The Future of Denim : Avery Dennison RBIS

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The denim industry has long reigned as one of the most unshakable sectors of the fashion world. A wardrobe staple throughout the decades, no one really questioned the power of the blue jean basic until the emergence of the athleisure trend graced the catwalks several years ago. 

This market shift, along with growing consumer interest in more sustainably, ethically produced clothing, is forcing the denim industry to take stock, innovate and quickly evolve.

Last week, Avery Dennison RBIS invited a stellar panel of industry visionaries to discuss the Future of Denim in Downtown Los Angeles. A global leader in apparel branding, labeling, packaging, embellishments and RFID solutions, Avery Dennison RBIS hosted the event at the company’s DTLA Customer Design and Innovation Center.

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Focus was placed on consumer trends, expert insights, and increased sustainability in the retail industry. The panelists discussed the unique findings from Avery Dennison RBIS’ recent consumer and denim insights research, including consumer preferences impacting purchase intent across the denim industry and the influence of the ever-growing athleisure trend.

Chaired by Amy Leverton, former Denim Director at WGSN and author of acclaimed Denim Dudes, guests were treated to insights and foresight from Adriano Goldschmied, Founder & Creative Director of Goldsign; Miles Johnson, Creative Director at Patagonia; David Hieatt, Founder of Hiut Denim; and Marco Lucietti, Global Marketing Director at Isko Denim.

Adriano Goldschmied and Amy Leverton

Adriano Goldschmied and Amy Leverton

The importance of fit was immediately emphasized in response to Amy’s opening question about consumer loyalties. Branding will always be important in a competitive market but the panel discussed how consumers primarily make repeat purchases due to finding the right fit.

Miles Johnson and David Hieatt

Miles Johnson and David Hieatt

Technological advancement in stretch denim has certainly upped the fit game, but the industry competes with the comfort levels offered by sportswear brands, a segment that is now crossing over to also offer denim lines.

The panel agreed that the denim purists will always want their selvage denim, but the industry is in need of innovators. There is no equivalent of Nike in the denim world and the space is ripe for change.

In recent years, knit has challenged the traditional woven technique for making jeans; subsequently opening up the market.

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The present always looks like the most important thing, but there is no present without thinking and preparing for the future.
— Adriano Goldschmied

 

Growing consumer awareness and the increasing demand for supply chain transparency, are putting pressure on an antiquated manufacturing system. When asked who should be pioneering the change towards a more conscious fashion industry, the response was that it can’t simply be one company or brand.

It has to be a joint effort as ultimately the responsibility rests on all of our shoulders. 

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The responsibility comes back to us, the consumer. It’s cool to care about the planet we live on.

— David Hieatt

Standards are slowly rising and the digital era allows us to be as informed as we choose to be. Consumer demand could effectively force apparel companies innovate or die. With a notable rise in jeans made from organic cotton, alternative design and manufacturing methods are becoming increasingly accepted and expected.

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Make them well and make them look good.
There needs to be a massive cultural shift; it’s not a trend, it’s the right thing to do.

— Miles Johnson

Cost is of course an issue, to both companies and consumers. If the price tags remain prohibitively high, consciously made denim will remain a commodity for the minority. An undeniable source of pollution to our planet, the industry does not currently have economies of scale on organic cotton. It is a highly political topic that requires a revolutionary answer.

Marco Lucietti

Marco Lucietti

“Jeans are a democratic product. We should not position responsible jeans as a question of price. We need to make them accessible for everyone.

— Marco Lucietti

As the panel dispersed, guests returned to the party, customizing t-shirts and gorgeous Isko Denim totes, and generally bonding over their collective love of the blue stuff. 

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In addition to denim, an inescapable factor brought us together that evening: a shared passion for creativity and innovation. And so to my favorite quote of the evening...

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I want to sell to ideas people. Creative people wear jeans; people that change the world wear jeans.

— David Hieatt

To find out more visit rbis.averydennison.com

Or email: maria-teresa.ortiz@averydennison.com

@AvyDenRBIS

#BeyondThePatch

Creative Direction & Writing: Jennie McGuirk

Photography: Betsy Winchell

Chris Francis Exhibits at CAFAM

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Chris Francis has been a very busy guy. Since we featured his incredible story last March, he has been buried away in his new East LA workshop, creating a mind-blowing collection of shoes for his inaugural exhibition at the Craft and Folk Art Museum of Los Angeles (CAFAM).

