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Post title image: A British Knife company forges ahead on their Ashore stay
Made in Ashore.

A British Knife company forges ahead on their Ashore stay

Hugo Worsley speaks to Aled about Allday Goods, and his recent stay at the Vines.

Hugo, thanks so much for taking the time to speak to Ashore today, hot off the heels of your stay at The Vines this week. First, could you tell us a bit more about Allday Goods?

Definitely. We’re a British kitchen knife company, set up during the 2021 pandemic lockdown.

Our aim - and mission - is to take plastic waste that's destined for landfill and turn it into the handles for our knives: trying to create products out of something that would otherwise be going to waste, and giving them a second life in the form of something useful.

Allday Goods are taking plastic and metal waste destined for landfill and repurposing it into kitchen products that last for lifeAllday Goods are taking plastic and metal waste destined for landfill and repurposing it into kitchen products that last for life

We’ve been going for three years now - a team of four based in London and making knives out of three locations: Japan; Sheffield; and Somerset.

That’s a good holy trinity there.

Yeah - it’s the three s’s: Sakai; Sheffield; and Somerset.

And what does the next step look like for you guys after the last few brilliant years.

We’ve been going for three years, and growing quickly. Every year we’ve surpassed our expectations, which is really exciting, and the next year has a lot in store for us.

The way Allday started was by selling knives in batches every three months.

The first batch started off with me going out and collecting old plastic plant pots and melting it down into handles for the knives. We went on trips to Northern Scotland, where I’d be taking fishing nets and commercial ocean fishing waste and turning it to the handles, spending time on the beach collecting plastic.

We now work with a huge number of great companies each year in terms of the plastic we use for our knives. So I think carrying on in that vein - doing trips outside of London and further afield, finding exciting new partners for upcoming collaborations - and building on our successes.

We recently did a partnership with the restaurant brand Bao, which did amazingly - the knives sold out in eight minutes.

They were just so cool, those knives.

They were awesome - and something a bit different because we turned their plastic waste into a handle inspired by their restaurant - little Bao buns stacked on top of each other. We’ve got just a big as one coming later this year, which is really exciting; and for the first time it takes us to another country, which is pretty cool.

I’ve personally been a big fan of what you have been building for a few years now - and what drew me to Allday was the emphasis and design and personality in your products. I was just interested about where the focus on design, that design DNA comes from?

Thank you - yeah it’s a great question. We talk about it often in the workshop, and there’s not really a kind of design inspiration we go after. It’s more of an emphasis on heritage craft.

Measure twice, drill once, cut ad infinitum.Measure twice, drill once, cut ad infinitum.

I think we're so lucky in the UK to have so many old industries. Unfortunately, a lot of them within the knife world are no longer doing as well as they once were. Sheffield was the birthplace of stainless steel and it was the capital of cutlery around the world.

And unfortunately, nowadays, it doesn't exist at the same level as it did, but we take huge inspiration and huge design from those areas.

Somerset is a place that's pretty new in terms of knife making, and that's a forge that we're working with out there to do that. But we're taking lots of inspiration from the surrounding areas and other businesses that exist in Somerset and the west country. Japan is a huge one for us for inspiration too.

And also the plastic itself - if you look at the designs we come out with, a lot of it draws inspiration from that kind of melted plastic aesthetic - and the vibrancy of colours.

And I suppose by also breaking the gestalt - the pattern - in quite a homogenous market?

Yes - typically, the market we’re in has been dominated for a long time by large family run knife organisations. You have heritage brand like Victoronox and Polaris, and these other private family run companies that have been going for hundreds of years.

And we're coming into it with kind of like a slightly different lens on it and kind of a different outlook - creating products for, not the millennial cook, but kind of the new age cook: the kind of products that we want to use ourselves.

And I think that’s a really important one. I basically create knives and products that I just really want to use myself. And it just so happened that there's a group of other people who see the value, which is pretty lucky for me.

Also, there’s such a strong brand here, but also some flexibility within the directions you can take it?

Yes - we can bring in different products and different banding, and it all sits within Allday Goods as we’re so open about drawing inspiration from different areas.

