Fashion Friday: Kiyonna Clothing
The following is a guest post from Kiyonna, an American-made clothing brand for plus-size women:
There are still clothing vendors that are committed to manufacturing their garments in the United States, because of their firm belief that this ensures top quality merchandise for their customers. Kiyonna Clothing, based in Los Angeles, is one example. Working with sewing contractors in U.S. manufacturing facilities allows Kiyonna personnel to arrange for regular visits and ensure quality is maintained. Checking trim, fabric and sewing techniques while the garments are in production eliminates the possibility of a mid-production change or delay. This can be a regular occurrence when working with vendors overseas as they often provide cost estimates based on sketches or discussions and then cut corners, producing a product with lower quality fabrics than originally agreed upon.
“It’s our passion to make plus size women feel amazing, and we never skimp on quality or integrity. That’s why 100% of Kiyonna styles are made with pride in the USA,” says Kim Khanbeigi, President and Founder.
In contrast, manufacturers who produce garments outside of the USA are often responsible for sourcing the fabric and trim. When the sample garments arrive back in the United States for review and a poor sewing technique or low-grade fabric is used, it is often too late to make changes. This causes delays in the production process and often diminishes the profit margin.
Merrilees Leighton, Production Manager at Kiyonna adds, “Manufacturing Kiyonna’s clothing in the USA eliminates timeline concerns like inclement weather and customs inspections. More importantly, products like Kiyonna clothing that are made in the USA provide work to US citizens.”
Though the costs of producing domestically can be higher than production overseas, the costs associated with contractors sourcing fabric and trim and the costs to perform consistent quality control checks are lessened by the higher retail prices in the United States. With higher retail prices a profit margin can be maintained.
The Harvard Center for Textile and Apparel Research notes that, “even though costs remain a driving factor, we show that proximity advantages for certain classes of products will continue in a post-quota world as retailers raise the bar even higher on the responsiveness and flexibility required of their suppliers.”
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