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The concept for the show was to not only celebrate a special curation of Chris’ hand-made footwear, but also to situate him in the museum window, as artist in residence.

It took three guys and two weeks to set up what he affectionately describes as “organized chaos”.

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Many of the exhibiting shoes have been made with found objects and raw materials; some are made entirely by hand, while others are made by hand and machine.

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When asked about his experience and collaboration with the Craft and Folk Art Museum, Chris explains,

It’s an honor to be here and to be shown in a museum, especially this museum. I love CAFAM; they back artists who wouldn’t necessarily get to show in other venues. It’s been a wonderful experience, creating the show and working with the museum.

I met a lot of fans at the opening night and the pre-show event, which is really cool; it’s fascinating to hear other people’s interpretations of the shoes.
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For the next three months, Chris will be working on location in his pop-up workshop on Wilshire Blvd,. Visible from the sidewalk, he will be creating a new collection for the Bay Area’s Richmond Art Center.

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I’m a fan of machinery, I’m inspired by machinery, and one section of the CAFAM show is actually mechanical; they are very functional. That will be some of the ground I’ll be covering while I’m here working in the window.
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Watch the Brilliant Collective interview to get the inside scoop on the show, and make your way down to CAFAM to see the magician at work!

 

To find out more visit CAFAM.ORG

 

Creative Direction & Writing: Jennie McGuirk

Photography: Betsy Winchell

Film : Jan Lim

With special thanks to the Craft And Folk Art Museum

 

 

 

 

Shoe Dogs and The Shoe That Grows

Photo Courtesy: Because International.

Photo Courtesy: Because International.

The Internet has recently been abuzz with the story of Because International's shoe that adjusts and expands with a growing foot.

The idea for The Shoe That Grows came to Founder and Executive Director Kenton Lee, on noticing the basic but alarming footwear issue while he was living and working in Nairobi, Kenya in 2007.

Photo Courtesy: Kenton Lee

Photo Courtesy: Kenton Lee

According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 300 million cases of severe illness are caused each year due to poor or no footwear.

After approaching many of the world's leading footwear manufacturers, Lee knocked on the door of the Portland-based company, Proof of Concept.

Headed by former Nike and Adidas exec Gary Pitman, Proof of Concept began in 2006 as a rapid prototyping service bureau for a range of industries. It soon became obvious however, that his 22 years of shoe experience, was an attractive draw to footwear companies that were looking to develop products.

The Proof of Concept team is now made up of footwear industry veterans with a collective 80+ years of experience; what sets them apart, is their ability to embrace the tools and thought processes involved in designing with cutting edge-technology.

What makes us unique is the fact that we have been at the forefront of helping the industry identify and utilize cutting-edge product creation tools like 3D scanning, 3D computer modeling, rapid prototyping, and virtual visualization. Basically, we are “Shoe Dogs”, a term used for experienced shoe experts who are always looking for ways to use modern digital tools when creating new products.
— www.yourproofofconcept.com/overview

Brainstorming with Lee, Pitman used a 3D printer to prototype at least 8 different variations of the design before they were happy with the product.

Armed with 100 pairs of the new invention, Lee tested the product in Africa before putting in an official order for 3,000 pairs at the end of last summer.

See how it works in the demo below and help the cause by getting involved



One to Watch : Kévin Germanier

Photo courtesy: EcoChic Design Award

Photo courtesy: EcoChic Design Award

Swiss, Central Saint Martin's student Kévin Germanier, recently won First Prize in the Eco Chic Design Awards 2014/15, for his minimal textile waste collection.

Combining a thoughtful mix of upcycling and reconstruction design techniques, his collection skillfully marries traditional craftsmanship with modern aesthetics.

As part of his prize, he will now go on to create an upcycled capsule collection for Chinese luxury brand, Shanghai Tang.

Photo courtesy: Post Magazine

Photo courtesy: Post Magazine

A fashion designer is a person who creates clothes; a good fashion designer is a person who creates beautiful clothes that sell well and are made in a conscious way.
— Post Magazine, South China Morning Post

Learn more about what inspired Kévin's award-winning collection in his interview with Post Magazine.

The Eco Chic Design Award is organized by Hong Kong NGO Redress. Read more about the sustainable fashion design competition and the educational journey it offers to emerging designers.

Inspiration LA

Freedamn Heads came from far and wide to gather in Downtown LA yesterday, for the 6th Annual Kulture Recycling Show, Inspiration LA.

