomen with decades of experience behind them. The Hawick Knitwear brand encapsulates this incredible heritage.

     

    Hawick are as passionate about British made goods as Carr & Westley and use British dyed and spun yarns whenever we can. Both our Cashmere and Lambswool yarns are dyed and spun in the UK. All our knitted products are made by us and we are proud to have a “Made in Scotland” label on every single one their our hand-finished products.

    By producing every piece in their collection in our own factory in Hawick they can ensure every piece carrying the Hawick Knitwear label meets there stringent manufacturing requirements and customer service aspirations. The care and attention to detail invested in the Hawick brand are unrivalled. 

     

     

  • The Challenges of Being a Small Manufacturer in Britain

    Maintaining this manufacturing base in Britain is very important to us but it is certainly not without its challenges, mainly those of staff and suppliers. Here are the reasons why:

    1. No one can sew anymore - for a country with a heritage of seamstresses,   you wouldn’t believe how difficult it is to find people that can sew!  Many of our workers learnt to sew many years ago when they were at school. Now, whenever we have a staff member who leaves (or retires!) finding a ready-made replacement is increasingly difficult.  Today, textiles is taught less in schools and many young people don’t have the motivation or will to learn this important skill.
    2. The loss of in-house employees has created a logistical nightmare – We used to employ up to 25 on-site factory staff – now we have 10.  The loss of in-house employees has been supplemented by the use of remote workers but this itself creates a new type of problem.  Every couple of days our factory manager has to complete a 60 mile round trip delivering the raw materials and collecting finished products from those in the surrounding towns and villages. This puts a significant strain on management resources.
    3. We train up apprentices and then they leave - In the past we have run apprenticeships for youngsters – but the time needed to train them to be effective workers simply isn’t available. We spend six months building up their skills only for them to then leave for a job in a local supermarket.
    4. British raw material suppliers are disappearing – With the general decline of manufacturing in Britain and the state of the economy, getting hold of the raw materials needed to make our products has become increasingly difficult.  The frequent disappearance of material suppliers makes forecasting hard and lead times for receiving goods are getting longer too.  We now have to have a contingency for everything – but it’s not all bad.  Situations like this open your eyes to things that need to change if you are to grow in the long run. As a result we’ve become more efficient managing stock and forward planning.
    5. Managing costs is a significant problem – The world has gone global, and even though we manufacture our products in Britain, often the raw materials have to come from somewhere else.  Events such as the flooding in Bangladesh, which severely affected the price of cotton, is just one example of circumstances outside our control which have a knock on effect on costs.

    The reality is that manufacturing in Britain is a shrinking industry.  You’re never sure whether something you were expecting to be there tomorrow will exist by the time you need it.  We know not to take things for granted and we plan for all circumstances.  The company has been around for almost 100 years and has seen worse times than this.  We’re still here, adaption is key, and we’ve become stronger because of it.

    Chris Brinklow is Head of Production at Carr & Westley, a family-owned British manufacturing business making classic womenswear.

  • Ordering Information

    Order Availability

    -  We do our utmost to maintain high stock levels but sometimes demand can take us by surprise and leave items temporarily unavailable. In these rare cases we will tell you when we expect more deliveries.

    -  Products made in our workshop are made to order and can take up to 21 days for delivery

    .-  To avoid delays, items will be dispatched when available. With multiple product orders expect multiple parcels.-  We endeavour to dispatch the majority of orders by return

    .-  Customers are never charged for items until they are ready for dispatch.

    Washing Instructions

    -   For exact washing instructions, please look on the label included in each garment.

    Hassle Free Returns

    -    If you are unhappy with any products purchased we are happy to exchange or refund items returned within 28 days of receipt. Goods should be returned unused, unwashed and preferably in original packaging. You can phone to reserve an exchange otherwise please follow instructions on your invoice. Please allow us 14 days to process a return.

    How To Measure

    Bust & Hips: the fullest part of the bust and hips, give no allowance for extra fullness.

    Dress and Skirt Lengths: measure from top of waistband or nape of neck to hem. Please state size and length required.

    Corsetry: measure next to the skin.If in doubt regarding your size, please call 01732 850280 to speak to one of our experienced lady staff who will be happy to advise.

