Setting a new prestige
The plans in store for UK school uniform manufacturer Prestige School Wear.
By Laura Turner
10 October 2016
The creation of UK schoolwear manufacturer Prestige School Wear follows the demise of fellow school uniform manufacturer G&D Garments, and sees the Glasgow firm take on many of the former business’s staff and facilities. Prestige School Wear has plenty in the pipeline, including reintroducing the Glengarnock range of corduroy lined shorts and elastic-back ‘trews’, which will be made in its Glasgow factory.
Prestige School Wear was formed in February 2016, after the demise of Glasgow firm G&D Garments, which went out of business in December 2015. Chris Robb and Richard McNicol, owners of a fellow Scottish firm in Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire, had been a subcontractor to G&D Garments and it was they who identified a need for a new, high quality UK schoolwear manufacturer, who would keep local jobs and the skills involved alive, and be able to continue to serve the schoolwear market.
Robert Carey, who was formerly a director of G&D Garments, is now general manager of Prestige School Wear and is responsible for the day-to-day running of the factory. Conveniently, Prestige School Wear is based in a factory in the same industrial estate G&D Garments was, and subsequently it has acquired the business’s plant and machinery, as well as G&D Garments’ key workers.
In terms of its offer, Prestige School Wear manufactures girls’ blouses, summer dresses, plain and pleated skirts, pleated kilts, tunics, painters’ smocks, pinafores, culottes, trousers, shorts and boys’ waistcoats, tailcoats, trousers, shorts, Bermudas, breeches, elastic-back ‘trews’, shirts and ties.
Meanwhile, parent company Prestige Garment solutions – a major contractor to G&D Garments – specialises in the manufacture of waterproof and workwear garments in various fabrics, including Gore-Tex.
“We have undertaken a long-term plan to grow the business activities to secure a permanent future for all concerned,” says Prestige School Wear’s general manager, Robert Carey. “With the buyout of G&D Garments, both companies now benefit from a much stronger management team that is committed to developing and investing in the future of Prestige School Wear.
“We have invested in new pressing equipment sourced from Italy to ensure our garments are top pressed to the highest standards,” he continues. “We have also very recently been involved with a Highland jacket wear company, which is closing due to the owner retiring. We will be employing some of the staff and developing this range further to include school blazers and jackets within the Prestige School Wear offer for trade.”
Being a UK based manufacturer, Prestige School Wear can respond speedily to its customers’ needs. The company prides itself on listening to customer feedback and acting upon it in a proactive manner, to benefit both the customer and the long-term success of the business.
“We have our own autoclave to heat set pleating for our garments, which enables us to have a very quick turnaround, especially at the busy Back to School period,” says Carey. “At a time when top-ups are readily required, our customers do not have to wait for offshore deliveries.
“We also have our own CAD system for generating patterns, which assures meticulous fitting standards and enables us to very quickly fulfil special measures when required.”
For 2017, Prestige School Wear is relaunching the Glengarnock brand of corduroy trousers and shorts, which are regarded as the original and best cord garments available to the schoolwear trade. The trousers and shorts will be stock supported in navy and grey corduroy, in both fully lined elastic-back shorts and elastic-back ‘trews’ in mock fly and zip fly versions. The garments will also be available in a much more extensive size range than currently available to the market.
“As well as the stock supported cord items made in our Glasgow factory, customers can also benefit from our other made-to-order garments including culottes, pinafores, Bermudas, breeches and senior boys’ trousers, which are available in various styles made to our specifications, or to our customers specs, with a quick turnaround.”
As the dust settles from recent changes, the long-term plan for the company is to become a major player in the manufacturing and development of school uniform, with the introduction of blazers, jackets and suits to be added to the range in the very near future.
“The schoolwear market is a very competitive one,” concludes Carey. “We shall succeed in this market through working closely with our customers; being driven by their needs, through UK manufacturing and by responding and adapting quickly to requirements. Our products also carry the best label possible – ‘Made in the UK’.”
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