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Ethically produced kitchenware made with love in the heart of Wales.
Spyce Jones is a kitchenware brand that combines outstanding quality production with a long-established manufacturing heritage in Newtown Mid Wales; the original home of Laura Ashley. Designed and made by Fashion-Enter (Wales) and its highly experienced team of stitching experts.
Jenny Holloway, CEO of the social enterprise Fashion-Enter Ltd explains:
‘”Who opens a factory in the middle of pandemic!”
That is what my husband Tim said to me and it’s hard to answer, but when I heard about the closure of Laura Ashley and its large team of highly skilled stitchers and production workers, I just had to step in.
‘In March 2020 Laura Ashley closed their doors on the business resulting in over 100 highly skilled machinists from Newtown in Powys losing their jobs. I thought this was horrendous! As the CEO of Fashion-Enter I understood how skilled these stitchers were. How could we let over 100 machinists loose their jobs and the industry loose those skills!
‘On 15th July 2020 I went to meet the wonderful stitchers on site at Tex Plan along with the management team of Laura Ashley. I was blown away by this amazing team and was touched by their kindness – they went to the trouble of baking cakes as a welcome. By the time we left Tex Plan we had vowed to open a new factory in Wales.
‘The Welsh Government supported the opening of Fashion-Enter (Wales) with a grant of £136,000 which was gratefully received and helped to train the team in new skills in cutting, pressing, stitching and quality control, a requirement for manufacturer’s of high quality garments.
‘In September 2020 we formally opened a brand new renovated factory in the heart of Newtown in the iconic Pryce-Jones building.The factory is Fast Forward audited and works to high standards with current clients including ASOS.com, N Brown, Onesta and Jaeger for M&S.’
Pryce-Jones was a pioneer in the textiles industry, back in the late-1800’s Newtown was known for its woollen industry and in particular its production of quality Welsh flannel. It was the production and selling of Welsh flannel to the likes of Royalty and high profile customers that Pryce-Jones became renowned.
His entrepreneurial vision saw him utilise the railways and postal service to create the first mail order service, a concept he developed to include overseas customers. Subsequently Pryce-Jones was credited as being a pioneer of the global mail order industry and his building the Royal Welsh Warehouse, known as the Pryce-Jones building, is the location of the Fashion-Enter (Wales) factory today.
Right up until 2011 the historic building was home to a mail-order company and with such a skilled manufacturing team we felt that it is only right that we should continue this long established heritage.
‘I love this team managed by Eddie Bebb the ex-Laura Ashley Commercial Manager. They are a force of nature, kind and proud Welsh people. The development of the in-house Spyce Jones brand gives the team their own home-grown brand to nurture, aside from the ebb and flow of client orders, and proudly shows off their quality skills.’
Mail order has come home, made ethically with love in Wales. The team have created kitchenware essentials in unique, sustainable prints, courtesy of our on-site Kornit Digital Presto printer, including aprons, tea towels and oven gloves. Shop with us and support the Fashion-Enter Newtown team along with the ‘Made in Wales’ legacy.
Judith, stitching tutor was thrilled with the new apprentices, she said: “I am so pleased that Iona and Emily are excited to have an apprenticeship after completing Level 1 & 2 stitching. They demonstrated that they were dedicated learners and really wanted to learn new skills. It was lovely to see how happy they were when they mastered another new skill.”