We took a trip to Northumberland for ‘The All-in-One Experience’ to create our own onesies and watch first hand as they were being made
How many kids these days can say that they have visited a factory? Do they even stop to think about who made the toys that they play with or the clothes that they wear?
Wouldn’t it be great for them to be able to see something that they own being made from start to finish, by skilled craftsmen that care about every step of its production?
My daughter Flossie got the chance to do just that when we were invited along to ‘The All-in-One Experience’ in Northumberland to create our own onesies.
The All-in-One Company is the brainchild of ex-nursery nurse Kate Dawson, who started the onesie craze back in 2008 when she came up with the idea of making traditional baby sleepsuits for bigger children and adults. Knowing nothing about making garments, she set up a clothing factory from scratch and started making her onesies. The business has been phenomenally successful and the idea has been copied all over the world.
What makes Kate’s onesies different though, is the fact that you can design them yourself using a clever tool on their website which allows you to completely customise every part of the garment – from choosing the fabrics, to deciding which ear and tail styles you would like. And it’s not just the kids that choose these added extras. See the example below of Holly Willoughby in her spotty bear All-in-One!
One of the advantages of a factory that is based in the UK and that sells directly to the customer is that it is feasible to make this type of mass-customised product here. Had Kate Dawson decided to manufacture these onesies overseas then long shipping times and minimum order quantities would have made creating this type of bespoke product for her customers practically impossible.
Having successful created thousands of customised onesies in the last 8 years, Kate wanted to take this personal service one step further and actually invite customers to The All-in-One factory in Northumberland to watch their onesie being made – and that was when she came up with the idea of The All-in-One Experience.
This ‘tour round the factory’ with a difference only launched last month and we were very privileged to be some of the first visitors to go and try it out.
Our All-in-One Experience started with a long train journey from Surrey to Newcastle, followed by a short train ride to Morpeth in Northumberland where we were met by Kate off the train to drive us to The All-in-One factory in Ashington.
The long journey was more than worth it as my daughter Flossie absolutely loved every minute of it. From the moment she walked into The All-in-One headquarters she was like a kid in a sweetshop – there was row upon row of fluffy and fleecy fabrics to choose from, all of which elicited lots of ‘ooohs’ and ‘aaahs’.
Making a decision as to which one to choose was pretty tough. In the end she settled for a pale pink jersey with grey stars that was fleece lined on the inside. She added pug ears and front pockets, including an i-poc-it for a mobile phone (not entirely essential, but if you are eleven years old this little extra gives you added kudos on a sleepover!).
We then followed the onesie on its journey around the factory as it went from the cutting room, to the embroidery station, to the sewing room and finally for checking and packing – except Flossie decided not to have hers packed as she wanted to wear it on the train home!
Flossie absolutely loved ‘The All-in-one Experience’ and spent the whole of our journey home creating the little video that you saw above.
I hope that more factories will open their doors like this in future so that kids can see first hand how things are made.
In the meantime, if you fancy visiting The All-in-One company for their ‘experience’ you can book on their website here.