How to make clothes
These are some pointers if you have dreams of doing your own thing.
Todays audio accompaniment will soothe you through the rest of this post on a overcast monday
A lot of people thought it was a fools errand starting Fellow and not many people took me seriously, even my friends. It’s such a strange industry. Lots of people are really cagey about telling you too much – like it’s their secret spot that they’ve surfed alone for years.
I have really enjoyed the learning curve I have been through, so I thought I’d share some of my experiences to enable people to have a crack themselves without the expensive mistakes I made.
So this post is for anyone who has dreamed of doing their own thing. I say give it a bash and see what happens and here are a few pointers for you:-
1. Make sure there is a market for what you want to produce. It costs loads making stuff and if it doesn’t sell you’re left holding an expensive baby.
2. Spec your garments out to every last detail. Leave nothing to interpretation because guaranteed the person you are dealing with will not have the same ideas or standards as you.
3. Find a good pattern cutter. Find one that you get along with and that is patient and not too expensive for changes to your patterns because there will be a lot of tweaks and changes along the way. I got really lucky with mine. PM me if you want their details.
4. Get your pattern cutter to make samples, you can then use as a base mark for quality control.
5. When you have a graded pattern (graded means a pattern in each size) start looking for a factory. This is where the fun begins. If you have a specialist area you might find it easier to search but none of the buggers have websites or do any kind of advertising. You can try trade shows but usually only larger factories will attend and if you are anything like me they won’t be interested in your organic approach to growing your company. If you have investors on the other hand: bingo, you’ll have a factory in no time. There are a few factors to consider with selection:
China, India and Asia are cheap but problems with ethics and quality control.
Eastern Europe – pretty good but again be careful with ethical working standards.
Western Europe – good quality but a little more expensive.
Language – you need to be able to communicate with them.
These are pretty gross generalisations and in my limited experience it’s pretty much luck of the draw.
6. CONTRACT – when you have a factory don’t give anyone any money until you have a contract which specifies delivery dates and all costs. If I had done this in the beginning I would have saved thousands and thousands of pounds.
7. Regular factory visits are vital to ensure you are all on the same page when it comes to expected quality of materials and manufacture and also help to avoid cartons of unsellable crap arriving at your door.
8. Don’t be afraid to send stuff back if it isn’t up to standard.
If you have an idea and I can be of any help please drop me a line.
Todays surf report
Looked ok first thing, probably should have gone but couldn’t drag my sorry arse out of bed. Maybe tomorrow.
Photo of the day
Here are some cows in Sri Lanka.