Images talks to UKP Accessories about adding value with bespoke zipper pulls, cord ends, labels, swing tags and much more
Want to add customised zipper pulls to some jackets for a trendy outdoorwear company? Or perhaps a streetwear brand customer has asked you to supply off-beat cord-ends for its hoodies? It‘s these small details that set a company‘s products apart from those of its competitors, explains Steve Starkey, managing director of UKP Accessories. “The value is in the eye of the brand owner; it‘s certainly added value for their garments. It‘s something that some companies don‘t get, and some do. Ted Baker spends a lot of money on accessorising and trims and it‘s quite a synonymous thing for them. We do a lot for Superdry – they spend a fortune on trims and labelling because it‘s how they get their brand over, and it‘s how people perceive them.”
UKP Accessories began in 1992, although back then it was a traditional wholesaler supplying the many clothing factories in the UK. As manufacturing started to move offshore, so UKP Accessories reinvented itself, setting up business in Hong Kong and servicing a huge number of overseas factories for well-known brands as well as UK customers both large and small.
The minimum order for most products is 1,000, with the cost per unit being “very cheap“, reports Steve. “We have hundred of small clients,“ he says. “We offer a range of products that can be used by customers who want to personalise ‘plain‘ garments. If there‘s a cheap zip pull, they can rip that off and put their own on for a small cost. It adds identity and personality. And they can sew in a woven label, and hang a swing ticket. A lot of people have heat presses, so we do heat-applied labels too.”
Cord ends are another easy option: the company makes “gazillions“ of them for the likes of Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein, reports Steve. There are various types that are easy to attach. He comments: “If there‘s a cheap cord on a trouser for example, or promotional pant, then they can take it off and put their own on.”
For those opting for completely bespoke garments, UKP Accessories is able to create whatever extras are required, from labels and buttons to packaging and zips, and deal directly with the factory manufacturing the clothes, whether that is in Morocco, Vietnam or China.
Most of the wide range of products UKP Accessories supplies don‘t require any extra equipment to apply them beyond a sewing machine and a heat press, making offering these bespoke additions an easy task.