In the Philippines, the classic art of glove-making is being kept alive by skilled craftswomen and craftsmen. Here, in a well-kept factory, Hestra produces some of its timeless and fashionable glove models.
Svante Magnusson from Hestra, first visited the Philippines in 2015 to meet with possible suppliers. On that trip he also met Nick, which turned out to be the start of a great collaboration:
“Sometimes you get a good feeling: A sense of quality work and that it’s a good workplace. And that’s how it was here. They are skilled at working with leather and have a cutting technique that is similar in many respects to classic glove - making style. Craftswomen and -men that make the most of the leather’s natural elasticity to produce gloves with a really great fit,” says Svante, who has visited the factory a number of times since.
Today, the factory produces many of the classic styles in Hestra’s line Collection.
The company Nick manages is French-owned and was launched in 1987. Nick has been involved right from the outset, as have several of the workforce.
“We had 24 sewers when we started. Today we have around one hundred. But we have capacity for more. It’s difficult to find staff, though, as many young people choose to move abroad and work in IT, for example,” he says.
While chatting with Nick it quickly becomes clear that he cares about his staff. Ensuring they have a positive work situation is paramount. The company has signed up to Hestra’s Code of Conduct and is regularly audited by amfori BSCI.
“I get regular visits from independent audit companies who check conditions here. They interview my staff, but I don’t know what’s said in these conversations and I’m not sup- posed to know. I respect my employees’ privacy,” says Nick.
Every work step is documented and signed off by the individual cutter or sewer. The results are monitored at several check stations, from the leather arriving at the factory through to the finished gloves leaving the factory.
This produces first-rate gloves, in high-quality leather and with the fit and eye for detail that you would expect of fashion gloves from Hestra. Nick has every reason to be proud of the factory he is in charge of, but when asked about this, his answer is:
It’s not important for me to be proud, but for my customers to be satisfied.