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

Friday, January 23, 2009

Doldrums and Stagnation...What to Do?

Clearly, the effects of our economy are hitting every possible sector. Each day we witness more layoffs by venerable corporations, we watch the news and hear of crashing financial markets, states near bankruptcy, foreclosure rates climbing etc etc. We ask ourselves what to do to stimulate sales. With every action there is a reaction, and so it must be prophetic to surmise that opportunity rests within the cold hands of recession. What is it about your product that makes a small difference in peoples lives? With gloom all around would it not make sense to produce product that gives the wearer a feeling of pro-activity, of uplifting spirit or of empowerment? Everyone is looking for some small action that can make his or her day just a little bit better, and every day people must get dressed. Whether they put on pajamas to hang around the house, activewear to run errands, casual wear for meetings or formal wear for occasions, they all must put on undergarments, blouses, pants, skirts, jackets and hats. They must clothe their children.

There are thousands of creative minds out there working on the next seasons line, or developing a new one. Great ideas may be born, yet the inability to execute, either due to lack of know how, insufficient capital, or an inadequate confidance level, die out. There could not be a better time to channel your energies into creating a new custom private label apparel line that will seize the attention of those who still pass the shop windows or surf the internet looking for inspiration. Domestic custom clothing manufacturing may be wounded, but the channels are open and waiting for production. Domestic private label manufacturers still have to deal with material minimums, and custom colors and findings have to be made to order, but there are still willing and able apparel producers that have reasonable minimums and pricing. Style Source is one of those manufacturers, and if the domestic apparel prices are simply too high to compete within the selected channel, we offer full import custom private label sourcing. Our services include selection of the appropriate country and facilities (based on proven track records), sampling, in process quality control, a full warranty, logistics services, LDP pricing, and an established reliable quality supply chain. We handle everything from importing infant and childrenswear, casual wear, woven tops, slacks, jeans, accessory products (ties, belts, aprons, luggage) and polo shirts. Our minimums begin at 1200 pieces per style/600 per color, for most items (exceptions include sweaters, boxers,luggage). We will develop your labels, hang tags, custom packaging, etc, all as part of the service.

Consumer confidance is the engine of our economy. It must start like hunger does, as the realization that nourishment is required, builds into an all consuming urge to satisfy it. The first pangs of confidance will come from those of us that know, in our hearts, souls and minds, that this great nation will recover, and that our collective spirit is that first synapse alerting the body it is hungry. We are the front line, we are the backbone, and it is our positive influence on those we touch that will encourage them to feel that hunger as well, creating a groundswell of urgency in turning the tide.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Few More Bits on the CPSIA

It was brought to my attention that a class action suit is being filed against the CPSIA. The website to view the activities is . You will note that the counsel needs a retainer, so the more people that sign up the lower the cost per individual/company. Personally, I have recently contacted my states Secretary of Commerce, who happens to come from the apparel supply chain, and I encourage each and every one of you to contact your state representatives and let them know how blatantly unfair this law is to the childrens apparel manufacturers, crafters and retailers. We should be pushing for a delayed enforcement date and for clarification as to the frequency and quantification of testing criteria. It only makes sense that if downstream certification from all suppliers is obtained that an apparel item would be certifiable.

Another recently released article ( ) states that testing costs per garment would run in the $600+ range, and that the ruling clearly specifies each garment be tested. Clearly, this is untenable, and I do not read the act in that manner. Unfortunately, there is no clarity whatsoever on the rigors of sample size or frequency.

Monday, January 12, 2009


I have received at least a dozen calls from concerned customers about the new law passed by the Consumer Products Safety Commission in response to high lead and pthalate content in childrens products. I will try to cover. to the best of my understanding, how this new law affects childrens apparel.

- the law requires a product to be certified by the selling agent as having less than 600ppm of lead content. Verification of this must be performed by a third party testing laboratory, which would issue a conformance certificate. Although products made of raw fiber may eventually be excluded from the provision, they are currently in it.
- any textile going through processes that impart color, change the hand or involve a wet process will have to be certified. Unfortunately, there is no clarity as to whether certification by each supplier is adequate or whether there needs to be redundant testing as a fabric, or piece of apparel is processed. There is no definition for sample size or frequency of testing.
-The law, as currently written, also requires any product that exceeds the limit be removed from shelves and inventories. How a store might determine how many dyelots or sewn lots are represented in order to properly test them is unaddressed. The reality is that it is impractical and unfeasible to expect the wholesale liquidation of product. or the back testing of product, that may be in inventories. It is also unlikely there is enough laboratory capacity to test all product within a reasonable time.
It is my belief that there will be amendments to this law as the backlash of repercussions is felt. Already , a federal ruling on Friday announced that consignment and resale shops are exempt. This is likely the first of many "clarifications" the government will issue. ( go to to see the latest). Note that the CPSC cleary is targeting childrens toys and jewelry and items that pose a greater lead or pthalate hazard. Clothing would not typically fall in that catagory unless embellished with painted or plastic items.

Also, Kathleen Fasanella has been blogging about this for some time. You may want to see what she has to say at . Follow her blog string, as she covers allot of ground. If you want to read the act in entirety follow this link (pdf)

In the meantime, we are working with our supply chain to organize certifications throughout so that the final product will be backed by previous certificates of all componantry and processes (which may not be adequate). For instance, a garment made from dyed fabric with gripper snap attachments and a zipper would have certificates issued for the zippers, snaps, each chemical and dye used in the processing of the fabric, and possibly even testing of the water itself, if necessary. Hopefully, that will cover a finished garment without requiring the garment itself to be tested.

For those of you in the crafts market that hand embellish , dye, marbelize, hand paint, etc, you may have more to worry about. At the least you should ask for certification of the dyes, chemicals , paints and componants. Whether you will need to worry about testing the water in which you dye or wash the goods is yet to be answered.

For our import customers, it has been a bit more progressive overseas in that our suppliers have agreed to test the garments and forward the test resuts to us along with a blank certificate of compliance for you to sign upon reviewing the test results. It is the responsibility of the company selling at retail to sign the compliance certificate.

I will update you with any new information as soon as I hear it. In the meantime feel free to contact your state congressman and let them know what it means to you to have such a sweeping law passed without solicitation of public or industry comment. We know the intentions are good, but knee jerk reactions without consideration of the implications should not be modus operandi for government.