How to find manufacturers with the same ethos or values as my brand

Hi NJAL family, I think these couple of questions would be valuable to this community. Manufacturing is key to ensuring a point of difference and the ability to scale and innovate in fashion and design. I would love to hear some of the learnings that others have found in their quest. As I think sharing this information would be so welcome especially for those starting out. My series of questions are: How do emerging or even established designers find the right manufacturers that fit their brand values and ethos? What are some of the most valuable websites for finding or researching reputable manufacturers? What are some of the key accreditations to look for or proof that a factory shows respect towards; sustainability, the environment, their workers or any other social and cultural considerations? From what I know the best way to find most manufacturers is by word of mouth and experience in the industry. I feel that that is limiting. I know there is no substitute for good research and recommendations from people that know both the designer and manufacturer well. But from the industry as a whole I feel that this is a sensitive topic as most fashion brands keep manufacturers close to their chest, they don't want to share that information. Sharing this information in the industry would help to improve manufacturing standards and help to reward great manufacturers with new accounts. Please share your experience and help bring an open and collaborative ethos to the industry. Many thanks, Freyja

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Anything we can help you with? Please ask and suggest!

Hello and welcome to the forums, this is my first time posting on here too. To answer your questions:

How do emerging or even established designers find the right manufacturers that fit their brand values and ethos?
You will have to clarify what constitutes a part of your brand value and ethos... in can be a combination of fair labor standards, sustainable practices, etc. Something to keep in mind is that many sewing contractors employ processes that are engineered to be efficient (i.e non-wasteful in their time and materials) so if sustainability is something important to you, I suggest sourcing materials that meet your definition of sustainable, whether they are textiles that meet Oeko-Tex Standards, or making sure that the markers you create for production maximize the use of materials for each order with as little waste as possible.

What are some of the most valuable websites for finding or researching reputable manufacturers?
Change the word from 'Manufacturer' to 'Sewing Contractor'. As a designer, even if you never physically make the garments you've created, as the entity that is willing this object into existence with the help of others- you are considered the manufacturer.

You can find some sewing contractors at textile trade shows, by googling sewing contractor (insert state, country, or municipality here), and through non-for-profit trade associations related to fashion.

My one recommendation for verifying the reputation of a sewing contractor is to physically visit their facility. A reputable facility with nothing to hide will be happy to answer your questions, allow you to look at their machinery, and let you talk to their workers (and not just specific workers).

Before taking this step, you can weed out questionable sewing contractors by verifying that their business license is active with the government body that they function under. a business 'in good standing' will generally be up to code with the labor and environmental practices upheld by that specific government. If your standards are different from those upheld by others, it is something that you would need to verify yourself.

What are some of the key accreditations to look for or proof that a factory shows respect towards; sustainability, the environment, their workers or any other social and cultural considerations?

I think that nothing beats visiting a factory in person.

We develop collections of garments from different fabrics and textile. This encompasses preparing base patterns, grading, sewing prototypes and samples as well as the organisation and control of CMT production of small and large series. They start from 10-20 pieces per series.
Our company is located in Bulgaria with an orientation towards designers and other customers who require garments of outstanding quality and elaborated with utmost precision. The team is highly qualified, with over 20 years of experience and production is done on advanced sewing machines and equipment delivering a feat of technological excellence and luxury finish.

We are well equipped to meet any special needs, requirements or demands you may have.

office@gs7,bg
www.gs7.bg