Cadilac Brand SustainSustainability in Apparel will require Environmental Stewardship and Significant Social Responsibility to Equity Brand Interests.

With Domestic Garment Manufacturing visible to Statistics Canada as a high potential growth Industry.  Canadians have challenges to face beyond the estimated 35 Kilo (80lbs) per person of textile waste entering landfills each year.

If the consumer economy is dependent on disposable “Fast Fashion” the natural inclination is to seek out “Made in Canada” as part the “Act Local – Think Global” catchphrase works to promote.  But in this “ethical” “sweatshop-free” coin a phrase put a sticker on it. promote you have a blue box ambition.  Are we really getting anywhere?

What is Direct Current Manufacturing Inc. doing with regards to sustainability was a question recently put forward by a student study project originating from Queens University motivate me as a CEO to apply additional effort to a topic that we have been participating to follow along with in spirit since about 2010 but since that time the industry as a whole has in my opinion not very much progressed.  Attending to respect the agreement made to answer a short list of question several hours of self-study and a review was given to the topic in preparation for my interview.

By adopting an expanded view we discovered an ability to approach the conversation with open-mindedness with new thinking and answer to say in fact there was nothing being done towards sustainability and this reality fostered thought for greater concern and the development window to a pathway for greater change was opened.

I want to thank this student who was artful in reaching out to me at my desk to request participation in the simple survey questions being asked.  It has always been my habit to reply or contribute in some way even if only to satisfy the curriculum criteria need in brief the student can carry on to say they have completed their task.

At other times I have invested greater amounts of time to help students complete there projects.  The dividend has been received in long-lasting relationships, kindly thank you notes and on one occasion a coupon for a few Big Mac’s arrived sent from a father who appreciated our input in his daughters project the man a MacDonalds Franchise Owner operating a business that is also uniquely engaged in this topic… 15 years ago I thought very little of it and saved the compliment as a souvenir.

Sometimes I refuse student requests if the query is empty as I am reluctant to the casual take of hypothetical requests for quotations in speculation of some imaginary upstart… Predictable as this is – when that time of year comes and the business professor releases the group to spam my inbox pretending to be clients seeking a quote I cringe and reluctantly reply to state policy with regret – I opt out.

What this student did was stimulate thought.  A credit to her course master.  I became the student and my experience guided thought to better understand the potential of what can be done.

The resulting potential is great and I look forward to implementation and sharing with others.  A Project Plan has been created.  The Student has been invited to contribute to making a change.  I am extremely confident that our company and others can pick up the pace to join in the discussion and action necessary to improve.

Were we began by responding to what programs are in place.  What effort is being taken has transitioned to thinking about what source is the genesis of this question as being sustainability or sustenance.  The answer we suspect in fact contains a much broader sensibility to feel around to accept the obligation as being societal as much as it an industry concern.  I doubt greatly there is any sustainability that will come from a patchwork plan towards maintaining the status quo.

The student has learned that asking a question has pioneered a path to discover there is a job to be done.  This is exciting – we think this is great!  Get it wrong and we’re all going to be living in a massive junk heap.

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Direct Current Manufacturing Inc. has a very specific process for in-house production aided by digital pattern services that in a decade ago were outsourced to a service provider. These companies like ourselves correctly identified with an evolution of domestic cut and sew that we expect will continue for many years to come.  The digital landscape indicating the best is yet to come.

In between 2000 and 2005 terms like globalization and the 100-mile diet would emerge to raise question guiding the decisions still to make are visible now to be recent add-ons to the social fabric of change that includes the widely accepted use of email, the retirement of our one fabulous fax machines and the introduction of blue box recycling. In the late 1990’s we had just started out on the vector pathway of digital design and pattern management. The Internet was very much a newfangled thing and the WordPress interface we use for this Blogspot wouldn’t even come to exist until around 2006, so the topic of the day has no answer, certain methods of production being used in this local region are changing too.

Labour and Technology are key to the concerns for environmental stewardship. Fuel surcharges and transparency of supply chain management are topics closely linked to the general enquiry for cut and sew services it becomes apparent that brand builders and product development managers have much more to think about than just the basic start-up info of days gone by but those questions remain in play.

