Private White VC
On Friday 20th October 2023, Storm Babet was doing it's best to wash out the North of England having spent the previous week doing its worst to Scotland.
Sat on Platform 2 of Dewsbury Train Station watching the rain fall sideways, I genuinely wondered if the 41 minute journey to Manchester would be going ahead. Luckily for me, a 7 minute delay was all I had to worry about.
I was heading to Manchester to visit Private White VC who a week earlier had announced they were holding a 'once in a generation' sample sale. Having swapped messages with their MD Michael Stoll on a number of occasions, it made sense to finally call by to meet in person.
The short walk from Victoria station was made longer by the headwind pushing me back towards Deansgate but soon enough I was crossing the River Irwell towards that wonderful old factory I'd seen many times on their website.
Stepping through the famous red door, the sale was genuinely once in a generation. The retail savings were almost unbelievable but also armed with the knowledge of manufacturing figures I duly made the most of taking home a few items. Not a fan of the term usually saved for my dad's holiday beer pictures but, it would be rude not to.
I met Mike on the ground-floor before he took me through the factory and it's many different departments.
It was genuinely fascinating for a clothing fan-boy like myself to see everything in one place. Often, these departments are run across different sites and even more often, across different agencies. Here they had everything.
The cutting room was abuzz with workers greeting Mike like family as one working lowered rolls of fabric to the floor below using a method this uneducated eye feels has probably happened the same way since the building was built.
Another door led to a photography studio before leading through to an office, each room's wall stealing my attention with designs and pictures everywhere.
We spoke lots about the history and methods before talking about our own expertise, wax jackets.
We have been in many factories and met many people in this world and being from the background we are from, we have no obligation to please. Whilst this blog may sound gushing, it's likely because it is. I left the building feeling inspired by our conversation and uplifted by the feel of the whole place.
The false screams of UK manufacturing in my world often grate when they come from those who would never dream of buying anything that the manufacturing cost dicates. But having seen this first hand in the way Private White do it, I am fully onboard and understand it on a much deeper level.
PWVC are always welcoming their customers so if you're nearby, I'd definitely recommend paying them a visit.