Who Made My Clothes?

Oh Hey Superstar,

We're so pleased you could join us for an up-to-date, dive behind the scenes in the State of Disarray!

Ours, is a small family business which burst onto the UK festival scene nine supersonic years ago. We retail our unisex play-full party wear and statement street-wear at the hottest independent, UK music festivals and internationally, via our website and little Etsy store.

Our production takes place in Hanoi, Vietnam where until the pandemic hit, we spent every winter hand-picking our fabrics and working directly with our small team of independent tailors to ensure no outsourcing, exploitation can ever occur.

Here’s our tiny team low-down

I’m Captain Disarray, the founder, designer, accountant, social media mogul (well...OK, I occasionally pop a post on Instagram).  I've gone from a sole-trader to the co-director if a limited company, because five years ago, my partner in Love and life 'Danny Disarray' joined the journey to make a crew of two.  Dan is our photographer, graphic designer, jewellery maker and general fixer of everything.

We're currently based in the UK on the rural Norfolk/Suffolk boarder, where we continue to pick our way through the pandemic by working from home in our makeshift studio/summerhouse. We've even taken to living in the bell tent in the garden for months at a time, as we simultaneously renovate our first home together!

Despite the relentless chaos and occasionally overwhelming  challenges that come with such an epic project, we could not be more thankful for our pretty little riverside cottage, which we share with our favourite team mate 'Baby Neon' the fine-snouted sausage dog of dreams.

It's been an epic juggling act to keep the fashion flowing and thank the Spandex Gods that our folks live locally, and that Pappa Disarray has given up a big chunk of his man cave and allowed us to convert a beautiful listed out-building into a sparkle-filled warehouse! 

As our online business blossomed, Mamma Disarray jumped in to save the day by packing & posting your orders while we worked abroad with our tailors in Hanoi and hit the festivals in the Summer.  Six years later, sensational 70 year-old Mamma Disarray (aka Dispatch Doris Supreme), handles oodles of online orders and helps with garment fitting and fabric advice too.  Yup! We are banned from the dispatch desk cause Mamma Disarray does it best!

We’re super proud of our commitment to transparency in our garment production and supply chains. The ethics and values on which we’ve built our little independent business are inspired by a simple yet meaningful quote, which has become the mantra I apply in both my personal and professional practices;

‘’Demand quality, not only in the products you buy, but in the lives of the people who made them’’ – Orsola de Castro – Co founder of Fashion Revolution.

Just like us, our tailors in Vietnam have small independent, family run businesses. Some have small shops while others work at home. In all previous years of production, we typically design, sort fabrics, quality control, photograph, label and pack our bonkers products, from our home studio in Hanoi.

As a designer, maker and Vietnamese speaker, I truly understand the level of skill and time it takes to individually construct each garment. We ask our tailors to set the price of each piece at the prototype stage and adapt the designs and fabric types as required to ensure that everyone receives a good rate of pay for producing such high-quality work, while also ensuring we can offer the most affordable prices possible to our customers.

In Hanoi, my sister from another mister ‘Super Hanh’, joined me 8 years ago as an intern, but within a week proved herself to be so invaluable that she was put on the pay-role as my PA.  Eight years later, Hanh has acquired the skills to confidently take on a more managerial role in our absence as we face the second season working remotely due to the pandemic.

Faced with continued global challenges in 2021, in a determined effort to save our events-based business and keep our team together, ‘Super Hanh’ (our PA turned operations manager), is currently overseeing our production, liaising directly with our tailors and sourcing fabrics which we still hand pick by the power of intermittent video calls, and with as much support as we can possibly give at a distance.

It’s a true testament to the quality of our working relationship that our tailors have stuck with us since their first taste of Disarray (on average that's eight years ago), and together we've formed a close-knit community, in which we have all organically grown our small business together.

💚 Thank you for everything Hanh, Thuy, Tien, Linh, Hoa, Chien & Quinh

If you'd like to find out more about each of our tailors, please hit up our social media Instagram (see highlights for video interviews) & Facebook where each tailors portrait in our feed is accompanied with individual profile too. The profiles are 'coming Soon' to our Website and most of our product listings include a photo of the highly valued team mate ''who made your clothes''. 

Find out what action you can take at fashionrevolution.org and discover Discover more about our own story in this series of Blog posts and by visiting our Ethics and Values page too.

💚 Thanks for reading Superstar, we welcome your questions in the comments below. 

Much Love from our hearts to yours,

Captain Disarray & The Team x x x

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