One of the big trends this year has seen brands attempting to connect with their audience on a deeper level, with a more ambient marketing approach. Partner that up with a rise in celebrating ‘the craft’ and it seems that trendy British label AllSaints have come up with a winning formula with their new online documentary, ‘Voices of the Cloth’.

The film focuses on a finishing mill in Huddersfield, Yorkshire and celebrates the workforce behind the scenes that are rarely thrust into the spotlight within the fashion industry. AllSaints’ documentary celebrates British craftsmanship, workmanship and the manufacturing processes driving their brand forward. If being cynical, you can allude to the fact that the brand has lost some of its Kudos recently as the brand becomes ever more present on the high street and regularly associated with and worn by those in Essex, there is a need to bring it back to the brand it was, young, forward-thinking and ahead of the curve.


The documentary emphasises AllSaints’ pride in using the labour-intensive traditional, manual techniques rather than the speedy production line with the digital machinery of today’s industry. Within the traditional finishing mill, the skilled workers explained the specialist weaving and steaming techniques that have been developed over generations to give the miles and miles of fabric a very specific feel. This ‘handle’ is a quality that could not be replicated without their expert knowledge, or the temperate conditions of the surrounding area.

The men of the mill are equally fascinating, working on machines now so old that they were unique in the world and using top secret soap recipes that their ancestors had toiled over for generations to perfect. These were people who started work at the age of 15 knowing nothing about textiles, but who by retirement age had become experts in their trade. They stood tall like heroes, their faces rugged as if chiseled in stone, proud in the knowledge that their skills were almost unique and eager to teach the next generation.

Forget Primark, this is about making their mark on the audience and AllSaints will hope that quality and craft win out over the cheap prices and throwaway fashion. Will this take the TOWIE out of the brand? No. The Essex AllSaints lovers won’t watch this, but for old fans like me it is good to see the effort.