As promised, I am here today with a more in depth post about my trip to Bangkok last week with PANDORA. And of course to share my outfits in a little more detail - even if they're not exactly appropriate for our winter weather there! The purpose of the trip was to visit their factory which is based in Gemopolis in Bangkok. And as I mentioned yesterday this visit has made me even prouder to work with PANDORA, and here is why;
They employ 12,000 people in Thailand, each of whom are offered free meals, healthcare, maternity and paternity leave (the latter is rare in Thailand), and pensions, amongst many other benefits. The first ever employee of the factory still works there today, over 20 years on, and what can be a greater testament to a business than that? In fact, company wide the employee turnover rate is just 3.3%!! To say PANDORA's growth has been astronomical would be an understatement. But they have never wavered from their care for their employees and ethos as family run business.
A further testimony to their success is the opening of a new factory in Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand. Every single employee in the Bangkok factory was offered the chance to transfer to Chiang Mai if desired as many of them are from Northern Thailand and their families are still based there. On the day they interviewed for the 5,000 jobs available at the new factory, over 10,000 queued up, and every single one of them was interviewed!! If that doesn't prove PANDORA's incredible reputation as an employer then I don't know what will.
Now onto the jewellery itself. Every single piece is made by hand, every step of the way, and each piece of jewellery goes through an average of 30 pairs of hands before leaving the factory. From the moment the design (which comes from Denmark, the founding country of PANDORA) reaches the factory, to the moment it is quality checked before it leaves again - every step between is done by highly trained employees. One charm alone can take one year of training to master. I had a go at making a Murano glass charm, which as you can see from the photo above was a VERY happy moment for me (I promise you that was not a posed photo!) I am wearing it right now on my bracelet, and it is utter perfection. Now the photo does give away my game a little as you can see I was helped (a lot.... she did the whole thing) but I am going to start claiming I made it all by myself so please nod and go along with that one. My talents know no bounds.
Perhaps my favourite touch to the whole process was the final step, which just epitomises what PANDORA strive for; affordable and accessible luxury. The quality check process is all done wearing gloves, no fingerprint is to come in contact with any piece of jewellery - ensuring the first person to hold it is you as you take it from the box. I loved that idea so much!!
The whole experience made me feel so proud to be an ambassador for PANDORA. I love their brand ethos of bringing affordable luxury to women, and now having seen the care and craftsmanship that go into each item, I am more excited than ever to collaborate with this incredible brand.
OK, so... outfits, outfits, outfits. I used the trip as a chance to re-wear my favourite Summer pieces, rather than buying new items to wear (sadly meaning most of it isn't available online anymore). My black pleated mini dress which was a Summer holiday favourite, and my long Warehouse dress that I think I have only managed to wear once before this! The only new item was my ASOS jumpsuit that I ordered in my Come Online Shopping With Me video. It was my outfit for our factory visit as we had to have our shoulders and knees covered, so this was the perfect piece for that. My Aquazzura Wild Thing heels came along with me as I like to wear them at any given opportunity.
Aside from our factory visit we were treated to incredible meals (I really recommend the Banyan Tree), and a Tuk Tuk tour - you can catch up on all of this in yesterday's vlog. I wanted to end this post with a thank you to all of you reading this. I received so many amazing comments on my post and vlog yesterday that were so so thoughtful! It means a great deal to me to see you are excited to come on these amazing journeys with me too, and makes me feel even luckier than I thought I could! I hope you have found this post informative,