That’s Farming editor, Catherina Cunnane, in conversation with Amanda Marshall, owner/designer at 3 Donkeys Clothing. She tells us about her practical, versatile and adaptable 2-into-1 coveralls.
“I am the owner/designer and everything else that it takes to run 3 Donkeys Clothing, which I founded in 2017 and launched in December 2018.
It has always been my goal to make the lives of women who wear coveralls easier without compromising on what makes all-in-one coveralls as functional as they are.
3 Donkeys is a small business based in Devon, and we primarily manufacture the only 2-into-1 coverall for women.
I came up with the design because I had a need for better workwear (I had a one-day-old baby and was back in the lambing shed), which was easier to remove in a hurry.
My aim is to be able to supply amazing workwear for the amazing females that we have, making huge strides in the male-dominated areas where we work and try to readdress the gender balance in workwear.
3 Donkeys Clothing
To date, all of our 2-into-1 coveralls are manufactured in Scotland exclusively for us, and in 2019, we added a range of apparel to wear alongside our coveralls.
Sustainability has always been at the heart of 3 Donkeys, so all our 2-into-1 Coveralls are manufactured using high-quality materials.
We have many sets around the world, still doing their job for over four years. I believe that we need to manufacture garments to last for years rather than months.
Currently, I have three versions of our 2-into-1 coveralls: the original, the classic and the dartmoor. The original and classic are made from hardwearing polycotton and are designed to be washed and tumble-dried.
They each have different features, depending on what they are being used for and the price.
The dartmoor is our ‘equestrian’ 2-into-1 coverall which was developed with eventers, and they are made with ventile cotton, which we chose for its environmental ethos, being 100% cotton.
Our apparel range has proved very popular, and our range includes items from t-shirts to jackets, which all work well alongside our coveralls.
What makes my (fully registered) design unique and different is the full-length waist zip, which allows easy removal of the trousers when needed.
The 2-into-1 design consists of a jacket and trousers, which combine at the waist by way of the waist zip to make a conventional ‘all-in-one’ coverall.
3 Donkeys is also as plastic-free as possible because, as businesses, we owe it to the planet to cause the least impact possible.
Prices and international shipping
Prices range from £90.50 – £364.50, and sizes are women’s 8 – 18. We currently have grey, purple, and navy colour variations in our 2-into-1 coveralls.
We ship worldwide, and our 2-into-1 coveralls can be found in Europe, Ireland, Canada, the USA, and Alaska, to name a few.
I have three Donkeys – Teabag, Woolly and Dave – and they were the inspiration behind the name. Donkeys are hardworking, just like our 2-into-1 coveralls.
3 Donkeys is completely female-focused, and our main customer base is from either agriculture or equestrian, with other industries, e.g., veterinary and horticulture, but these are our primary industries.
We have a small selection of brand ambassadors who have been with us from the start.
I do work alongside a small number of influencers, but mostly our customers become our ‘faces’ because I have always wanted 3 Donkeys to be the face of real women who use coveralls, and for us, this mix works well.
The face of social media has changed a lot over the last few years, and it is always changing. This makes it so that we, as businesses, must evolve and adapt to what our customers want to see.
Social media is a huge part of our brand journey, but it is not the only way we promote 3 Donkeys.
Alongside the traditional ‘hard print’ advertising, we have used the online model also, google, online magazines etc.
Also, we have a small selection of shows that we attend each year; for example, we have attended Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials since 2019, Your Horse Live, Badminton Horse Trials and Windsor Horse Show.
We hope to add more shows and broaden the industries they focus on over the next year or so.
I also try to work with other small businesses to help get our brand more widely known and often run competitions with them, which allows all parties to be seen among different groups.
Expanding our reach
We have some exciting products in development now, which will be released later this year, and they will allow us to reach a much larger customer base.
I cannot say much now, but keep an eye on our social media platforms for when I can release more information.
The biggest challenge has been changing the mindset of our customers and why my design is so much better than what is out there already.
I have taken a well-established item of workwear and dragged it into the 21st century, and am developing it in a manufacturing environment which is male-dominated.
I think for so long, women have just had to ‘make do’ with what is available and traditional and bringing something new and revolutionary is a challenge.
However, this is changing, and I now have colleges etc, who are using our 2-into-1 coveralls for the next generation of women in industries and empowering them with what they can wear.
I am not from an agricultural background and came into it over 27 years ago; I have been around horses since I was 4-years-old.
We have a smallholding here in Devon, where over the years, we have had sheep, goats, pigs, alpacas etc.
Now, I rear a few calves, which I purchase from the market and keep them until they are about 14 months and sell as store cattle. This is run alongside a small herd of Hereford-cross cattle.
Running 3 Donkeys has become a full-time job, which I must run alongside being a mum (I have five children ranging in ages 9 – 22) and juggling all the things it entails and running the smallholding, but I would not have it any other way.
My main plan is to keep spreading the word about 3 Donkeys and the difference it can make, alongside continuing to develop both products and relationships with the women and businesses who use our 2-into-1 coveralls.
My long-term plans are to just keep going, growing, and adapting.
For too long, women have taken a back seat, and I am trying in my own way of changing this because if you feel good in what you are wearing, then it gives you more confidence.
If I can change how one woman feels about herself in the workplace by wearing proper workwear which has been designed for real women rather than wearing ill-fitting men’s versions, then I am achieving what I want, which is changing the face of women’s coveralls, one zip at a time.”
To share your story with farming journalist Catherina Cunnane, email – [email protected]
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