In a recent episode of the Menswear Style Podcast, Uskees founder, Paul Clapham talks to Peter Brooker, the Lifestyle Editor of The Menswear Style Podcast, about his background in fashion retail and eCommerce, and how his 'built to last' workwear brand was born.
“I've been in the retail arena for many years. I worked directly for Levi Strauss and managed a number of their biggest stores for a few years and then went into internet retailing approximately 10 years ago. I then had a lightbulb moment in the shower one day, I wondered if I could sell denim dungarees on the internet and imported some from America. Over time we built sales, but it was always a bedroom business. It became a race to the bottom because the marketplace got more and more flooded. So, I began to think about how we could diversify, how we could survive in the longer term and how we could build something that was for us. We had always sold brands like Carhartt and Dickies, so I have always been familiar with workwear, and I like the simplicity of it. I'm not particularly a high fashion person, and I'm not a particular follower of trends."
"That's what I have always enjoyed about workwear, the simple aesthetic fits my personality. One day a friend of mine was wearing a very simple Chinese working jacket that he got from a vintage store. It wasn't particularly glamorous, but it was really nice and simple. As soon as I saw it I thought, that's what we can do, we can create clothes that will be fit for purpose and simple. We’re based in Manchester and one of the key areas of Manchester is clothing wholesale and internet businesses. I don't like the idea of disposable clothing; I don't like the idea that things can be thrown away after a couple of uses. The idea of fast fashion has been a relatively new one. I want to try and rally against that. I just want to create something that will encourage people to buy less, repair more, cherished more, and build a relationship with a garment.”
This is a shortened transcribed edit of episode 118 of the MenswearStyle Podcast with Paul Clapham, Founder of uskees.com. You can listen to the full version here or listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favourite podcast player.