We have been contacted by ‘Carradice’,an international manufacturer to come up with unique designs for their company. We can either design a new bag, surfa or a window display showcasing their products. I have chosen to go along with the visual merchandising aspect of it.
The target market is aimed at younger middle aged people who like to travel a lot outdoors and people who like to take part in activities and challenges such as mountain climbing and hiking. They sell a range of bags along with tools and garments suitable for outdoor activities and bad weather. Their products sell internationally and are a very big catch. There are two new brands that have launched recently, one being UPSO and the other being Seatgear.
These are screenshots of the different products that are sold.
UPSO is an Urban brand which consists of bags made out of recycled tarpaulin. The creator of UPSO doesn’t like wasting anything and decided to create unique bags out of it. It’s a great material for bags especially when they are being carried from one place to another because it is strong and waterproof. I think it’s a fantastic idea because I have never seen anything like it anywhere else. It is something new and refreshing. I like the fact that no two bags are the same, because no one wants the same things as anyone else,everyone is different and has their own individual style. The fact that every bag is signed by its own maker makes them a bit more special. They are quite colorful and are aimed at people who like to travel a lot and carry a lot of things. The price range goes from £25- £80/90 depending on the type of bag. I think this is a little expensive, but also quite reasonable as they seem like they will last a long time and won’t get damaged quickly.
Seatgear is a more fashionable brand which is aimed at more young and stylish people. These bags are constructed from the leather interior of cars and their seatbelts. When cars are no longer in use, their seats don’t stop working, so why waste them? I think it’s a great idea how I could purchase a bag made out of the seat of a Jaguar or a Ford. I have never seen anything like them and they are more attractive than the UPSO ones. The color range suits me better as they are more neutral and not in your face. I can see a wealthy, cool person with one of these on their backs right now. Nothing goes to waste this way and they are also very strong and long lasting which is perfect for someone like me who likes to carry a lot of things around with me. The price range is a little higher, but I think it is worth it as they are hand constructed and from very expensive cars.
I wanted to find out more about how the whole process actually happens and how the leather is taken from these cars so I decided to do further research.
I also found a very interesting video on their website which I watched to find out further information. – Get checked/ try another one.
When the leather is taken from the cars, the cars register details and the name of the car are noted down so that the buyer knows exactly what their bag is constructed from and where it has come from. I think this is a really unique and wonderful idea.
I have researched the interior of a few cars to see what the material looks like before it is extracted and how it looks when its in the form of a bag.
These bags are made from the leather of Jaguars. As you can see, the leather on the actual car seats look smooth and stretched out, whereas the bags look a little flimsy and wrinkly. I do really like the color of this leather as it is soft and neutral, it looks like very good quality material that will not wear out too quickly. The leather that is used for these cars is called connolly leather , its used in many cars like the Jaguar, Aston Martin, Ferrari, Maserati, Bentley.This leather was founded in 1878 by two brothers, John Samuel and Frederick Connolly who started one of the first While-you-wait shoe repair shops in London. They went on to repair harness and saddlery which meant they had to buy and finish leather on their own which they supplied to hood-makers and coach builders. From then on, the Connolly leather has been used in many of the expensive cars we see today.
This is the interior of a ford Mondoe Ghia.
On Wednesday, we had a visit from the manager of Carradice, David Chadwick. He came to talk to us about his company, how he got to where he is today and what he expects from us. I think having David in was very helpful to me and the other peers because he brought his bags in for us to have a look at. This was very useful because first of all the bags were much bigger than most of us would have imagined, now we know what we are working with, and surprisingly to me, they weren’t as bad as I thought they were.
He bought both the UPSO and Seatgear ones in along with some of the materials that are used to construct these bags. He explained to us in detail how the leather from the cars is extracted for the Seatgear bags and also the process that it goes through . I liked the Seatgear bags even more in person as I got to see how good the quality of the leather actually is and the best part was the little pouch on the inside of the bag that has the registration number written on it along with the model of the car. I think this is a very unique idea and it adds a very special touch to each and every one of his bags. One thing that I like is that none of his materials go to waste, he makes the most out of all the supplies he gets. For example a rucksack can’t be created from the headrest of a car so a small travel bag like the one below is made instead. Personally, I think these bags would appeal to many young teenagers of my age along with some elderly people who are in touch with their style just because it is a very modern, stylish bag that comes from very expensive cars. Also this type of bag would definitely fit in with the trending colours we have today. Rucksacks have trended an awful lot last year and will still trend this year I am sure which gives even more of a reason as to why people would want to purchase these bags. As his business is still growing, I can definitely see one of these bags being sold in stores like River Island, Topshop, Primark and other highstreet stores.
He bought in more of the UPSO bags than the Seatgear purely because there is a range of different ones in the UPSO brand. When I saw the first one I was a little surprised as the size was nothing like how it looks on his website. It almost looked like a suitcase, but without wheels which is ideal for cyclists and outdoor people as they do carry a handful of tools and other products with them. David explained how the tarp is extracted and cleaned along with the issues they sometimes face with the tarp, he told us approximately how much one side of a trucks tarp costs and how it is supplied. Even though this is nothing to do with our designs we are coming up with, I think it is very important that we know the history of something before we work with it so we know what will work well with what. We got to see the different range he has, the courier bag, the bike bag, the torte. I like how individual each bag is and that the name of the person who sewed the bag is written inside each label. Like the Seatgear is more trendy and fashionable, the UPSO sells more to cyclists and people who are travelling a lot from one country to another.I can definitely see why they would choose these UPSO bags because they are quite strong now that I got to feel them and see them. I can see these bags selling in the future in places like JD and sports direct as they already sell products similar to these so I dont see why not.
Before meeting David, I had no idea about his background or why he chose to take up this business. He mentioned he studied science and worked in the food industry in his early years which shocked me a little as it has nothing to do with what he does today. What I learnt from this is that anything can be achieved with hard work, dedication and a strong mindset, because David didn’t grow up studying business or anything to do with what hes doing today, yet he has a very successful and still growing business which I think will definitely go far.