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Weird Fish

  • Weird Fish Clothing

    Weirdfish Clothing

    Weirdfish Clothing

    Weird Fish was spawned from the great inland ocean that is Cheltenham in Gloucestershire in 1993. We have been selling Weird Fish clothing since 2002, and every year they consistently come up with great new styles and designs.

    We always look forward to seeing the next seasons range from Weird Fish more than any other. This is partly because they always make so many great Tops and Tees. It is usually a struggle to find space in the shop for all the different styles we want to bring in. But we also look forward to seeing Mark, the Weird Fish agent who looks after us. For years he had his range of Weird Fish samples for the following season on display in a bizarre shed on a farm, by the giant wind turbines near Kendal. He has recently moved to a unit built for humans, with a road and car parking and other such luxuries. We have known Mark for over 20 years and it is always great crack when we catch up. He always has a good stack of butties and biscuits and pop ready for us when we come. And he doesn’t mind when we pinch all his pens. Good pens are hard to come by these days.

    Weirdfish Clothing are not just weird, they have fun too!

    So many companies take themselves far too seriously, and the salesmen all behave like they have just completed a course. Weird Fish still give you the impression that most important decisions are written down on the back of an envelope and then it’s off to the pub. They really do seem to enjoy the work they do and the success they have had. The company as well as the range has grown every year. They used to operate out of an old chicken shed when we started dealing with them, but they outgrew that and have kept growing every year.

    Weird Fish Clothing owner John Stockton

    John Stockton owner of Weird Fish

    John Stockton who used to be the Head Honcho at Animal bought Weird Fish a couple of years ago. He borrowed £8 million from some venture capitalists and bought it from Doug Tilling who founded the company. Doug always used to be at the trade shows to go through the range with you. There can’t be many companies where the owner is so closely involved with the sell through and showing off their range. A lot of fashion brands can be very up themselves and they let you know that they don’t care if you sell their product or not, because they are so big and important. Weird Fish have always been a friendly company and they let you know they appreciate our faith and passion in the brand.

    Weirdfish might be an animal, but they're not Animal

    John has brought a lot of experience with him and you can see some slightly Animaly changes coming through, mainly in the workbooks and ladies range, but they are completely different companies. He seems to understand the Weird Fish market. He said “the company, which targets its brand at "40-plus" men and women, has tried to keep these (price increases) as modest as possible. Our prices have gone up by 10pc in two years. We don't want to become an aspirational brand – that just means expensive. We have a broad consumer base and like to be in that middle sector." I couldn’t agree more.

    Weirdfish Clothing ethics and approach

    Weird Fish are determined to keep the bulk of their manufacturing in Turkey and not move it out to the Far East. John Stockton recently said "In Asia you get price reductions but the lead time and service goes down the toilet. And compromised quality is not what our customer buys our brand for." The company takes an ethical stance. "We pay a good price for our merchandise and expect the factories to pay proper wages," said Mr Stockton. “We insist that all production of Weird Fish is in factories that are clean, modern and safe. In Turkey our production is mainly in 100% cotton fabrics. Cotton is a "natural crop" product and Turkey is one of the largest growers of cotton in the world. Any factory in Turkey that employs more than 30 people must by law provide them with a hot meal each day as well as transport to and from work. Weird Fish employs a full-time agent and three full-time quality controllers in Turkey. We are working with our suppliers daily and we are confident of their ethical behaviour.

    Weird Fish's sales of £12 million in 2010 are expected to grow to £14 million in 2011, and I hope we help them achieve this. Every new season we see great new styles and fabrics from them. The classic Macaroni is still our best seller, and Macaroni Light is a perfect fabric for summer tops. The recently added Keira Knit and Jarse Knit fabrics are brilliant. Keira Knit is like a lighter Macaroni and they have only used it in ladies tops so far. The Jarse Knit is a really soft knitted marled fabric and has been really popular in its first year, so we have more styles coming in next year. This is Weird Fish’s real strength, they manage to source great new fabrics and make good looking clothing that anyone can wear at sensible prices.

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