Geoff Krasnov offers apparel/clothing/garment manufacturing and sourcing news.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


I've had alot of inquiries about the "green" aspects of bamboo. I hope to clarify this for you here.
Bamboo is the fastest growing "grass" on the planet, growing as much as 36" a day. When harvested, it's vast root system regenerates shoots and there is no need to re-plant. As such, it is emminantly easy to grow, as it is naturally disease resistant and requires virtually no pesticides or herbicides. So far so good. Making fabric out of bamboo is another story. The predominant method utilizes a chemical process called hydrolisis alkalization. This, combined with multi phase bleaching, breaks down the plant material and creates a viscose solution which is extruded into fiber. This process is very similar to the manufacturing of rayon. It is very chemical intensive. A second, less used method mechanically breaks down the bamboo and adds natural enzymes to allow for the plant fibers to be extracted. This process produces "bamboo linen", so named due to the similarity of processing the flax plant into linen. Unfortunately, this produces a less uniform and much more expensive product. Some newer techniques, which are more eco-friendly, are beginning to emerge, but have yet to acheive any signifigant market position. Bamboo fabric is inherently antimicrobial and is extremely soft and silky. Whether it can be called "environmentally friendly" is up to the marketeer. For more information on fabrics, custom apparel, or private labeling go to .

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Custom Apparel Manufacturer- Have it your way!

Style Source Inc ( manufactures custom apparel either with private label placement or as blanks for the wholesale trade. As an apparel sourcing company for overseas manufacturing we offer specification development, intensive sampling and quality assurance systems, brokerage/importation assistance, and full package apparel production. As a domestic apparel manufacturer, we have the ability to produce short run private label cut and sew services , but prefer to handle the entire custom apparel package from sourcing of materials and findings to packageing. We service companies that may be starting up with first production to mature larger apparel manufacturing companies that need to outsource programs. Call us to discuss your needs. You will find a highly competant technical design staff useing state of the art CAD apparel software and customer service that makes you feel as if we are your very own private label garment manufacturer.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

MADE IN USA.....Worth a nickel?

I am often approached by potential customers looking for private label apparel manufacturing who state that they want to make the products in the United States. Their rationale almost always comes from an imbedded sense of patriotism, often enhanced by the thought of child and slave labor overseas. This , inevitably, leads to discussion on what value consumers place on "made in USA" labels. The reality is that they may be willing to spend upwards of 10% more, but not much past it. Unfortunately, there are precious few high volume sewn products made here that cannot be made and imported for 20-35% less (with a corresponding volume). Exceptions are low labor products that have high duty rates (chief value synthetics is one). Even those catagories are then more inexpensively made in the southern hemisphere (Central America, Carribean Basin, Mexico and South America). It is only the low volume specialty products that don't have foreign competition (typically runs of under 1200 pieces), but what they do have is an even more insideous competitive field, illegal USA factories. Whether it is shops that don't pay workers comp or overtime, hire illegal immigrants, pay under the table, skirt OSHA regulations or other non-conforming practices it all amounts to subverting costs in order to remain competitive. Style Source Inc certifies every subcontractor for legal practices annually. It is our committment to maintain integrity on this front, even though many domestic competitors turn blind eyes to how their contractors operate. Many will plead ignorance of knowledge that their work is sent out from their legal shops on a tiered scale to illegal smaller shops. We do not tolerate our work being farmed out, period. Everyone is looking for avenues to decrease costs and pricing in an inflationary time. Our prices have not increased since the inception of Style Source in 2002. Our latest move, splitting headquarters and manufacturing has yielded us a signifigant decrease in overhead, allowing some breathing room. Just last week our finisher announced a wholesale increase in bleaching and dyeing prices, which we are fully absorbing. In the meantime, our Canadian fabric supplier has seen our dollar go from $1.40 to parity, and have announced a 35% price increase on all fabrics. Is made in USA worth a nickel? That question is not germain. The question is, is made in USA worth a dollar? The answer from consumers is NO. Custom apparel production is capital intensive and has high upfront development costs. Style Source has the experience to find creative paths in producing high quality custom apparel in short runs at competitive prices, and we do so with integrity.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Our partners are working hard producing new and exciting fabrics with the latest hot selling fibers. One of the latest is a lightweight 100% cotton certified organic slub fabric with a linen look, excellent for fashion tees. We have also sampled unbelievably soft bamboo and bamboo blend terry cloth, french terry and velour. A fabric that has commanded alot of attention is the bamboo/organic cotton/spandex jersey, which we have been useing for fashion tops and dresses. The bamboo fabrics dye richly and are competitively priced with rayons. Price points for these fabrics run from $4-$5.75 a yard, and add about $$1.75-$2.25 in cost to a comparable garment made from a combed cotton fabric. The luxurious hand and marketing panache bring enough value for better priced garments as to warrant the added cost.

Friday, September 14, 2007


Well, we're here in Wilmington and the offices are starting to look like offices. We are sorting out the phone system. We have two phone lines, but are unable to rollover, so if you receive a busy signal on 910-399-2288 try calling 910-399-2289. An automated atendant (sorry!) will route you to the correct extension or take a message. We have already received our first visitor! Maile the beagle is happy as a clam being with her owners day in and out and haveing a front porch to laze on. She is happily snoring on her doggie bed as I type this.

I'll be posting more frequent blogs, once fully settled, on all things related to fabrics and apparel, so check back frequently!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Our Allentown facility completed the move to 825 N 4th St over the weekend and systems are up and running. Heather and I will finalize everything and hopefully be on the road Wednesday night Sept 12 back to NC. We should be back in operation on Friday down there and breathing a huge sigh of relief. FACTOID: It took 6 26 foot truckloads to move the Allentown facility. We appreciate everyones patience and kind words!