A memorable show with a feel-good vibe, it was fantastic to meet up with old faces and new friends.

Inspiration LA is part trade show, part hang-out, for counter culture Denimheads, vintage Americana enthusiasts, artists, surfers and Kustom Kulture aficionados.

The show celebrates independent labels, slow style designers and local businesses.

Founded in 2010 by photographer/journalist Rin Tanaka, of My Freedamn fame, the show now draws several thousand visitors through its doors each year.

One of the highlights of the day was meeting fellow Brit and denim lover, Amy Leverton, who is in the process of launching her excellent new book Denim Dudes.

A stylish compendium of some of the most influential men in the industry, Denim Dudes also acts as a guide to the latest denim styling from the world's most fashionable cities.

Click here for an inside glimpse and order your copy today!

Photography: Jennie McGuirk

Revoterial : Cradle to Cradle Innovation

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Yotam Solomon is a whole other breed of fashion designer; not only is he committed to designing consciously with existing alternative methods, but he is actively reshaping the fashion manufacturing industry through cradle to cradle innovation.

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Despite facing a multitude of challenges and barriers, Solomon is gaining incredible momentum with his mission to detoxify the fashion industry; his big-picture mentality has empowered him to take the visionary step of rejecting the status quo in order to usher in change.

Currently one of the pioneering companies at the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), in the burgeoning Cleantech Corridor of Downtown LA, Solomon and his company Revoterial, are setting the stage for the next era of clean manufacturing.

The La Kretz Innovation Campus will bring 60,000 square feet of cleantech innovation and commercialization activities to the Cleantech Corridor.

The La Kretz Innovation Campus will bring 60,000 square feet of cleantech innovation and commercialization activities to the Cleantech Corridor.

Yotam grew up in Israel, moving to Los Angeles in 2003. Showing a passion and gift for the arts as a viola prodigy, he went on to study Fashion Design at LA’s Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM).

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Upon graduation Yotam took a pattern making position for a menswear line and continued to work on product development with large companies and brands. He also launched his eponymous label in 2007, at the tender age of 20.  

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Having witnessed the potential impact of his products on a multitude of levels, Yotam aims to inspire and encourage public awareness of social and environmental issues through his collections.

As a person, I go through a lot of learning stages and sometimes I find information that I really want to share. I like to express it through fashion; I think it’s a wonderful medium and at the end of the day, it’s art that we get to wear, so what’s more fun than that?
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The Yotam Solomon Ready-to-Wear, Footwear and Accessories collections focus on environmentally friendly production and natural materials, with low impact glues, and natural dies; everything is sourced and manufactured here in the US.

Yotam’s fashion is sold internationally and worn by the likes of Victoria Beckham, Kim Kardashian, Stacey Keibler and Sandra Bullock.

Items from the Yotam Solomon collection; drawing inspiration from social and environmental issues.

Items from the Yotam Solomon collection; drawing inspiration from social and environmental issues.

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Due to his exposure to the inner workings of the fashion industry, Yotam became increasingly conscious of the negative aspects of large-scale manufacturing.

This knowledge continues to drive him to push the boundaries and challenge the current system. 

When you see the giant factories manufacturing mostly with harmful and toxic materials, you think to yourself, "this can’t be?" But more than just thinking about it, I really had to do something about it.
People can make profits by creating renewable materials.
For me it’s really about making cradle to cradle solutions, period. If it won’t make sense for us in 50 years time, what’s the point of making it now? That’s my biggest design and core business value.
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Yotam recognizes how the industry is essentially stuck in a time warp, operating in a way in which change is long overdue.

During the industrial revolution, we created a lot of wrongful ideology using materials that would eventually harm us, but nobody knew back then, and the problem now is that we became dependent and haven’t moved away from that yet; we are still working with the same old materials.

Over the last eight years he observed what was going on and made a commitment to creating non-toxic solutions. One of his ongoing missions is to educate people about the issues, in order to minimize confusion and misinformation.

