Author: Guido Falconi
As the fashion industry moves towards more sustainable efforts, producing pieces locally has gained a lot of attention from designers. It should come as no surprise since producing locally not only affords the designer with a lot of control over production, but it also helps the environment in the long run by reducing waste and carbon footprints and can serve as a way to provide jobs for people in their communities.
Today we explore the benefits of producing fashion locally and why we have decided to partner with designers who have adapted this conscious fashion practice.
Keeping an Eye on the Product
One of the biggest advantages of producing locally is that the designer gets to keep an eye not just on the manufacturing process but also on the working conditions of those factories. This means that should any problem come up during the production of any piece the designer can be more reactive since it is taking place in the same area of the world, compare this to fast fashion in which news of a problem has to travel halfway across the world before anything can be done.
Being close to the manufacturing center also provides the designer with the option of making changes on the fly should there be a need for it. Making changes during the manufacturing process is always difficult, but being able to communicate with the manufacturer right away makes this process much easier.
Ultimately this step creates a deeper connection between designer and producer that ensures a higher degree of production and quality control that is then passed on to the consumer. Trinidad Cuesta has come to appreciate the process as it allows them to deliver high quality products produced by local artisans using only the highest quality cruelty-free materials.
Work Conditions and Wages
For many years the fashion industry has been plagued with stories of bad working conditions and underpaid workers, our designers are fighting against this stigma by creating jobs within their communities.
Being able to keep an eye on the working conditions of factories allows designers to make sure their workers are being treated fairly and are paid living wages. Protecting the dignity of fashion workers at the manufacturing level makes the industry stronger, more ethical, and humane. Providing workers with living wages allows people to make a living, invest back in their community, and it has the side effect of producing higher quality products.
ALOHA has limited its production to working only with local manufacturers who provide their workers with competitive wages and benefits, it is their belief that everyone in the production process has the right to a living wage and a high quality of life.
Producing their lines in their home countries helps designers give back to their communities. By investing in their communities they create jobs, help their neighbors increase their wealth, produce tax revenue for their city, stomp out poverty, and create a higher quality of life.
Take Colombian designer Lina Osario for example. She was born and raised in Colombia, after getting her master’s degree in fashion design in Spain decided to go back to Colombia to start her brand. She could have remained in Spain and produce her pieces in another side of the world, but instead she decided to work alongside Colombian artisans to create a brand that embodies the spirit of Colombia and has created good-paying jobs for several local artisans. This is but one example of the many great things fashion can accomplish when we work together towards a better world.
Reducing our carbon footprint is one of the biggest steps we can take to help the environment. By producing locally designers can reduce the amount of fuel burnt to make each piece, this means leaving a much smaller carbon footprint per batch and thus reducing pollution in our environment. Now instead of burning fuel to get products to another country for production and then to you the designer can ship your pieces directly to your from a warehouse in their community thus cutting further into each piece’s carbon footprint.
By producing locally designers can also produce smaller batches at a time, this means using less water, fewer dyes, and less harmful chemicals to go back into the water. Smaller batches mean fewer pieces going to waste as well as higher quality products ensuring the garment gets sold.
As we always say, the fight for a more sustainable fashion industry continues with you. Make sure to heck out some of the designers we talked about in this article and check our all our others great designers who have decided to produce their pieces locally. Together we can create a more sustainable future.