Factory Memories Rediscovered… Q’preme

Posted by Ella & me on

As mentioned in our previous newsletter, some of us are immersed at the moment in reorganising aspects of the factory in order to reclaim useful working space from areas of storage that had become something akin to the Bermuda Triangle… where materials & objects went to never be used again.

We’ve promised to keep you abreast of any interesting discoveries along the way, …so when a large box of Q’preme labels was unearthed, literally hidden from sight for at least the last 50 years, we felt it deserved some recognition.

Q’preme was the factory’s first ever adopted brand name. Registered as a trademark back in 1947 it was created by our founders Eric & Mary Quarmby and was a play on the word ‘Supreme’, taking the Q from their surname Quarmby.

In that particular era most established garment factories adopted their own brand names so that their products, which were sold exclusively through wholesale businesses, (middle men), were easily identifiable & recognizable for their quality.

Retailers never dealt directly with factories in those days, they’d buy what they needed from large & powerful wholesale businesses who’d stock products from an array of different factories. This made life simpler for the retailer as well as the factory, the retailer could see everything in one place and the factories would receive larger orders as they were potentially supplying not one, but many retailers, albeit through an intermediate business, the wholesaler.

Manchester city centre plays host to some of the most stunning buildings, gorgeous works of architecture, which were originally built by these wholesale businesses who wished to have grand & impressive places of business. This is true for many of our major cities, Nottingham, Leicester etc. etc.

Slowly over time the industry changed and wishing to gain price advantages over their competitors, large retailers began to source directly from factories, they also saw the value in having their own brand names and thus started the decline of the independent factory label.

At the bottom of the label box we found the ‘Singer Sewing Machines’ pen knife, (pictured), which was likely used for opening sealed boxes and we can only assume it was accidentally dropped in and also lost to time. After a quick polish, it’s like new, testament to how well things used to be made.


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published