6 months in…

Time has flown! I’m already past the first 6 months here at M&S and after a very long awaited holiday, I took some time to reflect on the a few things I have learned so far.

I visited a military tailor’s based in North London to have a look at the factory and ways they produced their suits. The techniques they used involved large baste and padding stitches as the layers between the outer fabric and the lining were very thick, therefore did not need that much to hold its shape. The results were very heavy military uniform adorned with very detailed embroidery which are done both by hand and machine. They used a variety of canvas from fusible on the uniforms to different weights depending on the end use of the suit. It was also good to see young people in the workshop and seeing them work makes me wish I was in the same position, thimble in hand and shears at my side.

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I also had a chance of visiting a reprocessing warehouse- it’s always important to note the cost of logistics and reprocessing as it is an important step in how the end product is presented on the shop floor. It’s a huge operation and it’s amazing to see how it all works.

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I also visited our biggest distribution centre which also houses our firewall team, my favourite ladies that are our point of call when quality isn’t up to standard. They audit purchase orders when they come into the country as well as when technologists notice a rise in return to manufacture rates/customer complaints. I underestimated how much work they did as they diligently check so many products per week. They let Russie and I have a go and within 2 hours we only went through 30 pairs of trousers and about 15 coats- we’ll pick up speed next time we visit.

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Here is another look at the factory I train at once a week; every week it looks manic and it’s great to have a factory as a resource during my studies. As someone who hates sitting in lectures, it’s great to have access to a factory which can provide context to what I am learning at work and whilst during coursework.IMG_20160823_125839

I’ve also been lucky to have visited London College of Fashion for various product knowledge courses. They are very intensive but provide a good foundation on the basics of knitwear and fabrics and fibres. I personally enjoy them as I like to geek put about fabric and material composition/construction a lot.

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I remember a conversation I had with HR and she asked what a good learner is and my response was that they should be a sponge so my goal in this first year is to absorb everything that is going around me and to take every opportunity available. One thing I definitely need to work on is establishing relationships with my team members, I don’t feel I connect with them enough because I’m generally a very shy person but hopefully by the end of the year that changes- I just need to give my self confidence a little boost.

Thanks for stopping by!

M

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