This might be our shortest, fastest answer to any question: absolutely.
The Merchants story is an open-ended one, as we prepare our business to adapt to future pressures and promises. Our production house has a huge role in that story, as the hands constructing each skilfully-crafted piece.
Throughout our time in and around this industry, we’ve learnt that maintaining a short distance between manufacturing and operations teams is quite rare. We reject the idea that our manufacturers are subsidiary to the rest of our business, which is an idea perpetuated by fast fashion retailers and unethical labels. It’s both disappointing and disheartening to learn of businesses electing to manufacture overseas without proper consideration, prioritising commercial goals over those that are creative.
On a recent trip to Indo, Banksy took the team out to an appreciation dinner. The bare minimum, if you ask us.
Our relationship between our production house and operations team is bolstered by three pillars: Connection, Quality, and Credo.
A business is only as strong as its internal connections. Truly knowing our people and fostering genuine ties with our production house means we are ceaselessly learning from the hands and craftspeople behind each piece. The stories and people that comprise the Merchants tapestry can be found in each and every product, in each and every etching, in each and every hammered surface. It’s this connection that is then conferred on to you, our customers and community.
We’d be lying if we said there was no pragmatic reason behind our involvement with our manufacturers. The craftsmanship of Indonesian artisans is second to none, a fact witnessed by Banksy over years of growing up in Bali. Working directly with our production house means more than just monitoring products, as we are able to deeply appreciate the work that each piece represents, and the quality that ensues. It might be pragmatic, but it also forms the basis of our values and the unique nature of Merchants.
Ethical principles are nothing if we don’t practice them. Merchants was built upon a foundation of care and consideration, pillared by sustainable standards. Without an understanding of how products come to be, the future is simply out of reach. Maintaining relationships with overseas teams is futile unless we do so with moral intentions - another bare minimum, so frequently overlooked by others. We know that it is the collaboration of all people who make the House of Merchants a home, without exception.
Maintaining ties with our production house in Indonesia is a non-negotiable for us, as it should be industry-wide.
Know your people, know your community, keep in touch.