I’m sitting here right now with a block of butter, which we’re about to release - inside it is a butter knife - and we’ve created the old British style bucket packaging alongside it, which is a lot of fun.

Ultimately, we're having fun with products which typically you wouldn't put that much effort or time into, and drawing inspiration from the kind of UK industries it came from.

It’s interesting you mention Japan and the UK as the core influences. I often think they’re much more similar cultures than they seem: a lot of history, a lot of focus on design. I always remember how in G7 summits, the UK and Japanese Prime Ministers normally spend the most time together. There’s a lot to draw from there too..

Totally - I went to Japan recently for the first time and I just came back thinking, God, there's so many things that we could take from Japan and just bring it in our day to day life in England, that as, like, society, that would just be so useful.

It's like you walk down the streets and the recycling and the waste is at a complete minimum. I came back from it really inspired. But yes, it felt very similar to the UK, but very far from the UK, at the same time.

Let’s talk a bit about your Ashore stay. You stayed at The Vines at the beginning of 2024. What drew you towards the idea of doing an Ashore stay?

Yeah - so going away somewhere new and focussing is something we’ve rarely been able to make the time to do previously. This was actually like the first trip that James and I, which is half the Allday team, went on together.

It came about at such an amazing time - at the end of the year, we're so busy over Christmas, and January is a time that we can reset: also just a great time to plan the year ahead.

Taking advantage of our pet-friendly propertiesTaking advantage of our pet-friendly properties

We've got so much in the pipeline with new product releases and collaborations, and so to sit down and to have a bit of a blank canvas and to look at the year and kind of map it out in greater detail was unbelievably helpful.

Spending time like this gives you a chance to look at the business, where it’s at, and where you want to take it.

To ask yourself those important questions - which you can end up not doing when you’re just working day to day in an office - and especially at a company which is growing and you're busy.

You know, we were kind of flat out from June through to December with different product releases, so didn’t really have much time to take a step back and look at the business and ask yourself those questions.

It was an amazing few days where we could do that - following the experience we’re definitely going to do it at least every year, but I’d love to do it every six months.

Brilliant - and tell us a little bit about the location itself: where was the Ashore, and what were the vibes?

We stayed in Wales - in a tiny little cottage - two bedrooms, in New Radnor, which is a really sweet village in a valley surrounded by beautiful mountains.

It was minus five when we arrived and it stayed pretty much consistently, like minus five for the days that we were there. But it was a really warm, cozy cottage with a big fireplace.

We brought lots of whiteboards, we brought just tons of paper and pens and kind of spent a few days sketching out plans and ideas.

One thing which was so useful, which we did, was on the kitchen table. We sectioned out the entire year, month by month, and we had post-it notes for all the different projects we’re working on, different product releases we’re working on, collaborations, basically our entire 2024.

The power of a new place, the power of post-it notesThe power of a new place, the power of post-it notes

And we stuck them down on the different months and we kind of played around with it and we challenged each other and said, does it work to do that in January? Should we look at doing that in February or March?

We spent hours on it - and by the end, had got it all worked out.

And what else did you get done?

We went hiking every day. We'd go on like a three, four hour hike in the hills behind, which was lovely. We spent an evening at the pub in old Radnor.

Great pub.

Yes. Great pub - and lots of calls as well: we had a few Zoom calls with different people, mentors, investors, that kind of stuff. Lots of different things.

Sounds like you guys really packed it in - and how do you think you might be able to fit Ashore stays into the operation model of your business?

January was such a great time to do it for us - it’s typically a quiet month. So yes, January next year - maybe to a larger space and have the whole team there. This time next year we may well be larger than four as well.

The All Day Goods gang at their Dalston HQThe All Day Goods gang at their Dalston HQ

And then yes, if we could do this kind of stay every six months that would be amazing. Just to have a bit of time off, away from the workshop and a bit of headspace.

Brilliant - thanks so much again Hugo for your time, and what you’re building at Allday. Final question from me, how can Ashore users find out about you?

You can find out about us on Instagram. That's kind of our main channel, which is at @alldaygoods. Our website is alldaygoods.co.uk, and you can sign up to emails there so you can hear about our newest product releases and collaborations.

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