Why Customise? Why follow when you can create your own?
When 304 Clothing started 6 years ago, the idea was to make 1/1 pieces of clothing, the customer (or friends) at the time would send us a slogan they wanted printed on an item of clothing that was bought from H&M. The true essence of one of a kind was cemented into our DNA by having the hashtag after 304 so that every customer knew what piece of clothing they owned in the history of the 304 production e.g. 304 #1 etc. We still have #1 and #2 in the office to this day!
Due to demand and the time it took to create one item at a time, we knew that we needed to scale and mass produce, which was an obvious and easy business decision to make but one that came with a double-edged sword as it went against what we’d initially set out to produce in the market place.
After the fire 16 months ago, we had to go back to producing designs on off the shelf products for two months to allow the brand and business to get back on its feet, this initially felt like a backwards step but one that had to be made. It turned out that the ability to launch styles much quicker than any other brand in our genre was quickly turning into a huge asset, one not many other brands were doing.
16 months on from the fire and we are more than happy with how the process works and how to scale it up to supply all of our 304 customer base – welcome the new 304 custom range! The printing is now done in-house at the Birmingham studio, while the designs and patch work are made out in LA. This still allows us to have a design idea produced and online within 3 weeks. This speed to market while maintaining the high standards of quality is very important to us as will keep the custom range evolving.
Here’s what you need to know about the new range!
What will the Custom range be and what does customisable mean?
The range isn’t 100% customisable just yet, but we are working on a way that our website will allow that in the near future. It will work by the customer selecting the piece of clothing, the size and then finally choosing from initially 4 options of custom branding. Each option is extremely limited, so you may end up being the only person who selects that combo leaving you with an exclusive 1/1 304 product!
How are the custom designs created?
We sit down as a team and decide together, for the first drop we have kept it quite simple and only used our 6cm no box logo in two colours. For drops two and three we are introducing the script logo, illumines logos and adding in pin stripe t-shirts into the product offering. The options will quickly develop as the weeks go on!
Why is this different to a simple screen-printing operation that a lot of other brands do?
The clothing is still the same amazing product that we already produce, it’s just blank when it arrives with us. This then allows us to create the custom range by printing onto the clothes without sacrificing quality. We then sit down with graphic designers and fabric experts and come up with ways to create options which are above and beyond just screen printing. When drop one goes live we will be the only UK brand with the license to apply this level of patch work and branding to clothing. How exclusive is that!?
David Powell our Co-founder had this to say on the new range - “The first time I saw it I disregarded it for a few months as I thought it was too good to be true and there was no way this could be as good as these guys were telling me but then a couple of months on and after some sampling and testing here in Birmingham I was sold and I remember saying to Sean [Co-founder] this could change our entire business overnight and I still think it will”.
16 styles Launched Tuesday 29th January at 3:04PM in part one of the Custom project.