Finding the right factory can feel impossible and that's just the beginning. Once you actually find that factory, how do you know they are operating at the standards you need to ensure worker safety? Most professionals do not know the right standards to look for to properly vet a factory's social compliance. That's why at THR3EFOLD we only work with factories who have an ethical certification to ensure their standards are up to par and continually checked in by an outside auditing body. Each ethical certification can vary slightly in their minimum standards, but all revolve around the following set of principals.
By Ellen Saville, Creative Director, The Endery
Manufacturing overseas has it's advantages when it comes to artisanal skill, resources, and even reduced costs. However, before you get started it is essential to consider the cultural differences and production nuances so you are best prepared to form a great working relationship with your new factory.
We've all heard of the dangers of being a small brand in a busy factory that suddenly gets a massive order leaving your stuff pushed aside and late, well we discovered Quavaro during a weekend getaway to Washington DC and were inspired by their story of turning a manufacturing disaster into a fully vertical ethical supply chain as they navigated manufacturing in Mexico. Take a peak into the process of starting an ethically made in Mexico brand with husband and wife team Cesar and Pial Vega, founders of Quavaro.
After nine months of development, we are over the moon to finally announce our Ethical Manufacturing Platform is launching into beta! This platform has been 3 years in the making and was a result of the Research & Development trip our Founder, Jessica Kelly, took to India. Jessica encountered some really incredible factories but knew how hard it was to find them online. The THR3EFOLD Ethical Manufacturing Platform seeks to make it easy for apparel and accessory brands to get connected to ethical factories around the world and manage their production all in one place.
By Loren Nichole, Sustainable Fashion Analyst
Africa is the home of many of fashion’s most popular techniques and materials including mud cloth painted pillows, ankara printed fabrics, and raffia woven bags and shoes. An article published on BSR’s website noted that sub-Saharan Africa is an “attractive” sourcing destination. It’s liberal trade policies, growing youth population coupled with the fastest urbanization rate, and easy access to ‘Western’ markets makes it the hotspot for partnering with fashion businesses.
The Citizenry founders, Carly Nance and Rachel Bentley, also love the abundance of untapped, creative potential in Africa. Some of their favorite artisan groups to work with are their African partners due to the raw talent and creative flexibility many of these groups share.
Last year, THR3EFOLD raised $17,500 in crowdfunding to go into development with a SaaS platform to allow brands to search ethical factories around the world, share designs, compare pricing, and manage their production all in one place. One of our campaign rewards was a reusable tote which was ethically made in India by factory partner Work + Shelter. We sat down with Theresa Vandermeer, Founder of Work + Shelter to learn about their origin story and what it's really like to run an ethical factory.
An estimated 21 billion pounds of textiles ends up in landfill every year. Over 91% of clothing sold in the US has been made in developing nations, likely by underpaid workers. It's no wonder that making a difference in this industry can feel quite daunting. However, change has only ever been achieved one way - one step at a time. That's why when we were introduced to Custom Collaborative, a sewing cooperative providing training to low income and immigrant women here in New York City, we were stoked. Here's more about them.
By Addison Martin, Brand Coordinator, THR3EFOLD
If you’re someone who is looking to start an ethical and sustainable fashion business, take your business in a more conscious direction, or just want to dip your toe in to learn more, here' some free resources you might want to check out.
The fashion industry is at no shortage for conversation about change these days. Everyone is talking about needing to be more ethical and more sustainable. But why is there so much talk and not as much action? To put it simply, the supply chain is too complex for a simple solution, and it's going to take informed individuals and industry veterans working together to bridge
By Kristi Soomer, Founder & CEO, Encircled
Editor's Note: We help founders everyday make smarter decisions to grow their fashion brand into an ethical, sustainable, profitable business. A part of equipping founders with these skills is to tell the genesis stories of the already successful fashion brands shifting norms in the fashion industry for people and planet. Here is the story of beloved ethical and sustainable fashion brand Encircled. As usual, it started with a problem.