Over the past 8 decades, Birch’s Robe Factory in Grahamstown, South Africa, has robed many great Africans. It is with the rich heritage of the Mowbray family; renowned for their quality service and attention to detail, along with the generations of dedicated craftsmen that Birch’s Robes have earned the reputation in the fraternities they supply; one that is synonymous with quality and distinction.
Founded by Englishman Trenley Birch, Birch’s was established in the city of Port Elizabeth, South Africa in 1860 and expanded its operation to Grahamstown in 1864, later following the booming gold trade and opening stores in Kimberly and Johannesburg. Today, Birch’s is one of the oldest outfitting and tailoring businesses in South Africa.
Originally importers of Academic, Legal and Clerical gowns, Birch’s made the decision to set up its own factory in 1940 as specialist robe-makers; a choice motivated by the disruptions caused by World War II. Birch’s was then commissioned to design and manufacture the first robes of the constitutional court.
The Birch’s Robe Factory, part of the T Birch & Company (Pty) Ltd group, has a proud and distinguished history of service to many customers throughout Africa, including South Africa, as well as across the globe.
Today, Birch’s is the largest manufacturer of quality Academic, Legal, Municipal and Clerical gowns in the Republic of South Africa; all of which are made to order. Their gowns grace the ceremony halls of most universities, are seen in nation’s courtrooms, and are worn by distinguished Church leaders and Council Members. One only has to look at the Birch’s list of local and international clients which include a number of leading church, academic and political figures to understand its distinguished history; making its robes revered and prized in many corners of the globe.
Birch’s stores have been the leading specialists in menswear in Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown for close to 150 years.
Birch’s also specialises in school wear and is the designated stockist of uniforms for the leading schools in the Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown areas. Birch’s departmental store in Grahamstown, the boarding school capital of the Republic, caters for a wide variety of needs, particularly for scholars a long way from home. Situated in a beautiful building which is a national monument, the Grahamstown store is also a focus for magnificent handmade vestments for clergymen from many denominations.â€¨â€¨
The Birch’s Man store in Newton Park, Port Elizabeth, offers the latest in distinguished menswear in superb shopping conditions, including 40 dedicated customer parking bays. The associate store, Croft Magill & Watson, in the pulsating heart of the Nelson Mandela Bay CBD, is the first choice of discerning gentlemen, who are looking for stylish outfits for all occasions.