We’re totally digging on clothing that is made in the USA, and love the fact that designers and their allies are opening up fashion creating spaces using local manufacturing across the country. Not only do these small factories allow designers to produce collections locally, but they have the ability to bring together fashion and textiles enthusiasts of all types that together can recreate an entire industry in this country based on honest and sustainable practices.
Our top 3 small factories are creating a fashion network that we can trust and get behind.
Independently owned and manned by two feisty ladies , the Portland Garment Factory offers a range of apparel manufacturing services for American designers. Sustainable business practices and excellent craftsmanship define the Factory’s work, which provides designers and brands with anything from design consultation, pattern drafting and cutting to production of up to 5,000 units, as well as connections to dye houses, screen printers, embroiderers and label makers. PGF even offers branding and identity creation services, meaning that small designers can make a one-stop shop for their production and marketing missions. Several businesses and designers such as Gear PDX, Tanner Goods, Solmate Socks, and Made on the Moon use PGF’s services, while the houseline is available for purchase through the website.
Based in Charleston, South Carolina, the Charleston Garment Manufactory is a fashion production facility and resource center for fashion designers, students and prospective designers. The initiative aims to create a community of skilled seamstresses and designers in an effort to spread the word about and access to locally made clothing. Alongside fashion product development and custom design services, the factory also offers sewing classes, online sewing videos and a directory of local dressmaking resources. Designers and brands that produce at the CGM include Proud Mary, STATE, Barbara Beach and MEW. CGM has recently paired up with local Charleston boutique ONE to create the ONE LOVE DESIGN HOUSE where the wares of local designers using CGM’s services will be showcased.
Manufacture New York is a new kind of fashion incubator that provides independent designers in the NYC area with the skills and resources to create completely locally manufactured collections within the city. The Garment Center Pilot Program for Manufacture NY was recently opened in Manhattan and will be the home of 15 garment designers and 5 jewelry designers who will enjoy access to a fully equipped industrial sewing room and computer work stations with the latest design software. The space also offers classes ranging from business development, to using Adobe Illustrator for fashion to learning how to sew zippers, collars and buttons. Down the line Manufacture NY plans on opening up a 40,000 square foot flagship for over 50 incubator members that will offer a dedicated area for experimentation with environmentally-friendly fabric washes, dyeing, finishes and special textile applications.
Images: Portland Garment Factory, Charleston Garment Manufactory, Manufacture NY
Related on EcoSalon:
Manufacture New York: Making It Cheaper and Easier for Designers to Produce Locally