    Bra Fitting Advice

    For advice regarding bra fitting visit –www.carrandwestley.co.uk/blog/bra-fitting-advice. Or call 01732 850280.

    3 EASY WAYS TO ORDER

    As you know, we are passionate about making things simple – so we have three easy ways to order:

    1. PHONE 01732 850280 and speak to one of our friendly staff. We are open weekdays 9am - 5pm.

    2. ORDER ONLINE via our easy to use website - www.carrandwestley.co.uk. Shop 24/7 and take your time browsing our full range of products.

    3. FILL OUT THE ORDER FORM in the back of our booklet – and pop it in the post. Please Request a Brochure if you are not already on our mailing list.

    As is tradition, all C&W goods come with a ‘look good, feel good’ guarantee – if you’re not completely satisfied we’ll give you a full refund.

    We’d also like to point out that all orders still come with FREE UK DELIVERY.

    Delivery Information

    Delivery

     

     

     

    Size Chart

    Size Chart

     

     

     

     

    If you have any further questions please call us on 01732 850280 or email sales@carrwest.co.uk 

     

  • British Manufacturing - Carr and Westley 1967

    AT AN OLD MILL BY THE STREAM...

    A 'rag trade' booms - in country style

    Did you know that with every C&W made product you are not only supporting British manufacturing, but buying into a little bit of history. In this post I have in inculded an article from the Tonbridge Courier from March 31, 1967.

    Bourne Mill is located in the village of Hadlow, deep in the Kentish countryside. Pre-dating the 15th cenury, it was originally built for processing cereals to make flour and bread. Now its used as the Carr and Westley workshop where we design and make our skirts, trousers and dresses. We've been here for over 70 years and can't imagine working anywhere else. 

    In our Spring into Summer catalogue, we've blended a rinage of C&W garments with a hand-picked selection of label brands like Poppy, Brandtex and Slenderella. You'll find favourite designs mixed with new styles available in a range of colours.

    Whilst browsing online, we hope you get the feel for a heritage of our company and find something perfect for bringing in the summer months...

    Carr and Westley - British Manufacturing 1967

    Transript of Article: 

    The last place one would expect to find a “rag trade” factory is in a country mill where corn was ground in the 11th century.

    For the last 11 years clothing of a special kind has been made at Bourne Mill, Hadlow.

    The mill was built in the late 11th century and was used to grind and crush corn until just after the Second World War.  The old grinding stones can still be seen outside the mill, which straddles the River Bourne.

    Twenty five girls are employed by Carr and Westley Ltd., a firm owned and run by Mr Laurie Brinklow and his wife who live at the mill.

    Mr Brinklow started with the firm in 1956 as an administrator.  Within six weeks he had been asked to take over the firm, though, as he freely admits, “I knew nothing about the rag trade”.

    The firm started in 1918 in East London but moved to St Ives, Cornwall when it was bombed out in the Second World War.

    In 1948 Mr Harold Carr, the founder, discovered the Bourne Mill site and moved his factory to Hadlow.

    The original mill machinery had to be moved out and sewing machines and cutting boards installed.  Local girls were recruited and given an intensive training.  Mr Brinklow says he has been fortunate in that most of the girls have stayed with the firm.

    The dresses and clothing he supplies are for the more mature women who cannot get off-the -peg cloths even at the most expensive clothes shops.  He prides himself that his firm can provide made-to-measure garments at off-the-peg prices.

    We deal with the steady end in the trade that does not fluctuate with fashions.  We concern ourselves with providing good clothes and, because of that, we have built up our business and acquired a good reputation says Mr Brinklow.  We are now able to compete favourably with many West End stores though we have no representatives or shops to attract custom.

    Each year estimates Mr Brinklow, the firm produces about 10,000 garments, all hand made. ”Our customers like to stick to conventional designs, but they like to wear new materials”, he says.

    Mrs Brinklow was as new to the trade as her husband when they moved to the mill but she is now responsible for most of the designs in the catalogues issued by the firm three or four times a year.

    Perhaps the most surprising feature of the business is that 35 – 40% of the trade is from the south and London where competition from the dress makers is at its greatest.  Mr Brinklow even has clients in London’s Park Lane who prefer the Hadlow styles to those of the country’s leading shopping centre.

    Bourne Mill has certainly gone from rags to riches.

