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Change is on the Horizon

Mary Alice Duff

Posted on November 16 2020

We're thrilled to be able to share some news with you... We're transitioning from a made-to-order production model to small batch production. This may come as a surprise but there are many benefits to this change that our team is so excited for! 

 

How small batch production works:

  1. We send our designs including our expert fit patterns, color and fabric selections to a factory
  2. They send samples for us to approve and fit test 
  3. We place an order with the factory using three years of sales data to prevent over production 
  4. They ship finished pieces to us and we store them here at our Philadelphia studio 
  5. We'll list those pieces on the site and our email subscribers will get first dibs (be sure to sign up if you haven't!)
  6. Your order is packaged and shipped from our studio within 2-3 business days

 

The current demand has outgrown our small team in our Philadelphia studio and we were able to find factories with the equipment and staff numbers to better suit our needs. These factories are located domestically and abroad and align with our ethics and sustainability standards. They all pay their garment workers a living wage, provide clean and safe working facilities and adhere to local labor laws. We look forward to introducing these factory partners to you in 2021. 

 

What won't change:

  • We design and create our patterns in house, perfecting our inclusive fit 
  • We use the most sustainable materials we can find
  • The people who make our clothes are treated fairly and with respect 
  • We design our patterns to create as little waste as possible
  • Scraps are recycled appropriately whenever possible
  • We maintain a plastic-free production lifestyle
  • The pieces produced will adhere to our high production standards

 

We anticipate launching with this new business model in February 2021. We plan to release new items each month, a few items at a time to build our offerings slowly. In the meantime, we’re working through the last of our made-to-order production; finalizing 2021 styles; developing technical packages to send to our factory partners and revamping our website. While we may be quiet between now and then, we are working hard behind the scenes.

 

Our in-house cut/sew production team will utilize their training in fashion design to transition into more design and technical oriented positions, while still spending a fair amount of time each week cutting and sewing prototypes, samples, and limited edition pieces. Each year we’ll release an extremely small number of limited edition pieces available expertly made in-house by our design team from deadstock fabrics. These will be the only items on our website that are made-to-order. 

 

Why we're excited:

  • No more long wait times! This is especially great for our seasonal collections like our linen pieces.
  • Painless returns for credit or cash--piece doesn’t fit or you don’t love it? No worries, exchange it or return it and get your return processed in the manner in which you paid.
  • An opportunity to level up our designs. Our current method of production hampers our ability to be our most creative selves. By partnering with factories who's skills and technologies surpass ours, we’ll be able to bring our true creative vision into the world (more color, more print, more styles!).
  • All our current employees have incredible educational and professional experience in fashion design. This new business model will create upward mobility for our staff while also increasing their wages.
  • Lower prices and increased accessibility on some of our products. By producing our pieces in small batches (vs. made to order) we’ll benefit from volume fabric purchasing and bulk cutting, bringing down the prices on some of our pieces without sacrificing quality or ethical standards.

 

We are confident that this new production model is the best decision to meet our current demand and help us grow as a business. We believe Alice Alexander has untapped potential that we want to strive for all while staying true to ourselves and our mission.

Best,

Mary Alice and the team at Alice Alexander 

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