In early October 2019, I was one of the lucky 300 to get one of the Batch No.2 Paynter jackets. It arrived just before Christmas, and has quickly become one of my favourite items of clothing.
Anyone who has met me will quickly realise I’m not that interested in ‘fashion’ – but I care deeply about the story behind the clothes I wear. When you order from Paynter, it’s not just a jacket – it’s a journey … they share details of the design process, where the fabric comes from, the factory in Portugal where each jacket is hand made, the illustrator who designs the labels, why they chose the buttons, how they are continually thinking about the environmental impact of the jackets they make – every element is lovingly considered. By the time my jacket arrived just before Christmas, I almost felt like Becky and Huw were friends! [Much as I do with Jen and Manoush from ZigZag].
This process is important for a couple of reasons. The first is that since 2002, the worldwide production of clothing has more than doubled. The fashion industry now contributes 10% of annual global carbon emissions – more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined. In the same way we can make a difference with recycling, and adjusting our eating habits, calculating our ‘fashion footprint’ may open our eyes to other simple lifestyle changes we can make. Given that it takes around 4000 litres of water to make a single pair of jeans, it’s worth asking – how many pairs do I really need? The world needs more companies like Paynter who are thinking this way, and making clothes designed to last more than just a few months.
The other reason I’m a fan of Paynter Jackets is that I think they are providing an excellent blueprint for how other small businesses can operate with purpose and care. The company is just two people, and Becky and Huw have clearly thought hard about what they want to do, how they want to do it, and – most importantly – why. Their ambitions may well change in the future, but right now, they have decided to make the best jackets they can, three times a year, in limited numbers … their clarity of vision is something that many of us can take inspiration from.
And if you want one of their wonderful jackets for yourself … Batch No.3 is released in a few days … Be warned though, you’ll need to be quick!