The good news is we operate industry-wide, capabilities with an all-around lower Minimum Order Quantity. At DCMfg there has never been a minimum Order… was the purpose motivating our ambitions in 1999 that brought us to develop our management processability as leaders in the small batch niche market we see as expanding.

The concept that is now a priority to becoming more green benefits from not overproducing. Less surplus equals less waste.  A practice maintained since day one. Students of fashion design and marketing apparel who contact us with their questions add to the milieu of considerations we enjoy as apparel producers to respect. This way our process has more meaning as we repeat to ask always of clients we serve – why and for what audience is the garment or collections even being made.

This answers only part the question as to what “production process” is most appropriate to the need. The process standard observed as being best at this time involves workers receive a significant amount of cross-training as a necessary part of growing to advance the domestic modular, sometimes specialized workgroup approach tailored to local cut and sew on demand, for design and boutique size order fulfilment.

Our process that is crafty and creative may very possibly remain this way – more technology will be needed to mesh appropriately with responsibility for sustainability and ensure that job creation is value added should bring about “Production with Purpose” as being primary to the Process. Clear is the need – that there is some thinking to do.

There is no fixed quantity rule for minimum order placement.

The Brand or Project Manager normally determines this based on the project plan, budget and lead time.

Be practical. Samples are made when needed and normally this is because there is a production order in place to back up the request.

When requesting services, consider to also provide a summary of your needs. Opening inventory to support advance sales may suggest that placing a small batch production is a good way to try a styles sales performance when exhibiting direct to consumer or offering items online. take samples from the small lot to pioneer larger prospects.

This way if a buyer requests a sample you have some stock on hand or otherwise plan far in advance when Sampling for buyers and only the items that attract significant interest from qualified buyers or distributors become a production run.

Your Minimum Order really depends on method of sale, distribution and overall business model. If selling direct to consumer at events then make enough but not so many that all your cash is tied up and you have no ability to transact other needs.

Short Answer: Order what you need to be sustainable. More important that you plan in advance and can control the raw material supply. Fabric is key. The devil is in the details.

Start with a budget Plan Outline. Then you will know if the product is workable, how much you will need to spend. If you can (or should) afford to make the product the labour to Cut and Sew can be determined by simple process of elimination.

Any garment you plan to make, may be difficult to price compete when thinking – Made in Canada – especially for a small brand wholesale/distributor.

Here is what is recommended a product developer can do about that… This task, routinely given back to our customer – has become an important reality check that can help secure cooperation with any sewing contractor – the information is also helpful to pattern discussion and financial planning too.

This way you can shop the job,  by sharing the target cost of Labour up front, and learn real fast if the item is appropriate to your brand begins with understanding the components planned in Production.

We assume the garment is to be made – exactly as you imagine it should be done.


Then, ask these questions:

What is the Maximum Retail Value for the item you plan to produce?

Identify with the lowest price brand you will face as a competitor?

Compare the price Value equation as an understanding: What does the estimate Wholesale need to be for your offer to generate sales…Your business model may have flexibility for price averaging for profit (some units you sell at full Retail price) and the inventory you wholesale – may be considered surplus or special event, marketed for discount as a buy in incentive as long as there is some (any amount of profit) your wholesale margin can at times be very slim.

Do the numbers: What Brand position are you taking? (Some brands rarely go on sale) they stake claim to premium and stay there. The product is good so the price charged is respectable, Made in Canada.

Calculate the Budget and Generate a Product Plan Outline:

This is the “Workings” – your Job as Brand Manager/Designer.

Guesstimate: Allow (X) amount of cloth Example: (2.5) meters per (jacket).
Is the garment/Jacket lined….?

Or unlined…. (Take this as your $ cost – part 1)

Now – Plan your Fabric Buy – no cloth, nothing to cut, nothing to sew…

Purchase the best quality – of the lowest price fabric – Yes, this is possible…

Yes, you buy the cloth – that makes you the producer, Important to qualify if you ever plan for Export.

Make a list of components: the item will need per unit. (very important)

As Example: a plain Zipper (coil, brass, metal, nylon tooth other, we can supply – routine. Thread too.

