WAWWA breathes new life into the once huge production industry in the heart of Manchester’s cotton district

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The Spring/Summer 22 collection marks a turning point for WAWWA, as the majority of production is done in-house, at their independent factory based in Manchester. They are proud that the decision – born out of difficult times, with a global shortage of organic cotton and partner factories unable to supply their seasonal orders – has fulfilled a long-term goal for the brand. The WAWWA factory (and WAWWA headquarters) rightly sits in the heart of the old cotton district – once nicknamed Cottonopolis because of its importance within the industry.

To celebrate this milestone for the brand, WAWWA has teamed up with talented filmmaker Percy Dean, to create a short video that spotlights the sewing machine mechanic, Howard, who helped make their journey possible. Set in an old mill, the film gives you an insight into some of WAWWA’s design processes and their factory environment in Manchester.

WAWWA’s relationship with Howard was formed a few years ago when they needed their industrial sewing machine which was used for in-house sampling and maintenance. The next day, Howard showed up at their studio, which was based in a former canalside cotton mill in Ancoats, Manchester. Howard explained that he had worked there before as a boy. He recalled that there were hundreds of sewing machinists in the factory and remembered what it looked like. Listening to him talk about the history of the area, the community, the lost industry and how things have changed was truly inspiring.

Since that day, Howard’s knowledge, insight and encouragement have helped the brand grow its small production line, expand its machinery, product offering and guide it in its efforts to do what has been a dream for WAWWA since its inception, a success.

Always evolving, with an obsession for quality, detail and fit, the WAWWA factory enables comprehensive quality control and product design innovation throughout the production process. With in-house production, WAWWA has ultimate control over its supply chain, which creates less waste, being able to supply closer to demand and being responsive to the current market situation. It also reduces the carbon footprint of each garment, eliminating many trips back and forth between factories.

WAWWA is proud to be able to continue to train young people and motivate them to work in this sector, paying a real living wage, hoping to reinvigorate a dying trade, in a city once draped in textile heritage.

WAWWA, courtesy of the brand

ABOUT WAWWA

Clothing that puts people and planet before profits.

Wawwa Clothing, based in Manchester, is a sustainable brand that produces organic, fair trade, vegan and planet-friendly clothing with a positive social impact.

WAWWA offers a wide range of casual, wearable styles and accessories that work on a buy-one-get-one-donate model as part of their 1+1 collection. Designed with sustainability in mind, WAWWA uses sustainable materials to create functional garments that minimize their impact on the environment and those who inhabit it.

WAWWA recently took over the majority of production in-house at its independent factory based in Manchester. The factory was established when the pandemic hit due to the need for face masks and reduced demand for PPE. Their in-house production has now expanded to cover the majority of accessories offered, as well as all woven and jersey designs.

The Manchester factory is the cornerstone of the brands sustainable approach, allowing ultimate control over how parts are produced, creating a truly transparent supply chain. The factory also enables WAWWA to train local people, paying them above living wage and stem the migration of talented designers, cutters and seamstresses out of Manchester, a city draped in textile heritage.

WAWWA, courtesy of the brand

1+1 COLLECTION

Disparity is a growing global concern and WAWWA is keen to do its part for its corner of the earth. Having felt powerless in the face of this inequality, the team wanted to help keep those in need warm at night. For every hat purchased, another was donated to a homeless person. Since launching in 2015, WAWWA has donated over 10,000 accessories as they have now expanded their range to include socks and scarves and seek to partner with national charities to help reach refugees, low-income families and users of mental health services.

WAWWA CLOTHING MATERIALS

WAWWA garments focus on using materials that are meticulously chosen and selected for minimum harm to the environment and maximum durability.

WAWWA, courtesy of the brand
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