From the very beginning, I knew that I wanted to create clothing that put good into the world. You can check out my last post about the power that our products can have HERE. But I wanted to dig a little deeper and share why it was the right fit for Nine56 to make our products in America and why it is something that I am really proud of. A very important part of Nine56 is making products that serve the women who wear them and the women who create them. Making our clothing right in Minneapolis has proven the best way for us to do that. Here’s how:
1. Transparency - Transparency is a buzz word right now. Which is a good thing, as long as companies are actually being transparent when they say they are. Transparency means that when you buy a product, you know how it was made, you know the cost that was put into making it, and you know where the materials came from. By making our products in the midwest in our own factory, we are able to share all of this with everyone who supports our label. And we are so excited to share about it because we are really proud of how we make our products, and we want the women who buy our clothing to be proud of it too.
2. Higher quality garments- Quality is created in every aspect of the garment making process. It is in the pattern development and the fit. Quality comes from using great fabrics and cutting out the pattern pieces perfectly. It comes from not taking short cuts when sewing. When you create a product as well as you can, not as fast as you can, you create quality When my sewer and I work so closely together to create a garment, I know that every piece we send out is the best that it can be.
3. Less Waste - The apparel industry has A LOT of waste. Aside from all of the clothing that is thrown away each year, there is a lot of waste in the production of clothing. By creating our clothing in Minneapolis where we oversee everything that is happening, we are able to better control the waste. We can repurpose fabric scraps and cut down on waste from packaging. Another way we reduce waste is in the garment creation process. When labels work with production partners overseas, there is a lot of back and forth when developing the product. Samples are shipped from the overseas factory to the designers and back again until the final version of the garment is ready. When we design and produce in the midwest, we are able to avoid this waste almost completely.
4. Opportunity - Creating jobs anywhere is a good thing. I think good jobs in India and China are just as important as good jobs in America. However, it lights me up so much to think of the positive changes that can be made in my own community through greater job opportunity. The idea that Nine56 could be a part of creating jobs for women in which they are trained in a skill, like garment manufacturing, that they can take pride in has been one of the driving factors for me since the beginning. Currently my garments are made by Abby who sews from her home where she can be with her three children. And as we grow, she has rented a studio space close to her home where she can increase her production capacity. One of my big dreams is to grow that space into a factory where we can train women who might not have previous experience sewing. I want to be able to provide free childcare on sight for these women so that they know that their babies are in good hands and close by while they earn money for their families. I believe that there is such a need for solid working class jobs that give the makers a sense of ownership and pride in their work. And I think ethical clothing production can fill that need.
Do you think you don’t have the budget to shop American made? Download my free guide about how to make a capsule wardrobe actually work for you, so you create more space in your closet and in your wallet to invest in pieces that you love and believe in.