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Interview With Wyatt and Jack

Posted by gbexchange on 24th Feb 2015

Based on the Isle of Wight, Wyatt and Jack creates unique, sustainable bags and accessories from re-purposed fabrics. With striking beach-inspired designs, their products are British-manufactured and made to last. Today we’re speaking to owner Georgia about what inspires this quintessentially British brand.

What inspired Wyatt and Jack?

It’s weird, I wouldn’t say there was really an “inspiration” light-bulb moment… it was more organic than that really. I was sharing a ceramics workshop with a friend’s dad who asked me to take some material off some really old 70’s sunbeds, which I did, then made a bag. Its grown from there… it’s only now the business has reached this particular point that I realise I’ve been messing around with fabrics my whole life, trying to make materials do things they wouldn’t usually do (like a hat I have in my workshop made from old sweet wrappers).

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The Six [take it to work] Luxury Satchel

When I found out that the canvases were ending up in landfill, it just meant that I couldn't leave it, I had to follow it up and make sure that didn't happen anymore. We’ve repurposed almost over 10 tonnes of deckchair canvas and beach materials so far.

Can you describe your products in ten words or fewer?

Crafted, British-made, colourful, unique, hard-wearing, ethical, stylish

Can you tell us a bit about your design process from fabric to finished product?

The fabric either arrives with us on pallets, or we go on a bi-annual road trip around the coast and pick it all up. Then we bring it back to our Isle of Wight base and wash it all back thoroughly, then cut it.

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The Groucho Wash/Toiletry Bag

We really are in the hands of the materials with regard to the design process. We have to be led by what the fabric will/won’t do and that then decides which shaped bag it will become. For example, some of the fabrics are 50-60 years old and (to put it bluntly!) have had a LOT of bottoms sittng on them over the years. Because the deckchair canvas has a memory, chances are it’s going to have a dip in the fabric that we then have to allow for when cutting and designing.

What has been the greatest challenge, and the best moment so far since starting Wyatt and Jack?

The greatest challenge has been the hours that you have to put in when you really believe in something. It takes over, it becomes all you can think about and fitting other things in can be tricky.

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The Brigitte Oversized Canvas Tote/ Beach to City Bag

But when you start to see other people also believing in what you're doing, that’s the best feeling, and seeing someone make use of something that started off as an idea in your head - AND that was on its way to landfill – that’s the best thing ever.

What do you see as the main benefit of working with The GBE?

It’s amazing that all these networks are sprouting up and supporting British manufacture. The GB Exchange is another cracking example of people reaching out to find British-made products and retailers and it’s done in a really tasteful way.

It’s cool to have a specific point of contact so it takes some of the legwork out of finding British products and putting people together. If more people involve themselves in this kind of project, British manufacture is going to grow and grow again. Brilliant!

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