Raincoats from a modern company with a true heritage of quality.
British owned, run and operated, the Hancock VA factory and showroom are laid out as an artisan workhouse and, on our visit to Cumbernauld, just outside Glasgow, members of the team laughed and bantered as they worked creating rubberised waterproof outerwear. The atmosphere was relaxed and friendly and this communicates itself in their products – colourful, unique, open and fresh.
Charles Mackintosh may be the man credited with inventing the waterproof raincoat, but it was actually Thomas Hancock who perfected the first rubberised coat adopted by the Mackintosh brand when they merged. Working in Cumbernauld, the spiritual home of the mackintosh, Hancock VA creates hand-made raincoats and accessories based on the skills established by Thomas Hancock in the 1800s.
The company and factory were established in 2012 by Daniel Dunko, Managing Director and Gary Bott, Marketing Director who started at Mackintosh, a brand that Dunko created in 1996.
The brand manufactures for many luxury menswear brands as well as for their own label. Speaking with Gary and Daniel we sensed their enthusiasm and optimism for the future. This can be seen in the work too – bold colour, exciting collaborations with Converse and Globe Trotters and innovation in design.
Hancock is everything a British brand should be about and, in common with the many British brands which combine heritage and quality so well, it has a strong international following.
Collaboration with other British companies is important. Hancock works with local partners in Scotland to retain high quality levels in design and craftsmanship. Mills and tanneries in England also supply the factory. As long as high luxury standards continue to be as good as any other manufacturer worldwide, Hancock will retain manufacture in the UK.
For Dunko and Bott the challenges and rewards are to create innovative goods that are beautifully crafted, presenting these in a new way to the market and always striving for perfection with the aim of establishing Hancock as a true luxury brand.
Tell us about the business, e.g. what do you make? Where are you based? How long have you been established?
Hancock produce handmade rubber-bonded (vulcanised) raincoats out of its own facility in Cumbernauld, Scotland. The company/brand and factory was established in 2012.
What are your roles in the business?
Co-Founders: Daniel Dunko, Managing Director / Gary Bott, Marketing Director
How did you get started?
Both Daniel Dunko and Gary Bott started at Mackintosh, a brand that Dunko created in 1996. Having worked as an apprentice coat-maker for 3-years, with 2-years served on the factory floor, Dunko worked his way up the manufacturing ladder, acquiring the business in 2000 and eventually selling the company to its Japanese distributor in 2007.
Bott met Dunko in 2003 when he helped launch the Mackintosh brand in the lead up to opening its first flagship store with Globe-trotter in 2004. In 2010, Dunko acquired the Mount Street lease on behalf of Mackintosh for their new flagship store that would eventually open in 2010. Having achieved this final step toward Mackintosh becoming a luxury brand, Dunko was looking for a new challenge and left the company in 2011. Bott joined forces with Dunko in 2012, creating the Hancock brand through historical research and discovery of a Personal Narrative written by Thomas Hancock in 1856.
What are the core values of the business?
Hancock evokes the inventive spirit of Thomas Hancock, the founding father of the British rubber industry between 1820-1847. Hancock is a British luxury lifestyle brand that represents craftsmanship and utilises rubber in all its handmade articles.
How important is the UK-made and designed aspect of the product to you?
Hancock is a British brand with its own factory that was purpose-built in 2012. Working with local partners in Scotland is important for the high quality levels in design and craftsmanship. Mills and tanneries in England also supply the Hancock factory and for future production will always remain in the UK provided luxury standards continue to be as good as any other manufacturer worldwide.
Who and where are your main markets? How would you like to see these develop?
Japan is currently the largest market for Hancock as the customer appreciates and understands the unique qualities of what is a niche product. Markets such as UK, Europe, USA continue to grow with Asia, the Middle-East and Russia next.
What have been the particular challenges?
Developing new product outside of own manufacturing has been and always will be the greatest challenge in terms of delivering a luxury product on time and on budget.
What inspires you in driving the business?
Creating innovative goods that are beautifully crafted and presenting these in a new way to the market – constantly striving for perfection with the aim of establishing Hancock as a true luxury brand.
What are you favourite moments in running the business?
Setting up the factory within one week, producing the debut collection the following week then launching the next day.
How will the business develop?
Building sales through own website and opening Hancock flagship stores worldwide within the
Hancock Vulcanised Articles