As I pulled into the car park I met another blogger - Emma and we headed off to sign in.
I was excited and nervous, and had been worried about what to wear as most of my wardrobe is Matalan and I didn't want to end up wearing the same as somebody else, so I'd opted for a non Matalan dress. I needn't have worried about turning up wearing the same as someone else, as Leanne who was hosting the day ended up wearing the same as one of the buyers. She explained it was common in their office for more than one of the girls to end up wearing the same thing and that on some days it just looked like they were wearing a uniform!
We were shown into a room where the school uniform and new range were laid out for us to look at.
|perfect for weddings|
|Love the teddy top|
I found it hard to choose from the girls ranges because I haven't got a girl and was slightly disappointed that the young boys range only stops at year 5, and the older children's range is a bit grown up for him. As I have said before in another post I would love stores to cater for taller children, Squiggle is only 4 and a half but has been wearing size 5-6 years since March.
Once everybody had had the chance to scrutinise the clothes we were split into groups and taken off to give our opinion on the Matalan brand and on the new lines of clothes. We were asked to be honest and give negative as well as positive feedback, and offer any advice to make shopping better at Matalan.
After dinner we received a talk from the buyers who explained the process from designing the clothes to making and testing them before they were ready to be signed off for mass production. The buyers explained that the majority of the manufacturing is outsourced but they do make frequent trips and have guidelines in place to make sure that they are being made as ethically as possible. They showed us samples of products that had failed the initial tests and then the amended versions to compare. A lot of testing is done from wear and tear to washing and colour run. If a product fails it will keep going 'back to the drawing board' until it is right.
We were shown some of the amendments that had been made to this years uniforms, such as softer collars and a velcro fastening behind the top button, and also given details of potential design changes for next years range. They are always working 12 months ahead, so are currently planning the 2015/2016 range.
Next we were shown the process of shoe making. I hadn't really considered how shoes were made, I just presumed they would be mass produced by machine so it came as a bit of a surprise to learn that each one is hand made.
Then we talked through the ideas and gathering information process and shown the ideas boards that were used for the new Autumn/Winter collection. These were created 12 months ago. So Matalan is working on next years various collections.
Before leaving we were all given a goody bag and some vouchers to purchase our school uniform, so I will be writing about that at a later date.
*Disclaimer, I was invited to Matalan Head Office to view the new collection and school uniform, I was given vouchers and a goodie bag for the purpose of this and my next review. However all pictures, words and opinions are my own.