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My biggest issue with large corporations is that they always focus on recycling and they don’t understand how recycling works; recycling is not enough.
Sustainability has represented a gap between technology innovation and top executives, not allowing true clean and green manufacturing into the marketplace.
Clean manufacturing is a system where you don’t have waste; where you get your money for your own products back, to do full cycling ability.
Recycling and renewability are two different things; recycling something means that you can use a specific amount of products again. An example for that are plastics. Grade 1 - 4 can only be recycled between 30-40%, which means that 60 or 70% is always wasted, ending up in landfills or the ocean.
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Renewabilty means a product is natural and can be fully recycled. One of the things that upsets me is that we don’t have the right terminology; we don’t have the right vocabulary, language or jargon to really scale up and let people understand how these metrics can affect this giant industry.
I want to focus on renewability, which is what clean manufacturing is all about; a closed loop, and a triple bottom-line balancing Profit, People, and Planet.
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Yotam founded Revoterial in 2012. The Los Angeles-based material development company is in the process of pioneering seismic change within the fashion manufacturing industry.

Currently owning exclusive rights to dozens of university and institution patents, the company is introducing sustainable raw-material, processing, and finishing technologies that are fully integrated into existing manufacturing standards.

Yotam explains,

We are, in a way, a research and development company. We are going to be initiating product development so we are very R&D focused, and we are producing healthy products for generations to come.
We have quite a few things that we’re working on right now at Revoterial; our premier technology is called Silxt, which is based on low cost bulk silk, that’s based on the fiber silk, not on the yarn.
We are able to transform it into composite materials to replace products like plastics rubbers and foams, for fashion manufacturing because they have the correct metrics for what we need in this specific industry.
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Silxt is a farmed material; the cocoons are grown in a very simple farm method, the worms only nourish on mulberry tree leaves. It’s a very simple farming method that can be done anywhere on the globe, which in turn, helps to revive the natural farming landscape.

With Silxt we can create fully-assembled products like shoes, bags, and phone cases. Using a single material that can be directly adhered, and is naturally waterproofing, eliminates many harmful chemicals and simplifies the entire process.

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Incredibly enough, there is also a price advantage, with first material analysis showing competitive price savings compared to conventionally used materials.

We have multiple projects that are coming up in more material spaces and projects that include micro-technology and nano-technology as well, so we will be able to engineer materials into different products by modifying and engineering the nano scale and molecular formation of materials.

Working at this level means that Revoterial will be able to affect change across many fields: from the appearance to the functionality and performance of many products.

Revoterial currently has technology projects that are both in lab and factory scales. All of our development projects focus on cradle to cradle orientation, price competitive solutions, and direct integration into existing assembly lines. We initially help domestic companies source materials and then support local manufacturing in the US and all western regions; an industry sector we lost decades ago.

Yotam's goal is to bring full-scale manufacturing back to the United States, with a projected timeline of just three years.

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Another challenge that he has encountered is, of course, finding and securing funding.

We are looking at many different technologies and really focusing on scalability and getting funding is not as easy as it may seem.
A lot of people are very skeptical; I learned that some of the hardest fundraising projects in the world became some of the most successful projects, but nobody believes you at first.
The technology is out there but it’s about getting the funding to make it all happen. Surprisingly there are a multitude of existing technologies. Usually it’s in the medical space for material development but not for fashion. It’s interesting to me because there’s so much need in fashion for these types of projects.

What it seems to boil down to is whether people care or not, and whether they can see value in the change. People are all-too-often dismissive of this kind of development, even thought it’s incredibly fundamental.

There is a baffling irony about the way we are socially programmed to care more about our cars and homes than our personal effects, even though we wear them next to our skin.

The number one question I get is: what’s wrong with fashion now? They just don’t understand what goes into it. It’s the number one misunderstanding when I start talking, they say: well, why do you need to change that?
Members of the LACI team are currently located at the temporary facility on Hewitt Street.

Members of the LACI team are currently located at the temporary facility on Hewitt Street.

As one of the successfully nominated LACI portfolio companies, Revoterial is provided with a wealth of support and business resources that include help finding grants and investor connections. Run by the Mayor’s office, it is an integral part of a greater vision to build LA’s green economy.

One of the things I like the most about LACI is they bring some amazing talent as far as the CEOs, Product Developers and Executives that have experience.

We are developing milestones for when we bring manufacturing back here, and offer interesting incentives for companies like New Balance or Columbia, to actually open factories in the US, and more specifically Los Angeles, as we have the harbor and the city itself offers different resources as well.
I think that LACI as a full-scale incubator provides great resources; it's very helpful for me as a new clean-tech business to have that backing and the opportunities that come with that.
Yotam chats with incubator colleague, Jon Edward Miller, Chief Product Officer at Hive Lighting.

Yotam chats with incubator colleague, Jon Edward Miller, Chief Product Officer at Hive Lighting.

