Both style and story are crucial to Peregrine, which has been in existence as a family company – J G Glover & Co, handcrafting fine knitwear, since 1800. Peregrine, the modern day incarnation of that latter-day business, bases its USP on its faithfulness to the origins of the brand; classic pieces of British-made knitwear, and later outerwear, and more recently accessories, combined with a contemporary style and design twist that keeps that inherent quality and heritage fresh and dynamic for the current market.
Here, Tom Glover, the 8th generation MD and owner of J G Glover & Co, explains how the 200 hundred year old company marries together classic and contemporary, city and country to achieve a timeless take on British quality clothing and accessories upholding the tradition of a heritage brand with a modern twist…
Firstly, for those readers who aren’t familiar with Peregrine, please can you tell us about your company and brand?
Peregrine is the brand name of J G Glover & Co, an English manufacturer with over 200 years heritage. We have always specialised in knitwear and later introduced jackets into our British made collection during the ‘80s. Today we carry a collection of garments for both ladies and men that uses locally sourced materials, hand crafted in our Manchester factory.
What, or who, are the creative inspirations for the Peregrine brand?
We draw our inspiration from our history, past collections, the English weather and our surrounding environment.
Is there a typical Peregrine Clothing customer?
We appeal to a wide range of customers who choose to wear the brand in a variety of different environments, we enjoy being diverse.
More than 60% of your sales are to overseas markets. Why do you feel Peregrine has been so well-received by foreign buyers?
The made in England label is more respected and sought after overseas, many look to replicate the quintessentially English look and like that our product is made here in the UK.
Your showroom in Clifton, Bristol, uses an interior dressing room concept. Can you explain the rationale for that?
The idea was based on a Gentlemen’s dressing room; we decided to have a space that people could visit to take time to try on the collection in a comfortable surrounding that wasn’t rushed, allowing them time to appreciate not only the garments but the whole brand and its story.
There’s a lot of talk about the resurgence and passion for buying British-made products again, with customers willing to pay a slightly higher cost if they know it’s been made in the UK than outsourced abroad. What do you put this down to – is it British manufacturers raising their game and improving their designs and quality of craftsmanship or consumers changing their buying habits in light of more press attention and wanting to support British manufacturing, or something else?
Consumers are becoming far more aware of quality manufacturing versus cheap overseas imports. They are now beginning to take pride in their purchases and what to know more about the background behind the products they choose to invest in.
You have decided to retain production in England rather than outsource to the Far East. How important is the ‘Made in England’ label to your brand?
Made in England is very important to us, it is a key part of our brand and our main USP. We employ a number of people in our Manchester factory which is something we are very proud of.
You opened a pop-up store in London fairly recently. Is this a forerunner to a permanent showroom in the capital any time soon?
Yes, as we open our new retail store in Bristol, we will soon be looking at London as our next destination.
Aside from your range of knitwear, you have recently developed a range of outdoor-related accessories. Is this a range you are looking to expand further still?
The Peregrine range grows year on year as we enter new markets and obtain new customers. Knitwear and jackets will always remain our key focus, but we are always keen to introduce new ideas into the collection including lighter gauge knits and wovens with accompanying accessories.
How important is the selection and quality of materials in creating your products and do you only source fabric from the British Isles?
We try to source all our materials from the UK, fabrics are one of our key aspects when we look to produce quality knitwear and jackets.
You collaborated with J Shoes to create a range of boots eighteen months ago; why was that, and what do you look for in collaborations with other specialists?
We work with J Shoes because their design and attention to detail works well alongside Peregrine. We have since brought Sanders on board to create a Made in England shoe, collaborating with Hainsworth and British Millerain fabrics, using design details true to both ourselves, J Shoes and Sanders.
Your range of clothes have been described as ‘heritage chic’, which is no doubt in reference to the fact that your company was founded almost 250 years ago. Can you elaborate on how you’ve been able to celebrate your heritage whilst being stylish and fashionable at the same time, which I imagine is not a combination that is easy to achieve?
The range is updated year-on-year, taking core styles that have worked and re-fashioning them into new designs to keep the collection current. The brand will always be labelled Heritage through our history, but will also remain experimental, mixing fabrics with both classic and contemporary styles; adapting the collection to appeal to a more fashionable market.
Finally, what’s next for Peregrine Clothing and what are your ambitions for the brand?
For Peregrine to be a respected brand, that can be found in pockets around the world as a fun, thoughtful, honest brand that makes quality clothing with both style and a story.
Thanks to Tom Glover for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions. All images courtesy of Peregrine.