Production

How to Source Fabrics for Your Fashion Product

How to Source Fabrics for Your Fashion Product

Sourcing the right fabrics for your fashion products is half of the battle in developing the perfect garment.

However, the process can be overwhelming, long and frustrating, especially for a new brand that is new to the industry and can't yet commit to high volume.

How can you make this process more effective and less complicated?

Below I've put a checklist of the steps and actions that you should take to help you with that.

Design with Production In Mind

Design with Production In Mind

We are experiencing many issues with our production, can you help us with this? ”

If I had a cent for every time that I heard that sentence i would probably be retired by now.

Most fashion brands (especially if they are new or small), assume that since production is the last part in the process they’ll just worry about it when they get to it, and rather choose to focus mainly on designing and making the perfect samples.

NEWS FLASH - that is the wrong approach.

RN number, What s It? And Do I Need It?

RN number, What s It? And Do I Need It?

You have probably noticed it on some garments that you bought.

It i a number, usually somewhere on the care labels, most likely with the letters RN# before it. As in the picture below.

An RN number or registered identification number is a number issued by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), upon request, to a business residing in the U.S. and engaged in the manufacture, importing, distribution, or sale of textile, wool, or fur products.  

How to Calculate Fabric Shrinkage

How to Calculate Fabric Shrinkage

One of the development issues that we get asked about a lot is fabric shrinkage.

Here is some info about the subject.

When should I do a shrink test?

I would recommend to do a shrink test to every fabric that you are looking to use.

Offshore or Domestic Apparel Manufacturing?

Offshore or Domestic Apparel Manufacturing?

Deciding whether to produce your fashion product offshore or domestically goes beyond the reasons of cost and number of units you will need to produce.

As a matter of fact it's a decision that will impact how your business is set up and operates to best fit that scenario, re; what kind of people/services you should hire and even the details of your designs.
 

The New York Garment District

Ever wondered how the New York Garment District got its start? What happened to it and where it is heading?

In the Mid 19th century, New York City’s Garment District was built on ready to wear clothing that was mass produced and mass-marketed. The industry relied on the workings of a cheap yet skilled labor force—primarily immigrants of European Jewish and Italian descent who arrived in the United States trained in traditional tailoring.

During this time the garment industry was New York City’s largest employer, employing one hundred thousand people each year. Rapid growth was seen in twenty years when the amount of manufacturing firms increased from 562 in 1880 to over 1,800 in the 1900s.

In an effort to increase New York City’s shopping culture Fashion Row and Ladies Mile were 

Do I Need a UPC Bar-code?

Do I Need a UPC Bar-code?

Today I wanted to answer a reader's question. Its a question that we frequently get from designers so I figured you will all benefit.
Q. What’s the skinny on bar codes/upc codes. Do I need to buy these for my hang tags?
A. To answer the question I’d like to first explain what a UPC code is and why it is used.
A UPC, Universal Product Code, is a bar code that encodes product information (company, product style, size, color, etc.) in a visual pattern that can be read electronically. For example, major department stores who have an electronic point of sale system at the checkout use UPCs to keep track of their stock, sales, and to reorder products by scanning the bar-code.

3 Valuable Things Any Designer Can Offer to A Sewing Contractor

3 Valuable Things Any Designer Can Offer to A Sewing Contractor

Many of you designers out there are probably going into Fall14 production & SS15 samples as we speak and trying to finalize your sewing contractor—choosing one and making it work with them.

As a start-up fashion brand with limited resources, you might be hesitant that the sewing contractor will not have your business as priority; In other words, “doing you a favor” by accepting your job. Considering your budget is probably limited and your quantities are barely make their minimums, you start to wonder: What incentives can I offer them to consider my line a valid brand and want to work with me?

My business philosophy has always been that a business interaction must make sense for both sides in order to last. It must be a win-win situation! Unfortunately, many fashion designers get too involved with their own views and business needs/deadline/pressure and end up waiting until the last minute to place orders, and then ask the contractor to rush without having all the materials and info ready, (not to mention asking for lower production price), etc. At the end of the day, this makes it not profitable and very difficult for the contractors to work with young designers.

Here are 3 valuable things that you, as a new brand with limited resources, can offer your sewing contractor to make this a win-win relationship:

$200K sales in first season yet almost out of business! A true story

$200K sales in first season yet almost out of business! A true story

When starting a business, the unknown is bigger than the known. Where do I find….? How do I…? What is the best….? Are normal questions to have and having the right answers, answered by the right people for your business, will make the process smoother, more effective and much less expensive.

Congratulations on starting your own brand, what now?

About 10 years ago I was hired by a designer, for the sake of this story I will call him Mark, who by then had a very successful career as a creative director for big brands (RL, Nautica), to join and help him as he was starting his own brand. He had a very clear vision as to what the product should look like and the concept of his brand (since he’s done that successfully for these other brands for nearly 20 years).

But when it came to starting his own business there were many aspects that he wasn't familiar with. While working at these bigger brands, things such as sourcing, costing, developing, producing and selling the product where not an issue, or at least not issues that he had to deal with. This time he was starting as a small business with a limited budget 

How To Get The Best Production Quality From Your Sewing Contractor?

How To Get The Best Production Quality From Your Sewing Contractor?

I was invited to answer a reader's question on Jane Hamill's blog who is my co. founder of Indie Design Association on working with a contractor and getting the best possible results from them, so i thought I'll share the answer with you all since it has a LOT of great tips for you to use especially if you are new to the process and don't have any help!

“I’m drowning in QC! What can I do?” -Bobbi, Canada

Today we answer a question from a reader who is fed up with Quality Control problems. I feel your pain, Bobbi. I’ve been there! I solicited my friend, colleague, and NYC product development guru, Boaz David, to answer Bobbi’s question. GREAT info today, check it out…