When questioned if Revoterial is regarded differently, due to its fashion focus, Yotam explains that there is a valuable exchange of knowledge and experience between him and his LACI colleagues.

For me coming from fashion I do bring a very specific insight to the table, that a lot of professionals in finance or the Cleantech sector don’t necessarily have an understanding for. A lot of people appreciate that it’s a tough industry and that I was able to have a successful business in this industry, and that I’m maintaining everything.
So far I’ve been able to help different companies with different connections and resources as well.
I’m really happy that I have all of this acquired knowledge so far and hopefully I can have a lot more in the next few years.
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Pioneering a revolutionary kind of sustainable design thinking, Solomon has proven his ability to make sizable waves in short space of time.

Acting in awareness of both the short and long-term impact of his work, he strives to promote greater understanding and appreciation for kinder design and cleaner manufacturing processes.

I hope we can create solutions that revolutionize some aspects of fashion, but even if we change one or two materials it would be a dramatic change.
I really hope to create things that will use natural technologies, change how manufacturing is done here in the US, provide healthy solutions for manufacturing, and at the end of the day, help raise awareness and allow people to be more innovative when it comes to eco-friendly practices.
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To find out more visit Revoterial.com

 

Creative Direction & Writing: Jennie McGuirk

Photography: Betsy Winchell

Studio Lighting Courtesy : Hive Lighting

With special thanks to the LA Cleantech Incubator

 

 

 

 
 

Women Fashion Power

London's Design Museum is currently showing a spectacular exhibition about the empowering possibilities of women's fashion design.

Often a debatable subject of the female experience, we are invited to see how clothing can be used as a commanding, transformative tool.

Designed by the world-renowned architect, Zaha Hadid, the multimedia showcase includes contributed outfits and exclusive interviews with some of the most notorious female figures in modern history.

The show runs until April 26 2015.

Stock MFG Co : Creating A Sustainable Future for Chicago

Left to right: Tim Tierney (Product Development) Jim Snediker (CEO) Jason Morgan (Operations Director) Mike Morarity (Creative Director).

Left to right: Tim Tierney (Product Development) Jim Snediker (CEO) Jason Morgan (Operations Director) Mike Morarity (Creative Director).

The Stock Manufacturing Company story began just two years ago, as an entrepreneurial group of guys joined forces to launch a premium, menswear brand out of a fifty-year-old factory in the heart of Chicago.

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Each bringing their own skill sets and industry perspectives to the table; they are pioneering a vision to create jobs, support the local economy and keep prices as competitively low as possible, on a range of clothing that they themselves proudly wear.

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By combining the time-tested factory infrastructure with the explosive power of digital media, the team has found a way of successfully leveraging both traditional and modern business practices to create a sustainable model for American manufacturing.

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The brand draws its name from the legendary Chicago Stock Yards that not only played a defining part in the city’s history, but also went on to inspire advances in American industry, such as Henry Ford’s auto assembly line.

The stock market was the epicenter for white-collar innovation as well as the backbone of blue-collar job creation.
Our logo, the bullhead, is Mike’s interpretation of an old restaurant logo where all the high rollers in Chicago went when the Stock Yards were still big.
We’ve pulled a lot of inspiration from the architecture and the Bauhaus movement of Chicago; everything that we do comes back to the Mid-Western mentality.
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The masculine aesthetic of the brand is woven throughout: from the design decisions that go into the clothing, to the website and various marketing materials.

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Emphasis is placed on the functionality of each product as much as the style aesthetic, giving the brand a distinct visual identity in the marketplace.

Mike comes from an industrial product design background, keeping functionality in mind with a lot of the designs, while Tim is from a product development background so will look at it from a salability aspect. The product has to appeal to the market but still stay true to the brand as we want to make sure that our pricing stays consistent.
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The team also designs with the core customer in mind, as a third of sales are in Chicago itself, followed by California and New York.

It’s the major cities in America but Chicago isn’t exactly fashion forward, so we’re trying to ease into fashion forward product but with focus on stable pieces.
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As the demand for domestic-made products continues to grow, Stock Mfg Co. is tapping into the menswear market with its own style of modern basics.

There’s a lot of hometown pride and we’re one of the only local factories that makes menswear in the city. The market isn’t as nearly developed as it is in NY or LA, which helps our visibility and exposure.
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However, rather than marketing themselves as a Made In America brand, they just consider it to be an integral part of how they do things.

