Yorkshire Dales country clothing & accessories manufacturer expands client base with support from MGP | Manufacturing Growth Programme

Richard Sexton & Co trading as Glencroft, manufacture a range of high quality, responsibly sourced country clothing and accessories made from British Wool, tweed and sheepskin. Their products range from jumpers and hats to rugs and accessories which are sold to retailers and distributors worldwide and directly to consumers.

Since they were established in 1987 in the Yorkshire Dales, Glencroft have kept their manufacturing as local as possible working in Yorkshire and Lancashire mills using locally sourced materials. As part of their commitment to sustainability and traceability, in 2022 they are conducting a pilot project to source wool from farms within a four-mile radius of the business. This will mean they can be one of the first businesses to produce a range of completely traceable country wear from specific British sheep breeds.

The business reached out to the Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP) to support with their business growth ambitions. After a strategic business review with Growth Manager Shaughan Farrow, it was decided that an improvement project should be implemented to improve upon Glencroft’s marketing to help to grow and define the brand. This would help to produce a clear proposition to potential customers and provide a vital communications tool in the form of a look-book. The outcome of the project has helped to reposition the brand and engage with a younger and more fashion-conscious demographic. The business has seen a sales increase of 15% in the past year as well as continual growth of their retail website.

Shaughan Farrow commented, “In the past, clothing was possibly regarded by most people as a necessity and therefore its manufacture had mainly a functional purpose; however, as with Glencroft this does not reveal an absence of the “fashion” component, because the quality of fabrics, the design and the richness of materials evokes the honest rural lifestyle that is at the heart and soul of the business.

“The inspiration to take the brand forward – largely determined by the business owners’ flexibility and responsiveness to customer need, was the purpose of developing the look-book. It was felt that in today’s fashion competitive market look-books are one of the most effective marketing tools when it comes to conveying a specific consumer identity to convey the brand and latest collection in a flattering, marketable light.”

The business continues to go from strength-to-strength post-COVID with two large international mail order firms placing orders. They have also diversified into manufacturing unique products such as sheepskin paint pads for underwater commercial painters of oil rigs and ships.

When asked; what advice would you give to another SME Manufacturer who’s thinking of using the MGP? Managing Director, Edward Sexton responded, “Get in touch! You don’t know what could happen until you have chat, it’s an opportunity for a business to do things that would take twice as long on their own.”

Future plans include employing more staff and growing the business with a focus on sustainability and sourcing locally. Glencroft’s overall aim is to become a leader in sustainable fashion.

More details on Glencroft are available at www.glencroft.co.uk

West Yorkshire Combined Authority