Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Made In The USA- Really

When you see the words
"Made In The USA" on a garment, there is always a sense of pride-
you know, think, support, shop, act locally...
I think I have an even higher expectation for this concept
 when I know a garment is from a local designer or small line.
However, quite often due to prohibitive production
 costs and high production quotas,
this is rarely the case.
founded and co owned by Britt Howard,
mother, model and designer of her own children's clothing  line.
After having trouble finding a local manufacturer for her
new venture...
 'she opened a tiny storefront to sew for Portland's growing legion of independent designers (that includes three competitors and two winners of the reality show Project Runway) and two years, more than a few eighty-hour work weeks, and a business partner (Rosemary Robinson) later, PGF is now a booming enterprise. Today, the upstart completes orders for clients as far-flung as New York and Los Angeles in an airy new warehouse space in Portland's bustling Montavilla neighborhood.'

"It's been like, zero to sixty for us," Robinson described. "We're thinking about opening another location, maybe in San Francisco or Austin. But we'd want to keep it personal, to be able to keep that close relationship with the people we work with."
And being a local manufacturer does enable PGF to have a more involved relationship with their clients. As their motto says, "We got your back." Unlike overseas manufacturers, they'll produce lots of as small as twenty units as well as in the thousands. Along with an army of eager interns, the plant also provides design consulting services, and Howard often finds herself serving as a de facto business counselor. "Sometimes I feel like I'm giving a seminar everyday," Howard said with a laugh. "This is your retail price, and this is your wholesale price."
For small designers, PGF's prices are comparable to—and the timeframe infinitely friendlier than—sending garments halfway around the world. That's in addition to higher-quality craftsmanship, as well as the assurance that it's sewn with pride by workers who are treated well. 
 Made In The USA, indeed.