Spotting the difference

If only you could judge a factory at face value. If only — since good factories look very often just like their not-at-all-good counterparts.

This stands to reason. They do similar things. Similar inputs, similar outputs, and similar contraptions in the middle. And that’s all a factory needs — that and a lid, a floor, and some well-lit and reliably powered space within four walls. Functional is the word.

Tradition and rent begets factories are also found clustered in similar locations. These are sadly, usually, locations that’ve visibly seen better days. But then, they don’t need to impress anyone, and unlike the average mill, factories have never needed to locate themselves beside waterways in rural idylls. Often,then, they’re found in less salubrious parts town, enveloped by urban sprawl, or brushed beyond sight out into the suburbs.

What makes one factory different to the next is the people who run it. The outerwear factory in North London is a casebook example of this. It looks like a factory; looks like you’d expect a factory to look. But what makes this factory special, makes it a place worth talking about, are the people who work there and who run it. They’re very good sorts, admirable of character and exemplary of method. They will make a lot of what will appear here and in the workshop in the next six months. They and their factory are here.