Add Extra Cost Allowance: If, you order an inventory of Custom Zipper with embossed or engraved brand icon – the right choice of quality finishing accessory or surface treatment can drive sales…

You may want to specify we use some woven labels and other notion details such as branded buttons or snaps… this becomes an area worthy of capital investment useful to possibly more than one style#.

Evaluate importance of these findings if an allowance is given for moderate up front cost – your value add – as a special feature – for ideas visit the Direct Current Style – Notion Gallery – page.

Now your budget plan is generating a list of factors:

Sub Total the Above List: (stuff) Components – The Parts:

If that number has room for Sewing Labour – then you are on the right track.

The Simple Math looks like this:

Fabric (1) Main Fabric x (An Amount of Cloth per Garment )m.

Fabric (2) Lining x (An Amount of Cloth per Garment )m.

Snaps, Zippers, Woven Label, Other (Stuff):

Sub Total:
Ad buffer to Cost of goods for Some Packaging and Freight: $ An Amount – per garment packaging (ad poly bag + boxes)

LOOK at Your Profit line between Retail / wholesale and cost of goods (hey everyone wants to make some money)

Show the “Raw Material Guestimate as an Allowance”:

With story board Images (these you have supplied).

Review: the Target Retail?
Observe: the Target Wholesale?
The process of elimination yields: New Sub Total:
Your Budget for the Labour Factor is: X (Unknown) becomes obvious if the price plan needs to be adjusted. (or pass / don’t do it)

Getting Back to the Basic Parts… you will now know if what you want to make is workable – if proper fabric type can be found.

If your price model will support a reasonable wage rate for “Made in Canada” – the above will determine viability.

And, you need a Pattern? – Brand refined fit – A First of Run Sample – OK – when booking the business, Set aside: $500 for that part.

Is there enough cash on hand for 60 units? (20 x Med, 20 x Large, 20 x – XL)

Do you have access to Market via what Plan? Are you ready to go? Can you arrange preorder and increase volume or like crowd funding perks – supply fixture… to gain commitments and volume build the opportunity.

Spend when you are ready. Allow 3 months lead time from the ready point of supply – organize raw materials in advance for the first order.

To best generate a Labour Allowance – you need to know what the item is being made from and why.

In a word: Resources.

Designers like Value… So, when a new designer arrives at our door with their plan for a new collection we often hear the desire to create a unique and interesting product “at a reasonable price”.

Reasonably priced organic Cotton Cardigan: $89.00 Bloomfield Clothing

Reasonably priced organic Cotton Cardigan: $89.00 Bloomfield Clothing

But what does that mean? By what standard do we gauge “reasonable price” ? It is a good question to consider as it opens the dialogue to Quality, Access to Market Share, Positioning, Distribution and Volume of Scale. These and other factors are going to determine the price charged. And these considerations are far away from the singular component of Manufacturing.

Mercedes Benz has a reasonable price for the quality they provide? Goods Made in Canada are typically thought to be of reasonable quality but does that translate into a reasonable price?

This is where we put the question back to the designer to solve their own business question.

What does it take to achieve a reasonable price?

For an Apparel design line you would have to have all aspects of your Source Supply, Manufacturing and Distribution confirmed in advance from the fabric raw material to a final, well branded customer fulfillment venue or retail outlet? Add to that your Administrative Structure and even financial situation and other strengths would also come into play.

It is a very involved undertaking to reach this type of end to end standard of readiness to produce a line focused on price.

Our facility does offer some of the components required to Design, Develop, and Make a dynamic product offering and depending on the other facets required to mass produce, market, and deliver a worldwide quality standard worthy the price charged.

For:  A) Design and Pattern Development

Leading to:  B) Prototype Development.

The Manufacturing, if in Canada, would require you investing in several seasons of commitment to secure your production.

At this stage our office would require a base retainer, with payment up front, to enter any sort of meeting discussion. This retainer is for the time and attention our office will have to pay towards focusing on your ambition.

If you would like to solicit us for support with your business development plan we would need to confirm the significant details of your “roll out” strategy and the associated costs required to reach your goal would be revealed.

Based on what most designers come forward with when establishing a Domestic Garment Manufacturing program there is a substantial capital requirement. In most cases we do not see our team becoming involved for less than $5,000 – $25,000 in preliminary-production services, as we have to direct significant amount of our resources to the task of converting illustrations to pattern and in that process, determine the garment construction questions involved in the task of developing a prototype and companion finished showroom sample.

