An Interesting Start to the Week

An Interesting Start to the Week

It’s Monday and today we have a film crew here at the mill, filming a documentary for the BBC. We’ve been filmed before, but the reason the BBC are here today is that we’re getting a visit from some of our Japanese customers. Mr. Takashi Kato, a director of Muji, Ms. Asako Kato and Ms. Naoko Yano merchandisers from Muji and Mr. Katsuhiro Saisho of Mitsubishi Corporation are visiting the mill. They’re coming here to see us weaving the last batch of a large order placed by Muji in Japan.

Those of you who know Muji in the UK. will have been to their stores selling office equipment and simple unbranded household goods and clothes. To be supplying them with a collection of fabrics based on traditional Welsh doublecloth came as a bit of a shock to us. The reason we are now supplying them is that they have developed a new concept called Muji Found. which will initially be limited to Japan.

Instead of the anonymous office and household products sold in the main Muji stores, Found Muji will be selling products sourced from around the world, made by small companies like us and which have a story.

This visit is one of a number we’ve had from various buyers and merchandisers so it’s been a very interesting period. So far they seem very pleased. We must be very different to the large industrial factories they normally deal with.

In addition to the work for Muji we’re currently producing fabric for Birkenstock. Tney are using it to cover a new range of mules called “Footprints” to be launched in Japan later this year and hopefully in Europe next year.

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We’ve been selling to Japan for a number of years. The Japanese like what we do. They have a very sophisticated consumer society and they appreciate small manufacturers who still make authentic products in a traditional way. They are very keen that British brands and products should still be made here in Britain. They don’t like products that all look the same and are made by large manufacturers in China.