0 comments / Posted by Sarah Everett

The Beginning 

John and Thomas Fownes established Fownes Brothers and Co., Inc. in Worcester, England. It all began in 1777. Gloves were their main focus. The company was the very first to industrialize the performance of preparing leather, cutting, trimming, and sewing. However, most of the sewing was done by individual women in their own homes. They were paid per pair of gloves. Each full-time male cutter required 12-15 female sewers working from their homes. 

Rising Achievers 

The industry hit it's peak between 1790 - 1820. Half of British gloves were made in Worcester. In the 1820s, 150 manufacturers for leather gloves existed in Worcester. 40,000 people were employed in the glove industry in Worcestershire and Herefordshire. The cutters in the factory required a very high skill set. It was challenging to get the most number of gloves out of each hide and required much thinking. 

Expansions 

The Fownes Brothers made a name for themselves. They decided it was time to expand internationally. Success increased as they entered the American market in 1887. New York City holds their office. It is sill maintained even to this day! It became the global headquarters for sales, merchandising, and design. 

As the business continued to grow, they created an office in Shanghai. This was to state the needs of global customers. That office offered the same as the one in NYC and more. In addition, it offered sourcing, quality control, quality assurance, product development, and production logistics for all Asian operations. 

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