Zig, Zag, and a Photoshoot in Glastonbury

Merchant Menswear hooked up with talented local photographers Matt Bowen and Matt Lidbetter to take a few outfit shots from the likes of Universal Works, Oliver Spencer, and You Must Create inside the ZigZag Building. Check out their sites www.mattbowenphotography.co.uk and www.mattlidbetter.com to see more of their work.

HISTORY OF THE ZIGZAG BUILDING

In 1870, John Morland (1838–1934) bought a tannery in Glastonbury, particularly attracted by the water (essential to the tanning process), which he described as being “of unusual purity”

Morlands produced a range of products from sheepskin including, from the early 20th century, coats, rugs, and foot muffs for motor car drivers. In 1940, Morlands made flying jackets and boots for the RAF pilots who fought in the Battle of Britain although this caused some ethical discussions within the Quaker family.

The company was a family business for over a hundred years before running into difficulties in the recession of the 1980s.

The Zig Zag building in Glastonbury. This vibrant creative hub has finally been able to open its doors to the public after five years of patient, steady work to make it inhabitable after having stood derelict for thirty- five years. Once the home to Morlands Sheepskin, its distinctive peaked factory roof line and expanse of smashed windows was the site that welcomed drivers heading into Glastonbury.

The restoration process has been minimal, and the present owner is keen to keep the history and patina caused by the years of neglect very much in evidence. This make do and mend attitude accentuates the buildings potential as a haven for new ideas, an accepting environment for alternative thinking, one that’s not too precious, a space that can absorb the impact of creativity. It’s so refreshing to find a building that’s not being gentrified, turned into portfolio flats but reclaimed for the community.