It's been awhile since we've talked about our 'Wearable Art' business model & given that we have many new customers since the last time we spoke about it (a wonderful thing!), we thought we would share a little bit about our back-end process and where we are heading this year!
In the beginning, ‘On-Demand Manufacturing’ was a no brainer. Ultimately this type of business model enabled us to do what we love to do with minimal financial risk. But we also saw it as the only way forward and still do for so many other reasons...
- Not Fast Fashion ~ We've always prided ourselves in not being involved in any “Fast Fashion” practices. On-Demand Manufacturing is the exact opposite where most items we make have already been purchased by our clients or will be as soon as our 'limited' quantities hit our shelves. It keeps our offerings fresh and we feel better knowing that we are not ever over-producing or wasting items. We are not a warehouse or gigantic superstore taking up green space & stocked to the brim with excess clothing...an unnecessary waste in our minds.
- No need to liquidate ~ We have never had a liquidation sale because we never have overstocked items on-hand collecting dust. Manufacturing only what our customers order & small quantities for our shop not only eliminates the need to discount excess inventory (critical when your profit margin is minimal to begin with) but also eliminates excess materials which is extremely important to us.
- Enables creativity ~ The beauty of the ‘On-Demand’ model is that we can experiment with certain designs & looks without breaking the bank. We can test out what our customers like by producing a couple of samples as on-demand manufacturing means we don’t have to make something before we know if it will sell or not.
- Unique wearable art just for you ~ We work with a wonderful local production house that supports what they call ‘On-Demand Ethical Production’ and we are proud to be a part of that. They are a community driven studio that creates exceptional prints and amazing quality fabrics for us. We don’t have to purchase an outrageous amount of fabric upfront; only what we intend on selling. This allows us to create high-quality, unique & individual pieces just for our customers to enjoy. The manufacturing cost is higher but the end result is better.
- Reduce, Reuse & Recycle…always! Every business has a responsibility to reduce their environmental impact. By manufacturing on-demand and sourcing locally, we help reduce our carbon footprint. In house we keep our artistic practices as environmentally friendly as possible and our manufacturing partner is committed to minimizing their excess every step of the way. Instead of printing the full fabric surface, they only print the portion of fabric needed for each piece of wearable art. Any excess paper (used for sublimation printing) is recycled or collected by contractors for other purposes and any imperfect garments are donated to local shelters. They recover straps and hardware from flawed products to be reused. All of the ink they use is water based and non-toxic which can be disposed of easily. Ultimately our goal together is to be zero waste studios so that all production excess is reused in some way.
- Supporting Others Who Do The Same ~ This year we decided to spread our wings a little and move to a much bigger studio located on street level. The new space is open to the public and more of a 'studio boutique' so we decided to bring in complimentary product lines from other Canadian, women-owned businesses that we love and who also share our concerns for the environment. To date it's been an incredible experience and we are happy to be able to support local, support women & offer our customers new sustainable products.
So that’s us and what we believe in! On-Demand Manufacturing is still an emerging industry that will hopefully continue to evolve as more and more businesses jump on board. For us it’s the only way forward and we will continue to work with people who believe in and support this mindset.
Hopefully it helps paint our picture so to speak & explain why many of our items are 'sold out' or 'coming soon'! Thanks for your continued support and as always, thank you for wearing our art!