Q: How do you boldly reimagine the status quo?
A: We are creating a community more than anything that creates a product that has real involvement in it, and the customer is supporting that happening in the world. The production environment has to be correct. I refuse to work more than 40 hours - or I work more than 40 hours haha! - but my sewers only work 40 hours. Everything has to be done correctly. And the fact that we are only producing things that consumers are demanding. That's the biggest thing now. Yes, maybe producing domestically in the United States, it's more expensive, but there’s no two ways about it.
Q: Why and how have you revolted against fast fashion?
A: We design from concept. Consumers have to understand why they're buying and what they're buying. So when I produce, I'm saying something. Either customers emotionally connect or they don't connect. It's for that customer that says, oh yeah, I understand what this is about...My business is all word of mouth. Customers and clients know that what we give is a product that's timeless, right? So I always say to my customers, "You could have taken [this] out of your closet 10 years ago and you can take it out 10 years from now." There is that factor.
When I see the way re—inc is approaching this, the fact that number one, it's a woman-owned company - that is an ethical working company. Everybody goes for the bottom line. And so many things come from overseas. Like you don't know who's sewing overseas and what conditions they're being sewn overseas, right? So somebody, they make beautiful colors, but they make 50,000 beautiful colors. That's all they make.
It's really not about skill labor, or being involved with a garment. It's really about just fast, fast, fast. And it's really about how cheap you can make something. And you don't know the conditions that these are being made in. As we all know, the fashion industry is the biggest polluter in the world. So this is what I told a lot of people who have chosen to work with me in terms of on-demand production.
Overseas, you can produce for cheaper. How many of those pieces are sold overpriced? How many of those are sold at an incredible discount? And how many of those go to landfill? Right? And on the QT, so many people are doing that. And what does that do for our world? Our climate? The carbon footprint is huge.
When you make domestically, you reduce the carbon footprint by a huge percent. The biggest carbon footprint maker is the fact that you don't manufacture where the product is sourced.
And the fact that you're only producing things that consumers are demanding. You know, how important that is? Making 50 pieces is more expensive than making 5,000 pieces, but you don't need 5,000 pieces. Those 50 pieces go directly to consumers, and they're being enjoyed. And nothing goes into the landfill. I think about that. And I think that's huge. So yes, this is why we make it here. And this is why we make it in the environment that we make.
And this is why we're making it with the people that we employ. And hopefully our consumers see that. And we are making, I feel quality, quality garments, and we care about what's coming out. I think it's the way of changing the future, because you're not going to change the future if the consumer mentality doesn't change.
If you buy into fast fashion and oh, you prefer buying 15, t-shirts for, you know, so-and-so price because you just love having 15 t-shirts in your closet, and you wear it, and you wear it, and in less than three months they're all going into the garbage. Well, buy three t-shirts that you really like and wear it for years. That's a consumer mentality change that you all, your generation is making...You collect what you have, you don't just buy-dispose, buy-dispose. I love the fact that when customers come back after 15 years, right, and go, "God, I love this thing and I can't get rid of it, but the lining is shredding by now. Can you just change the lining?" I love that! I love the fact that there is this kind of ownership and attachment to particular clothing, and we should have that.