And as mentioned, the effort to realize a “reasonably priced line” suggests some significant logistical challenges that are simply not attainable without major effort being applied.

the Brand has to be prepared to build some opening inventory and most likely will purchase in advance materials keystone to the product development plan and “reasonable price” objective.

Resources: Facility and Equipment, Time and Talent.

With AccuMark Software and Gerber Technology, patterns are digital, so calling up a style and making an edit saves time and money.

Using advanced computer software assists with accuracy when cutting multiple layers of cloth by automated positioning of the pattern pieces prior to ordering or laying cloth on the table.

With “markers” (as the blueprint) specific to a cutting order, errors are reduced and the yield is enhanced adding further benefit to every job customized to the fabric and style being made to maximize yield.

To reach this point in the process, original pattern creations are converted to vector lines using an electronic drafting table. Our investment in this technology helps make quality fashion garment apparel better, faster and in smaller quantities if desired.

Have a question?
Sending an email can be great way to get things started.
Info@directcurrentfmg.com

Victoria fashion retailer

Celebrating 10 Years of Swimwear & Fashion

Celebrating ten years in retail, this little gem of a store gets rave reviews from customers for the service and fit of their fabulous bathing suits and bikini selection.

Click Here for a peek at their wide range of wraps, sundress and other summer and travel resort friendly looks.

Bravo Paradise Boutique – looking good!

 

Direct Current cutting Room 40 foot x 86 inch table.

Direct Current cutting Room 40 foot x 86 inch table.

Our Clothing Factory in Vancouver, BC is looking for a design associate familiar with the Gerber pattern grading and marker making computer system we use. As an experienced Computer Technician you would be joining a team of traditional pattern designers to input and administrate revisions to garment styles to set up Electronic Grading and Marker Output for a wide range of commercial garment cut and sew production.

Previous Apparel Pattern making, design and understanding of garment construction is required to operate the software and digital drafting board for input and editing apparel patterns.

Tasks include: digitizing patterns into the system, application of size grading rules, organizing markers for plotting of markers used as cutting templates in production.

Located in Central Vancouver on major bus route, our design studio speaks directly with production staff to manage all types of manufacturing requests in collaboration with clients, sales associates and production designers to produce professional sportswear, street wear and technical apparel.

Contact us by return email or call Cyndi Schuring at 604.340.4460 to interview by phone.

Examples of BC domestic garment sewing work can be found on the pages of your local newsstand now.kelly rowland shape magazine october 2013 cover

This Month – Kelly Rowland is pictured wearing a few Beth Richards designs in Shape Magazine. A proud contributor to the engineering of the garments from Beth’s original design concept line drawings is our very own, Cyndi Schuring, production coordinator and owner of DirectCurrentMfg.com.  Beth, Cyndi and the staff at Direct Current manufacturing took the garments through several stages of handling enabling Beth to grow her business marketing her brand worldwide.

Careful management of the patterning, cutting and test sewing was required for each item before making their way, to final bulk order production at this proudly Canadian, privately owned, apparel design and production facility quietly located in Vancouver, BC.

Direct Current Manufacturing produces finished goods for established and emerging designers in several categories of kelly rowland shape magazine october 2013 inside“ready to wear”. Capabilities of this sewing shop includes the latest Gerber Digital Pattern management, Expert Cut and Sew for all types of clothing is performed by seasoned industrial sewing technicians. Direct Current offers aspiring designers access to small batch production, custom made-to-order services, consultation and design of cocktail dress, fancy tops, fancy bottoms, sportswear, swimwear, leisure wear, and more.

Nice Style Beth.
Good Job Cyndi.

Unbeatable seating for a small space

Unbeatable seating for a small space

We can’t say enough about the wonderful versatility the Moroccan Pouf adds to any home decor as a splash of color or to provide additional occasional seating.  In our home the kids use them to saddle up to the coffee table and for mom it has become a favorite foot rest. What impressed us most was how easily they fit into almost any room. An extra bonus was the stuffing Direct Current uses to fill the imported leather case allows us to redirect waste generated in our fashion production away from land fills as the fashion fabric off cuts make a perfect foundation for the stuffing.