Founded in Yeovil, Somerset to service the 20,000 glove makers employed in and around Yeovil
Pittards employed around 25 people in 1912 and production during the First World War centred on treated sheepskin to make warm trench coats and mittens for the British Army.
The business evolves to focus on fine leathers and an additional dye facility was acquired to meet the growing demand for bright colours in gloves and footwear.
By 1933 the number of employees had grown to 140 and WWII generated a demand for millions of feet of leather for service requirements - air crew gloves waterproof leather for pilots’ suits, transport gauntlets, oxygen mask linings and troops ski gloves.
By 1947 Pittards had established a network of agents to meet the needs of the export market.
In order to keep ahead of the competition, Pittards stepped up its R&D. By 1955 it was able to launch a guaranteed washable dress glove leather. It placed consumer advertising women’s magazines and held live in-store demonstrations
Pittards fashion colours were in high demand and its leathers were marketed direct to consumers and marked with a seal of authenticity.
Pittards evolves the protective technology developed for the military into applications for sports and the Pittards leather brand becomes synonymous with high performance gloves and footwear.
A continued commitment to innovation rolls out additional performance technologies that Pittards develops and tests in conjunction with the military on mountaineering expeditions and round the world yacht race teams.
Pittards starts working with its tannery in Ethiopia, almost 100 years after it began working with the country to source high quality sheepskin. Emphasising a commitment to the community it undertakes a programme of building new classrooms for the local school and establishes an on-site clinic for employees and their families.
Pittards rescues the premium accessory brand, Daines & Hathaway adding vertical leathergoods manufacturing capability in the UK
Glove manufacturing commences in Ethiopia, starting production from scratch, training and creating skills in a workforce where previously there were none. Volume climbs quickly to over one million pairs a year.
The versatility of Pittards innovation team is underlined by the addition of aviation and automotive grade leather to its performance collection, combining exacting technical standards with outstanding aesthetics.
Finished product manufacturing in Ethiopia is extended to include footwear as Pittards creates further training and employment opportunities as part of its vertically integrated manufacturing solutions for brands.
Meeting and immediate need early in 2020, Pittards pivoted its production in the UK and Ethiopia to produce face masks and scrubs bags.
Looking ahead it engineered and launched Tri Protex, a new anti-bacterial technology that can be combined with existing Pittards protective processes such as WR100X water resistance, to allow the creation of bespoke performance leathers.