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OUR ANTI-CORPORATE DESIGN ETHOS

  • 4 min read

If you’ve been enjoying our newsletters recently, you’ll know we’re pretty disgusted with big, corporate brands for taking us all for granted. 

Their subpar product, laissez faire business practises, greenwashing and careless overproduction are why FRAHM exists, and indeed thrives.

We don't do what 'the industry' does. We refuse to engage in short-termism. It makes crap jackets. 

Our pre-order model maximises quality & detail. We’ve built and maintained our stellar reputation by doing what benefits us all, year after year, not quarterly sales targets.

So how are we different? What do we do, or not do?

We don’t want to sound like Luddites, but clothing was made so much better, back in the day. You wouldn’t knowingly make a garment that’d fall apart after a few wears. Things were built to last. It was a point of pride. True artisans, that were judged on their product, not their Tik Tok likes.

You need only to look to the mid-century military wear that’s still desired & used today, to see an alternative vision. Build it tough, for longevity. 

TOUGH BEAUTIFUL FABRIC

A lot of that toughness comes from the cloth we choose. Where possible, we opt for natural fabrics, because they’re robust, look classy, age gracefully and drape flatteringly, unlike the synthetics big brands lean toward.

Take our Thermal Military Parka for example: whereas other brands might use a cheap polyester shell that rips or tears under the slightest outdoor-based scrutiny, we build ours from a heavy-grade British Millerain cotton twill that’s as close to indestructible as cotton can get. Nick reckons you could tie it to the back of a car, drive up a massive hill and it’d still be fine. Although we definitely don’t recommend trying that at home (if you have a car or hill inside your home).

On the subject of the big man, Nick’s also been informed by his design gurus, Paul and Simon, that he’s the only founder they’ve encountered who continually increases the specification of his jackets, not reducing it year by year to squeeze out a bit more profit. Another notch in the curriculum vitae.

LININGS AS GREAT AS THE EXTERIOR

Then there’s the interiors, which we put just as much thought into as the exteriors. Usually they're after thought. A cheapo synthetic lining and a flappy care label. That's often it.

The inside is where we add a bit of flair, and some ooooo, and ahhh trinkets. These are jackets to be lived in and enjoyed, constantly.

The Woodland Workers Jacket features a brushed cotton flannel lining in FRAHM’s trademarked tartan. Plus a number of tough, detailed pockets for book / phone / tickets / gerbils / mints / other.

UNBREAKABLE ZIPS

Having a zip that dies is BAAAD, so we won't allow it. It doesn't happen.

We source the (literally) best zips in the world. Take a look at the photos - you’ll notice how high-gauge and chunky they are.

This isn’t just because they look good. It’s because bigger zips can withstand loads more pressure than their skinnier counterparts.

These far-tougher zips don’t come cheap, and often rival or even exceed the price of fabric, but we believe that’s a worthwhile investment to save the embarrassment of an overhead-disrobe in a busy public house because your cheap zip has bonded.

Wondering if 'That Other jacket' has decent zips? Watch out for unbranded zippers, no mention in the description, sharp edges, fiddly little teeth and wonky stitch lines. Yuck.

MEN LOVE POCKETS

Pockets are another vital piece of the ‘great jacket’ puzzle. 

Hand pockets rarely added, meaning you have to shove your hands down into vertical cargo pockets, at an unnatural angles for wrists. Uncomfortable and a bit naff.

Hand pockets should be natural, relaxed, lined with pure cotton moleskin. All the good stuff.

Many pockets are too small to stow anything bigger than a fun size choc bar. Ours, in the case of the Ventile Thermal Field Jacket, are bellowed, meaning they expand when you stuff them with… errr… stuff (like this thermos), and are placed at natural, canted angles for comfort. We also snip the corners off the flaps so they don’t curl over time. Yeah, we don’t mess around.

 

We’re deadly serious with all our details. We can’t list all of them, lest this blog becomes the size of War and Peace.

But rest assured: a) The product pages have a huge amount of detail to wade through, if that's your bag. We're very proud of that, and don't hold back. Beware the tiny descriptions of subpar jackets!

If we can lose sleep over it, chances are, we do. Stuff like our dual-stitched, armoured-shoulders, articulated elbows, hardened stainless steel snaps…...

THREE YEARS OF DESIGN

Every FRAHM takes about three years to go from inception to completion, instead of the standard 6 months. We're launching a low designs that get made for years & years, not a season. So we can invest our time into hardcore detail. 

We always start with  what’s frustrating us in the current market and how we can make classics better. Not cheaper.

We build each design with only the best jacket in mind. Not a target price or margin. That means compromising on what we consider uncompromisable stuff. Like quality, warm hand pockets and great fit.

Only about two in five designs make it to the sampling phase.

Once we have a selection of samples, each in different configurations, it’ll go through the dreaded ‘Nick test’. He'll literally drag it around, wash it constantly, shove heavy stuff into pockets, go to meetings, run through fire (not this one), etc.

Nick is harsh. Anything that's not just-so is changed. Nothing is ever rush launched or chucked out. We only launch one or two of the five jackets we might design & test, at once.

If you're still with us (eeek) you’re probably pretty eager to get your hands on a FRAHM, aren’t you?

Thought so. Click here to browse the range. Or not. Heh a FRAHM is not cheap or quick. But then the best never was.

Nick, founder

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