We want our products to be able to stand against any clothing brand. We are half the price of comparable brands that are made in the USA, so that’s where we fit into the discussion, as we’re trying to bring quality and craftsmanship to a broader appeal.
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There are clear advantages of having a local workforce who are there at the factory for the whole process. The current drawback however, is the lack of trained labor, as the factory is certified as a Mil-Spec quality manufacturing facility and finding people with that level of expertise is not as easy as it might seem.

As we grow, we’re going to have to start finding more operators; there will be a need for in-house training and apprenticeships down the line.

We’ve held training programs in the past where 75 -100 people came through and maybe only one of those people became a full time operator. It takes sewing skills but also the ability to be able to sit there and focus.

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Initially testing a crowdsourcing model that supported up and coming designers, the team was finding it difficult to gain traction as a fledgling company. The breakthrough moment came in the form of a collaborative project with a group of well-connected bloggers, stylists and photographers based in New York.

These Brand Evangelists promoted a genuine social media dialogue, which in turn validated the product and saw the brand scale to new heights. 

That led to us dropping the crowdsourcing aspect and going into making limited run collaborations. It was a good way for us to scale up initially, and it was also when we figured out our customer.

A lot of our customers are trendsetters, so they’re out there representing the brand, and getting exposure for us.

We’re good at what we do in terms of knowing what products are going to sell, and making the right amount of inventory so that our overhead is still low. We started with single pieces and have grown to capsule collections.

 

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Featured Model, Steven Sampang, is one of team's most prolific Brand Evangelists:

I've been following the Stock Mfg guys since they put their first shirt into production and have been hooked on their brand ever since.
It's fascinating to watch these guys doing something that no other clothing brand seems to know how to do; and that's do shit the right way. As I get older and invest in the threads I buy, I'm realizing that it's nearly impossible to get U.S., let alone Chicago-made pieces without paying designer prices.
These guys are proving that there's no reason why local, ethically conscious, high quality, and affordable clothing can't all fit in the same sentence; or did I just prove that for them?
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By remaining lean and nimble in their business structure and practice, they have identified various marketing channels, which double up as customer acquisition.

A big part of having an online business is that you can see who your customers are and you maintain contact with them rather than relying on them to walk into a store. So far our entire customer acquisition model has been through digital media, and it’s been very organic. The pillar of our business is the agility of being online with the backbone of the factory where we can enact changes quickly.
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The setting of tangible milestones has been key to maintaining an ambitious pace for business growth, as well as encouraging focus on what ideas work and what needs to be dropped. By paying close attention to online metrics the team has been able to design, test and iterate not only the product but also the entire business model, allowing market feedback to inform their choices. 

We’ve had a bottle of 23-year-old bourbon that we’ve been waiting to open at a major milestone, but we keep hitting the milestones and decide to wait for another one before opening it.

Hitting each goal is really satisfying, and each one creates more momentum towards the next one. Getting feedback from clients actually wearing the stuff we make is really motivating.

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Another breakthrough moment came as Stock secured several B2B contracts for high-profile Chicago brands.

Goose Island was bought by a large company but wanted to maintain their Chicago identity, so they came to us to show that they are still a local craft beer brewery with local business in mind.

We’ve also created uniforms for restaurants Alinea and Next. They’d been sourcing stuff from France with a 6-month lead-time; we came in and cut their costs in half and developed stuff exactly to their specs. We’re providing a service and a value that wasn’t really out there.

The collaborative angle of their model places emphasis on delivering individual design solutions for each client’s needs. This isn’t a one-size fits all shop; Stock forms a partnership with each of its clients, in order to provide custom solutions that make the difference.

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Not only do they deliver a better product and save their clients time and money by producing locally, but the team is also able to market directly to a target demographic through the labels that are stitched into every uniform.

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Whether it be for the Stock in-house label, a creative collaboration or a client company uniform; each Stock product is “branded” with a unifying logo that represents quality, trust and a shared vision for sustainable growth.

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Visit Stock's online store

Or email: info@stockmfgco.com

 

Spread the love by referencing Brilliant Collective

 

Creative Direction & Writing: Jennie McGuirk

Photography: Betsy Winchell

Model: Steven Sampang

 

 

Warby Parker Hits the Million Mark

Image Courtesy: Warby Parker

Image Courtesy: Warby Parker

Earning genuine recognition from a loyal, style-savvy following, eyewear company Warby Parker recently announced that it has now sold a million pairs of glasses.

