May 24, 2017
Whilst in Manchester this February, we filmed our campaign video for Profile. With our strong focus for UK based design and manufacture, we sought out some locally and beautifully made garments. This led us into the heart of Manchesters leading and most influential clothing factory.
Private White VC.
Over one hundred years old, this textile powerhouse stands three floors tall in the heart of Manchester. Greeted by head of e-commerce and marketing Liv Cooley, we were granted access via telecom buzzer through the iconic red arch door. We had seen the shop online, airy and composed with numerous luxury brands, local and further afield. Familiar items caught our eyes. Accessories by Alice Made This, luxury pens by Ajoto and indulgent skin care by Haeckels lay across a well curated centre table. Before being able to peruse the peripheral garments surrounding the shop, we dragged ourselves away. Following Liv up into the office area of the factory, the sensation of scale was overwhelming.
Above the Private White shop we entered into a living and very much breathing textile operation. Met with an open plan office space, we barely spotted the resident bull dog ‘Brutus’ advancing assertively towards us. Led through the office space, we made our way up to the factory floor.
A hive of activity, orchestral hums and hissing emitted from endless rows of steam and sewing machines. To describe the scene, we will leave that to the photographs we were kindly allowed to take. We were introduced to several of the workers, straining to hear their voices over the background clatter of the sewing machines. In the notable humidity of the factory floor, we were surrounded by the Manchester’s finest garments. Distracted by the sheer industriousness of our surroundings, it was clearly the end of the working day for the 40 or so Private White VC staff. Simultaneously, as quickly as the staff ended their day, so did the factory noise.
Standing in wake of the workers, the vast rows of machines fell eerily silent, save the gentle hiss of steam from a press machine in the corner. Liv, our guide, trustingly left us to photograph the equipment and endless garments across the factory floors. Mid-made apparel lay on modular horse stands, hanging from worn coat rails, or in organised rows ready for their next stage of assembly.
Trustingly, Liv left us to roam the busy factory floors. The factory was empty and our camera battery was full.
Before leaving, we were kindly supplied with their latest selection of clothing. Well prepared for our photoshoot the following day, we felt blessed to have experienced kindness of the Private White VC staff. If you are planning a visit near the Salford factory, we urge you call ahead to arrange a shop viewing. There, you will be met with team of highly motivated, influential people who represent the industry of premium UK made clothing.
Special thanks to Liv Cooley and managing director Michael Stoll.
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