Designing recycled textiles, made in the UK
The result is a practical Wagamama branded staff bag that can be adjusted to wear around the waist or over the torso. To reduce the impact of producing the bag, the Morrama team found a solution to move production to the UK and introduce recycled materials.
With the design of textile garments, the largest costs are always associated with your material choice and the labour time required to manufacture the goods, often by hand on sewing machines. Morrama had to balance the functional requirements of this staff bag, alongside the minimal and fashion-led style of Wagamama’s brand personality, whilst finding a way to move manufacturing on-shore and address the overall impact of production.
An early requirement in the project was to validate whether the production of the staff bag could be brought to the UK, within the target price point and requirement for durable, recycled materials.
The industrial design team focused on a pattern that would be efficient to manufacture both in terms of time and use of material. Through our established design process, the team took a hands-on approach; developing a vision for the style and aesthetic of the bag through in-house prototyping.
The bags are designed to be worn across the body or around the waist, adjusted using a webbing strap. Designed to hold the Wagamama PDA device where orders are captured, as well as the iconic red marker pens and the cleaning cloths used to wipe down tables, there is also a space to discreetly store personal items such as mints or sanitary products for example.
The materials had to be durable, wipeable and washable. Working with the Manchester based manufacturing partners, Morrama tested a variety of materials, settling on recycled polyester with an internal waterproof coating to enable the storage of the cleaning cloth.
The bag uses a layered construction in order to achieve 3 separated pocket spaces, while maintaining a slim profile for resting on the hip and upper thigh area, or under the shoulder when worn across the body.
Wagamama ensured Morrama had access to team members and involved them from the very beginning of the project. It was through this inclusion and feedback that Wagamama identified the need to improve their current staff bag and offer their team more choice in how they personalised their appearance in the workplace.
Working closely with team members in various London restaurants, Morrama was able to test and validate designs in person and observe how they functioned during the team’s shift. This feedback loop and iterative process allowed us to quickly adapt construction and patterns to improve fitment, accessibility and overall aesthetic of the bag, resulting in a garment that comfortably fits a wide variety of team members, while securely holding belongings and instilling a sense of pride in their work uniforms.
This continued partnership between Morrama and Wagamama has further embodied their Kaizen philosophy and approach to their sustainable practices as a business. Every aspect of their approach is working towards ‘good change’ and ‘incremental improvement’ and the staff bag is another example of this commitment to their team and to the planet.