Sourcing can be one of the greatest challenges for a new designer. Finding a low-minimums manufacture, a sample maker that understands fast deadlines and small budgets and quality textile mills that will provide swatches that appear to have been hand woven by the finest of European ateliers, seems nearly impossible. However, a rise of online resources has begun to make it easier for designers, manufactures and others in between to connect and make beautiful garments together. Here are a few worth mentioning.
Service Area: Los Angeles
Membership Costs: None
Still in its beta stage Design 2.co takes on the Los Angeles garment district with a growing list of services from manufacturing to photography, this site has everything an LA designer would need from rivet to lookbook to get their designs off the ground. The site is still making efforts to raise funds, and hire great new talent, so if you are an investor, or eager intern ready to jump on to something new and exciting on the west coast, check out their site!
Service Area- United States (cities may vary)
Membership Costs-Varies starting at $25
Makers Row has taken the idea of “made in America” and put it at our fingertips. Hailing from NYC, this site provides home-grown services in the Apparel and Home Furnishing industries. My view of this site was limited, as the membership fee is required for full access; the How It Works section of the site gives a pretty thorough explanation of the mechanics of their site. From leather to lumbar this site is the perfect one stop shop for creators who want to keep it domestic.
Service Area- United Kingdom and select European Countries
Membership Costs- None
For those of you across the pond no need to worry, there is a site for you too. Utilier supports the search for European manufacturers, designers, even consultants and lawyers. What makes this site stand out is their concierge service. For those who are not sure exactly what they need and how to utilize the site to satisfy that need, the company has provided with members with a personalized roadmap to help turn their idea into income.
Within the last couple of years technology has truly made the fashion world smaller and much more accessible to all. From instagraming NY Fashion Week, to Google searching your next manufacturer, sending tech packs via “the cloud,” and implementing omnichannel platforms for product distribution, there is little reason why a company can’t be successful and find true sustainability within this industry no matter where it is headquartered. The world is at your fingertips creators, and everything you need is just a keystroke away. Make sure to stay tuned to FashInvest on how technology and financial advancements can help make those dreams a reality. Happy creating!