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IN CONVERSATION WITH MARTIN PARKER OF CUT & PIN
Cut & Pin Co-Founders, Martin Parker and Alan Baker, both share a vision to create a wardrobe collection of everyday pieces, designed and made with integrity at their core. Having both worked in fashion and witnessed first-hand the impact the industry can have on the planet, aligned with a burning desire to fill a gap in the menswear market, they both felt the time was right to launch a brand that married style with responsible sourcing, creating pieces that will stand the test of time. They believe in stepping away from the treadmill of fads and trends, creating products that are seasonless and offer the versatility of a modern wardrobe. Whether working from home, going to a meeting at the office, attending a lunch date, or just having a beer with your mates, Cut & Pin clothes are designed to work around you.
In a recent episode of the MenswearStyle Podcast we interviewed Martin Parker, Co-Founder of Cut & Pin about each of the Co-Founders' skills and backgrounds, and the founding story of their sustainable menswear brand. They had frustrations with the impact the clothing industry was having on the environment, and so they set out to create a fashion collection with this in mind. Our host Peter Brooker and Martin also talked about how to raise capital to launch a business, the difference between deadstock, recycled and organic materials, the challenges of operating through Covid-19, the importance of garment sizing, and being inspired by David Hockney.
“I met my co-founder while working for a cashmere company based in Harrogate. We became quite good friends, and we shared a similar kind of humour, and shared similar ideas about fashion and the world. I think fundamentally, we felt quite frustrated with the way that the industry was going because at that time, in the beginning of 2019, there was momentum with the impacts the fashion industry was having on the planet. But there was also a frustration with the menswear market, as well. We were struggling to find things we liked and so things snowballed from there. My background is in fashion, I'm a fashion designer, and I've been doing that for around 20 to 23 years. My partner’s background is on the digital marketing side and he's been doing that around 20 years, working for various companies, similar to myself. The partnership works really well. After discussing initial concepts and what we wanted to do, we then went off and put it through a bean counter. We came up with possible scenarios, and in terms of what kind of capital it would take to get a business like what we wanted to do off the ground. We approached the Virgin Start Up Loan, and we were very successful in securing a loan, as well as some small investment from another party. Originally, we thought that we'd launch in June 2020, but that kind of got put on hold due to the global pandemic. We launched a lot later, and I won't lie, it's been tough. The lockdown hasn't helped in terms of connecting with the supply base and getting product in. I'd say that's probably been the biggest stumbling block. Pre-pandemic, we were talking about pop-up shops, it's something we will definitely look into once things start to return back to normal.”
This is a shortened transcribed edit of episode 117 of the MenswearStyle Podcast with Martin Parker, Co-Founder of cutandpin.com. You can listen to the full version below or listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favourite podcast player.