This is not only a success story for the in-house teams who take the product from concept to market, but it is a genuine triumph for the sustainably-focused, philanthropic business model, as the true impact of that figure goes way beyond touching the lives of a million consumers with great design.

Image Courtesy: Warby Parker

Image Courtesy: Warby Parker

Warby Parker was founded with a rebellious spirit and a lofty objective: to offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price, while leading the way for socially-conscious business
— warbyparker.com

Setting a goal to help the estimated 700 million people who don’t have access to glasses or eye care, Warby Parker makes a monthly donation to non-profit partners such as VisionSpring, to source an equivalent number of glasses for those in need around the world. Funds are also allocated to educational programs, so that partner companies can teach local people how to give basic eye exams and sell glasses at affordable prices in their communities.  

The grassroots start-up has raised total funding of $115 million to date, scaling at a phenomenal rate since its humble beginnings in 2010.

 

Click here for further information about the company and to shop their designs.

Humade Textile Repair Kit

There is an art to making the best out of a bad scenario, and it can certainly help to have the creative vision of a design team at your disposal when you drop blasted mustard on your favourite shirt.

This tangram-inspired repair kit from Humade invites a creative opportunity from a sudden rip, hole or stain.

With thousands of possible configurations, each Create Me/Textile kit includes 100 textile transfer iron-on shapes that can not only save the day, but also allow you to embellish your clothing in ways only limited by your imagination.  

The Next Black: A Film About The Future Of Clothing

Presented by AEG, Stockholm creative agency House of Radon recently premiered their exciting new documentary, The Next Black: A Film About the Future of Clothing.

Beautifully narrated both verbally and pictorially; an inspiring selection of apparel industry visionaries share their insight on the paradigm shift that is not only taking place, but is gradually gaining the necessary momentum to permanently change the way we create, wear and relate to our clothes. 

Nancy Tilbury offers a glimpse into the world of Studio XO, "making science-fiction, science-fact", putting machines on our bodies and merging fashion and technology to create digital couture experiences.

Matt Hymers reveals how Adidas are innovating with fabric sensors in what are coined smart clothes; collecting and applying real-time performance data from "wearable environments" to ultimately improve health and elevate lifestyles.

Suzanne Lee of design consultancy BioCouture, demonstrates the remarkable process of growing sustainable fabrics from living materials. Highlighting that "there is no time for R&D in fashion", she works in collaboration with scientists and engineers to constantly push the boundaries of how we think and produce our clothing.

Rick Ridgeway discusses how the Patagonia team is petitioning for conscious consumption, asking consumers to “only buy what you need”. He stresses the importance of buying less but better and repairing rather than replacing.

Working with the Bangkok-based textile manufacturer, Yeh Group, Sophie Mather explains the revolutionary technique of Dry Dyeing. The highly compressed gas, Supercritical CO2, has multiple benefits, including the use of 50% less energy and chemicals than traditional fabric dyeing methods.

Last but certainly not least, we see how Kyle Wiens and the iFixit crew are spear-heading the mending culture; teaching people how to take responsibility for their purchases by fixing their own stuff!

Brilliant role models, acting as beacons of light for the conscious fashion movement. 

Watch the full 45-minute documentary here

 

Investing In Sustainable Business Practice

Source: The Guardian

Source: The Guardian

There was a time when the topic of sustainability was deemed a nice gesture but certainly not a serious driver of business strategy and investment capital. The foundational importance of health, well-being and natural abundance is rarely prioritized in the faster, cheaper, more model.

However, thanks to the rising awareness of critical decision makers, transparency is no longer a fashionable buzzword reserved to the radical minority; it is rapidly becoming the norm, lifting the proverbial curtain on organizations that choose to operate with indifference.

Environmental degradation and climate change are now being recognized and cited as top global business risks. The future of everything is reliant on the preservation of existing resources and the creation of alternative solutions.

Businesses that successfully apply and demonstrate a triple bottom line approach to their practice are becoming an increasingly attractive investment prospect.

Janet Ranganathan, takes a closer look in her article Three Reasons Investors Are Beginning To Take Sustainability Seriously.

In celebration of such practice, the winners of the Guardian Sustainable Business Awards 2014, were announced in London yesterday. 11 categories were divided into two sub-categories of innovation and impact.

See the results and learn more about the Guardian Sustainable Business Awards here.

 

Stella McCartney Joins The Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network

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Continuing to pioneer as one of the most visible brands in the conscious fashion sector, Stella McCartney recently became the first global fashion brand to partner with The Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network  (WFEN).

