Project Description

Thursday 3rd March saw the return of our very popular Production Lounge networking talk, held at the GCU London campus.

Hosted by our very own Alison Lewy, she was joined by Juliana French, the founder of sourcing and production agency Fond Clothing.

Prior to launching Fond Clothing in 2013, Juliana worked for major fashion retailers, such as M&S and Topshop, gaining valuable industry experience whilst managing their production. Working for these brands inspired her to set up Fond Clothing with a focus on establishing ethical standards when working with manufacturers.

A vibrant mix of over 50 people attended the event, including Fashion Angel Business Club Members, Start Up Loan recipients, fashion entrepreneurs and GCU students. The aim of the informal Q & A, was to share relevant inside knowledge regarding manufacturing options, the production process, and to get insight on how to build good relationships with manufacturers. Alison posed many questions about the general production cycle timings and what to consider when thinking about manufacturing in the UK vs overseas. The lively audience also had the opportunity to ask questions, which Juliana answered in detail.

fashion angel event

 

Juliana’s 6 top tips for successful production management.

• When approaching a potential factory for your production, take as much information with you as possible as photos alone can cause confusion. If you supply them with tech packs, patterns, fabric swatches and any examples or prototypes, there will be less mistakes – the more you give the better!

• Always make copies of your patterns and store them digitally as manufacturers tend to throw patterns away once the job has been completed.

• Keep control! If you are using a factory abroad and don’t trust using an agent or external QC, go out yourself to check the orders. Make sure you don’t forget to build this in to your costs.

• Allow for tolerance when inspecting the final product, if there are only one of two odd missing stitches out of large order, write these off as not every garment is going to be 100% perfect.

• Overseas manufacturers can be considerably cheaper for production, but don’t forget to weigh up all of the additional costs eg couriers, sampling, shipping, insurance, duty etc. before making a final decision on which factory to use.

• Allow plenty of time – good manufacturers are busy and if you are making offshore in Asia or India , shipping can take 4 – 8 weeks.

 

Overall the response from the talk was very positive with attendees appreciating having an industry expert, such as Juliana, sharing real-life situations that could potentially happen to them on their production journey. The event was also a good opportunity for designers to network and facilitate potential collaborations.

fashion angel event

 

If you’d like to learn more about how to manage and source production effectively, the next popular Getting it Made workshop is being held at The British Library, 2pm – 5pm on the 15th June. Everyone attending also receives our Fashion Angel Production Pack of useful production templates.

Our next networking talk is The Bloggers Lounge, held at Work.life Camden on the 30st March at 6:30pm. We’ll be getting tips on how to get the attention of bloggers for your brand, from a panel of digital marketing, PR & blog experts.

Hope to see lots of you there!

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Words: Meg Plenderleith