Happy New Year!
Normally, the days between Christmas and New Year are nice and quiet. We all go home – even the politicians – and the BBC usually has to track down some reindeer stories in order to create news to report.
Christmas 2020 was a little different.
The Heavens Opened
It was raining as we waved goodbye to our factory staff for the Christmas break. Ten minutes later, it seemed as though the floor had fallen from a skyward water tank, and the contents landed on Lavendon. Within minutes, our roof guttering was overwhelmed and water was coursing onto the leather stocks. We frantically mopped water and moved pallets of leather whilst outside, the street became a river.
With so many waterways nearby (the abundance of river water is what brought all the leather tanneries to this area in the first place) we are used to flooding, but the floods we saw locally over Christmas 2020 were the worst in living memory. It was a bitter end to a very trying 2020 for many families.
But They Finally ‘Got Brexit Done’!
At the eleventh hour, just before Christmas, more newsworthy action appeared in the shape of a European Withdrawal Agreement. We have always enjoyed considerable two-way trade with our European friends, sourcing some of our leather and components there and selling our finished product. We are therefore very relieved that our future trading relationship has been secured on a no-tariff basis.
To keep transactions as unchanged and straightforward as possible, we will be holding our prices and will handle European VAT for our customers throughout the year.
Time for Lockdown #3
The Covid landscape worsened rapidly throughout December across most of the UK. We begin 2021 back in nationwide lockdown – really not what we were all hoping for, with so much recent optimism that the new vaccines will bring all this to an end.
As a British manufacturing business, we are encouraged by the UK government to keep working whilst adhering to strict Covid-safe procedures. Our factory, therefore, remains open and our support staff are working from home. Within just a few days of the lockdown being announced, we were somewhat surprised (and reassured) to receive a spot-check visit from the government’s Health and Safety Commission, to assess our Covid compliance. The fact that we received full approval of our working arrangements is testament to the tight ship run by our Operations Manager, Matt. Of course, the real motivation here is to keep our staff safe and healthy. So far, so good.
But We Have Lots To Look Forward To in 2021
Whilst we wait for the vaccines to be distributed and start to make material headway in the fight against Covid-19, we would like to reassure you that we remain very much open for business through our website, email and phone lines and we look forward to bringing a little sustainable luxury to your world with our exciting work this year.
Our design team has come up with some wonderful ideas and developments for our 2021 collections, so keep an eye out for new bags, colourways, materials and finishes!
We wish you a very healthy and happy 2021!