Committed to creating beautiful products through sound business practices that equally respect the producers, land, and wildlife; WFEN and Corporate Members, work together with a shared vision for a world where people and wildlife not only coexist but thrive.

Stella McCartney has consistently embraced a Triple Bottom Line approach to business. We applaud the brand’s leadership in initiating efforts towards responsible sourcing across a range of Wildlife Friendly® fibers, textiles and raw materials from around the globe.

We don’t have to choose among people, planet or profit, but instead can work to benefit both business and biodiversity.
— Julie Stein, Executive Director of Certified Wildlife Friendly®

EcoDivas Shorts & Sizzles Fest : Fashion Revolution Day

Thursday night we turned our clothes #InsideOut and joined a passionate group of conscious fashion Angelenos for an evening of discussion and informed programming. 

Hosted by EcoDiva's Taryn Hipwell and Fashion Revolution Day USA Coordinator Oceana Lott, we listened as the panel of three pioneering ethical fashion designers: Sandy Skinner, Rebecca Mink and Fahmina, shared their business challenges and triumphs:

  ecoSkin

  Mink

  Fahmina

 

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Stand out clips from the screening were Thread, Amber Valetta's new four-part documentary series about the fashion industry’s social and environmental impact, and the highly acclaimed 2011 animation from Greenpeace's Detox campaign, which still packs a clever, satirical punch.

Thread, Driving Fashion Forward with Amber Valletta & L Studio

Detox Fashion, Greenpeace.

Fashion Revolution #InsideOut

Often the most terrible circumstances create the most significant changes.

Certainly the 1133 deaths and 2500 injuries caused from the collapsing Rana Plaza factory complex in Dhaka, Bangladesh this time last year, made a global impact on the apparel industry's psyche.

The news made the mainstream media channels and consumers were alerted to the horrific reality of the deathly working conditions and the lack of concern for basic human welfare, that have tainted the apparel industry's lustrous appeal for far too long.

Tomorrow (or today in some parts of the world already!) we stand united as agents of change. Asking people to question:

WHO MADE YOUR CLOTHES?

Visit Fashion Revolution's site for more information about how they are helping to spark positive action and what you can do as brand, retailer, producer or consumer, to create lasting change.

Australian Indigenous Fashion Week

Image Courtesy: The Guardian/Anna Kucera

Image Courtesy: The Guardian/Anna Kucera

The Australian fashion industry embraced a powerfully beautiful part of its cultural heritage last week, through the inaugural Australian Indigenous Fashion Week (AIFW).

The event ushers in a monumental shift of awareness towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, and AIFW's national mentoring platform looks set to provide fertile opportunities for indigenous artists to create and communicate through the medium of fashion and textile design.

AIFW aims to harness the story-telling roots and traditional skills of the indigenous communities for a new kind of apparel supply chain; showcasing and celebrating the artists' work in a modern, commercial forum.

There’s this sort of translation there between telling a story and using very old traditional methodology, such as land and sea management, to make garments which are sustainable. Communities have taken their skills and used them for fashion. It’s a nice ecosystem.
— AIFW founder Krystal Perkins, speaks to BoF

Read more on this story via The Business of Fashion

Factory 45 : Accelerating The Sustainable Apparel Industry

Image Courtesy : Factory 45.

Image Courtesy : Factory 45.

Are you a designer or entrepreneur with an idea, design or prototype, and need a bit of help taking things to the next level?

Are you looking to create a sustainable apparel business that promotes a healthy work culture and creates American jobs?

Are you looking to scale your existing operations or searching for reputable local vendors and suppliers to partner with?

Look no further than accelerator program Factory 45.

Created by sustainable apparel industry visionary, Shannon Whitehead, this 6 month online program will give you the resources, tools and mentorship, to "Build. Launch. Grow. On the Fast Track".

Applications are open until April 28, 2014.

BIONIC Yarn Continues To Break It Down

Pharrell Williams adds an Adidas sneaker collaboration to his growing roster of eco-conscious fashion initiatives.

Complex problems often require complex solutions, but with the right kind of creative communication, even the most innovative of processes can be distilled, packaged and understood.

This simple but powerful infographic illustrates BIONIC Yarn's state of the art manufacturing process, which turns recycled ocean plastic into durable, versatile fabrics.

 

Image Courtesy: BIONIC Yarns

Image Courtesy: BIONIC Yarns