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Cottonridge Story

When Richard Joyce introduced Cottonridge hoodies to the printwear market back in 2007 he was a screen printer Supplying hoodies and sweats to souvenir shops. The problem was that the hoodies he was offering were identical to the ones being supplied by other printers so there was no USP other than to be cheaper because back then there were only a few brands like Gildan and Fruit of the Loom and their quality was pretty mediocre.

So Richard decided to introduce a better quality hoodie where the souvenir shops could see the added value offered by the superior quality he went off on a number of buying trips to Bangladesh and Pakistan.

By November 2007 the first shipment was in the warehouse and the new business was up and running. The first day’s sales were £17.50, but the garment was very well received because apparently it seemed there were other screen printers out there that were fed up with the limited offering and lack of a quality garment so thing were going well.

Then in 2008, a bombshell. A new brand launched called Just Hoods and it was clear that they were going to be a major competitor.

Although they were not of the quality as the Cottonridge range they had something we didn’t have, the financial backing and distribution channels of one of the major distributors, and they had a bigger colour range. So there it was, little old one-man band Cottonridge fighting to compete against a multi-million-pound distributor with established customer base. The challenge seemed immense.

Just Hoods hit the ground running and sure enough became the dominant brand and Cottonridge were the minnows on the side-lines. Cottonridge developed a strategy that they would offer the better quality garments for the same or better price than other brands and hope that printshops would see the value of getting better quality for the same price, and that strategy still applies today, Cottonridge only introduce new styles where they can meet the price / quality criteria.

Even though Cottonridge could offer better quality at a lower price it was still hard work to convince printshops to purchase Cottonridge. People don't like change and it was a struggle to get new customers on board but with perseverance and the company grew slowly but steadily.

As we introduced new styles we gained more and more customers and printshops became more and more confident as they had been around a few years.

Cottonridge now has a multi-million-pound turnover and holds over a million pounds’ worth of stock and is proud to offer printshops styles that are different either in style of value.