Ethan's most frequently asked questions.
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The short answer is no. We’re currently focusing our rucksacks range and manufacturing in house. If we do go back into sleeping bags we will most likely be offering a higher end (i.e non budget) product to that of the Glow Worm sleeping bags we initially produced when we first started the company.
Currently we are only producing rucksacks, which are made in house at our workshop. I hope to expand the workshop as we grow, and therefor keep our rucksack production in the UK overseen by myself. If you like the idea of UK production, then remember that you need to actually BUY UK made products!
I’m constantly designing new tents, sleeping bag, clothing etc. which I do intend to manufacture at some point, most likely this will be overseas, but rest assured I’m only interested in cooperating with factories operating to high standards, with fairly paid adult workforces and state of the art equipment. Do it right, or not at all!
I don’t really consider the idea of our rucksacks being “UK Made” that significant. The significance to me is the fact that they’re being made by OURSELVES. I’m a complete perfectionist, a control freak and a creator at heart. I’d rather be stood at a fabric table or ploughing away on a sewing machine, then sat at a desk communicating with factories.
That’s not to say I don’t get satisfaction from designing a product and outsourcing the production, but there needs to be a reason for this, such as the factory has superior technologies or a different set of knowledge/ skills to that which I have myself or am capable of teaching staff.
Technically, we are able to make small adaptations to our current rucksacks up on request. This will incur quite hefty surcharges however. The reason being that we manufacture our rucksacks in a way that makes everything as smooth and efficient as possible. Every part has it’s own labelled box and everything flows to ensure we can manufacture our products at a competitive price. Alterations to packs, will involve a pack to be manufactured outside of the daily production process and therefor could end up taking anything from 25% to 100% longer to build. Realistically, we aren’t able to manufacture completely custom made products, or make something to a customers design specs. It is something we could do, however it would take hours and hours of design work, and therefore would seem unjustifiably expensive to the individual customer. If you are wanting a custom built trekking pack I recommend speaking to my good pal, Tom Gale, who runs Atom Packs. His company specialises in making custom made backpacks for long distance trekkers.
Unfortunately I have come to ignore these emails as I receive too many. If you are an amateur gear reviewer or vlogger and you’re wanting free kit to review we’re not the company to be contacting. You’d be much better off targeting larger brands who have the budget to give away free equipment. We very rarely give out free kit to national magazines for review, as we can’t afford it. A lot of the emails I receive asking for this kind of thing are very well written and appear to have had quite a lot of time and effort put into writing them, and I understand that it might seem disrespectful of me to not at least acknowledge you. But I have to prioritise what little time I have at my desk, and I only just about keep up with replying to paying customers, retailers and fabric mills.
Yes, we are able to repair kit. It very much depends on the problem with the product. With enough time I can repair the majority of problems in textile products, however this isn’t always affordable for the customer, in which case I’ll be up front. If you have a product you need repairing, then please drop us an email at email@example.com and include a detailed description with a minimum of three photos of the repair.
Again we don’t intend to be restocking our tents anytime soon. Unfortunately interest in our Haven 200 came after we were forced to sell them off at half price, due to a lack of sales. At this point people started to actually buy them and realised just how brilliant they were. However this isn’t enough encouragement for me to start producing them again and selling them at retail.
In terms of operation, things are mostly back to normal for us. I used my time wisely in lockdown to focus on much needed improvements to the company and it's product and the effects be visible shortly.
We are of course following government guidelines as far as packaging and distributing products are concerned. We have a very limited number of people coming into the workshop. Visitors to the workshop as always are only allowed in if they have arranged an appointment via email, and they will be expected to wear face masks and follow social distancing guidelines.
All the best,