SEPTEMBER 2020

Boo hoorah in strange and difficult times.

We have been overwhelmed with orders from makers all over the world and it warms my heart to see so many people turning and returning to sewing. We are proud to be part of a movement that fills lives with creative and positive experiences whist chipping away at the mindset of mass production and throwaway culture.

THE PROGRESS REPORT:

  • Since the initial lockdown, we have employed another 5 members of staff. We are now a talented team of 30.
  • As we further our committed movement towards100% sustainable/organic production, we are progressing organic and sustainable ranges, developed in conjunction with our usual mills. We continue to provide routes to sustainable and satisfying clothing.
  • We are investing in a new warehouse and production facility to bring the Merchant & Mills team back together under one roof (apart from the shop!).
  • We are in the midst of purchasing The Merchant & Mills House. After restoration, we will have a 6-bedroom house in the centre of Rye to accommodate sewing retreat students or other guests.

These demanding activities and the ongoing pandemic have led us to the painful decision to end our collaboration with Liberty London on September 27th. The Liberty Management and our Liberty staff have been amazing and thoroughly supportive. Liberty will continue to stock our patterns, notions and a selected range of cloth including Tencel and oilskin.

The staff have all been offered jobs within Merchant & Mills. Ellie is now working with us as a merchandiser, Naomi is working with us a textile designer and developing wonderful new  hand-printed cloth.

Melodie and Daisy have taken this opportunity to pursue their own projects and we wish them all the best with their endeavours.

As many will know, this was very much a personal journey for me and a heartfelt tribute to my wonderful Mum who taught me to sew so many years ago. She would be so excited to see what we are working on now, and her spirit will accompany us going forwards. Thanks Mum!