Archives for posts with tag: manufacturing

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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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.

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.