What is this thing with quantities in Fashion Industry? Taboo!

In fashion industry production quantities are still an unrevealed taboo. We chose transparency also on quantities, as we consider exclusivity as a value factor and not as shameful.

With a background as production manager, business developer and sales person in Antwerp's luxury fashion industry I came accross this irrealistic image of quantities with small designers and brands.

As if one's creativity and success were measured only by the quantities a designer produced for the multi-brand boutiques whom ordered from them. 

At my time as studio, production & sales manager at the designer we were producing production quantities between 5-30 a style in an atelier in Morrocco. A team of very dedicated tailors sew all the pieces with love, passion as they were proud to be working on the collection. 

Coming back for a production trip, I stopped by our Antwerp retailer Sien. We were chatting about quality, fit and other designers as she mentioned: "We have this gorgeous dress in, it is limited edition only, it costs 1500 euro, and there are ONLY 100 pieces in the world! It is so exclusive!" 

Production quantities were a TABOO, all types of emotions ran through my body. I thought I'd cry. We'd put so much time, effort, precision and dedication into our high fashion items, but producing only 10 was a taboo.  Customers didn't know it took 2 patternmakers, 5 pattern revisions and 5 raw cotton prototypes, 3 attemps in real fabric (Italian fabric which costed over 50 euro/meter), numerous product management hours, technical designs, conversations, a runway, time at the showroom and much more in order to get 10 items produced, which in the end only retailed for 695 euro. Of the 10 items produced 3 items were sold in Hong Kong, 3 in Paris, 3 in Antwerp and 1 for Lady Gaga.

I really thought I was going to cry after this conversation.

And then it struck me, why design exclusive items for an audience, and not talk about just how exclusive they are? And what about talking about all the effort and materials that go into these pieces to be treasured? 

Two years later the designer asked me to set up a new eco-friendly and fair trade business for him. I decided transparancy was going to be the only way forward. The entire sourcing, supply chain, production locations and cost informations and calculations freely available to all customers. 

To break the final taboo in the industry, I hereby also share our production quantities: we are producing our jersey collection in 8 sizes; 2-4 items per size, depending on the fabric rolls we purchase. Therefor there are maximum 32 T-shirts world wide in the same style and colour spread over 8 sizes!

Our wovens we produce either 1-3 pieces per size, meaning we have between 8 - 24 items per style maximum. 

If you want to be sure of your size!  Be quick and order soon! 

With an ok sale-through, this means we can offer our suppliers and ourselves a sustainable lifestyle without unnecessary excess.

Ps: The quantities are also the reason why we produce in Morrocco; if we produce further away it is less sustainable and we need to produce more to cover unnecessary travel. If we produce in Eastern Europe or Portugal, we must produce higher quantities in order to have a similar product pricing. 

If the demand becomes higher, or new production styles are added or if we need to enlarge our team. This information will be updated.

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