    Carr & Westley - British Manufacturing 1967

  • A Distinguished Gown...

    Another hidden gem from the Carr and Westley archive...

    - Advert placed in the News Chronicle on February the 6th, 1939. Invoice and receipt of payment inculded for 19 pounds and 8 shillings for one half tone ad.

    A Distinguished GownTranscript of Advert:

    A DISTINGUISHED GOWN

    In Super-Weight, Super Quality, Art Silk Satin Back Marocain

    The delightful gown illustrated is faultlessly cut and made in what is assuredly the most beautiful dress material ever produced.  It is a glorious heavy art silk marocain, with a lovely satin back, rich in appearance and wonderful to wear.

    Made up in the style in the picture, it goes to create the perfect gown for all the year round elegant wear.  With its neat gauging on the shoulders, its trim all round roll collar and detachable insertion of lace, opening to the waist, it combines absolute practicability with the utmost smartness.  It is a dress that can certainly justify its place in the wardrobe of any lady.

    And the price is unbelievably low, since we pass on to you the benefits of direct trading.  Because we are the actual manufacturers you obtain value unapproachable elsewhere.

    Send for it now and take advantage of this great opportunity.  Try the dress on quietly at home. See how well you look in it.  Run the gorgeous material through your hands.  If you are not delighted, you are protected by our guarantee to refund your money in full.

    You can enclose remittance in perfect confidence because this guarantee is the foundation stone of our business and has been for the last twenty years.

    Sizes :

    Busts 34, 36, 38, 40 ins                     Lengths 44 – 50 ins                   … … …       22/6d

    Busts 42, 44 ins                                   Lengths 46 – 52 ins                   … … …          25/-

    Busts 46, 48 ins                                  Lengths 48 – 54 ins                  … … …           27/6d

    In lovely rich shades of Brown, Clover, Lido, Green, Wine, Navy and Black

    All post free                                           C.O.D. 6d. extra

    Carr and Westley Ltd

    Coat and Gown Manufacturers

    Dept. N., 37 Moor Lane, London E.C.2.

  • The Story So Far.... Carr and Westley History

    Bourne MillThe last place one would expect to find a clothing manufacturer is in a country mill where corn was ground in the 11 th  century. But for the last 57 years clothing of a special kind has been made at Bourne Mill, Hadlow.

    The mill that we call home was built in the late 11 th  century and was used to grind and crush corn until just after the Second World War. The old grinding stones can still be seen outside, used as a door step for our front entrance.

    For Carr & Westley is an institution steeped in history. Established during the back end of WW1, we began by manufacturing classic day wear from a small workshop in East London. Over the prevailing years our name grew, becoming well known for our ‘faux’ leather coats and ladies’ occasion dresses.

    At the height of WW2, the company moved to St Ives, Cornwall after our factory was bombed out during the Blitz. After looking for closer links to London in the aftermath, however, we discovered the Bourne Mill site and re-located to the Garden of England.

    To make Bourne Mill fit for purpose, the original mill machinery had to be moved out and sewing machines and cutting tables were installed. Local girls were recruited and given intensive seamstress training - a tradition we have kept ever since with all of our workshop staff employed from the local community.

    From it’s inception, the philosophy of Carr & Westley was to provide made-to-measure garments at off-the-peg prices. And while we now supply other brand labels, all Carr & Westley label skirts, trousers and dresses are still designed and made on site from a converted watermill in Kent. Just as they have been for almost 60 years.

  • More choice in Bed Jackets than ever before!

    Slenderella Bed JacketOur stock is currently arriving for our Autumn/Winter season and features our largest range of bed jackets yet! A perfect gift idea for your loved ones, the 'half-dressing gowns' only cover the top half of the wearer, but it's design offers you a bit more mobility, and more importantly, you can wear one in bed.  They are also popular for hospital visits and can make the stay a slightly more pleasant experience.

    As the cold approaches and the nights draw in, a bed jacket can add that little bit of comfort & cosiness. Carr and Westley have been offering bed jackets via mail order & our website for over five years.  By purchasing via mail order or online you don’t need to brave the high street and can select from a wide range of designs and colours.  We deliver direct to your door and don't even charge for delivery!

    So if you’re looking online for a bed jacket, or other nightwear products, then feel free to browse our nightwear range and come back regularly for special and clearance offers.

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