Funded! This project was successfully funded on December 22, 2011.

Update #2

Production News from North Carolina

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In small, sleepy, North Carolina towns, there is a revitalization happening. The textile industry, albeit very, very slowly, is coming back to life. It’s the land of “made in the USA” — and it’s where our Versalette, from fiber to garment, is being created.

We went to Charlotte last week to see the process happen. Within a 200-mile radius, the yarn is spun, then knitted, and finally, the fabric goes to a sewing factory where it becomes a Versalette.

  We filmed our trip, and interviewed people who intimately know each step of the process:

  • The knitters, who have been developing recycled fabrics for almost 10 years.
  • The cut-and-sew “queen,” who has an engineering background and a love for logistics.
  • Our private-label contact, Patrick, who has been working to bring jobs back to America (with an intense passion).
  • And Julie, the woman who will be hand-dyeing our drawstrings with compostable dyes.

We’ll be writing about this trip often — it raised so many questions about sustainability, what’s “right,” American jobs, and how we fit into the bigger picture.
 
But the biggest question — for now — is production.
 
There are so many pieces to the puzzle that have to come together perfectly to pull this off. Since we’re doing it all for the first time, it makes each step a little bit more complex, and a bit more uncertain. We thought we gave ourselves enough of a buffer, but (as we should have expected!) are now working down to the wire to ship out Versalettes by the end of March.
 
And (of course) we’ve been freaking out a little bit. Okay… a lot. We don’t want to disappoint, and we always want to be the people who do things when they say they’re going to do them.
 
But every single person we met in North Carolina assured us, this is normal. What you’re feeling is normal, and the fact that it’s taking so long is normal. Welcome to manufacturing!
 
We’re waiting for a few more things to come together before sewing can begin. We know it’s worth the wait — we could have shipped nylon drawstrings from Bangladesh quicker than it’s taking for our organic cotton drawstrings to be manufactured (in the USA), and then hand-dyed with fiberactive dyes.
 
And we could have printed our labels, instead of having one woman embroider them on organic twill tape. It’s these little things that make a big difference in both jobs and sustainability — but they take time.
 
It’s a huge process, and of course we want to keep you posted. We hope you think it’s worth the wait, too. {r}

**NOTE TO OUR BACKERS** 

  • Prints will be shipped out early next week! $20 Backers, keep an eye out for those.
  • Women’s t-shirts will be shipped at the beginning of next week, too, for those of you who pledged $30 or $50. 
  • Men’s t-shirts will be shipped as soon as we get them in from our supplier. They’re finishing the navy recycled fabric as we speak, so after they’re sewn and printed, we’ll get those to you. We’re so, so appreciative of your patience!

Here are a few photos from our visit! 

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Comments

    1. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator gail asher on February 29, 2012

      stick to your principles!!! I'm so proud of all of you. Looking forward to my delivery. I'm sure it will be worth the wait!!

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    A VIDEO thank you e-card (to save paper, of course)! We promise to make it especially entertaining.

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    An original print, designed by us, on 100% post-consumer recycled paper (made in the USA) printed with soy and vegetable-based, low VOC inks.

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    A super-cool, ultra-soft t-shirt (in both women's and unisex styles). Made in the USA from 100% recycled fabric and printed with PVC and phthalate-free ink. Available in sizes XS-XXXL; turquoise for women & navy for unisex. You'll want to wear it every day.

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    YOUR OWN VERSALETTE, with a limited edition tag! Made in the USA from 100% recycled fabric (50% recycled cotton, and 50% recycled water bottles). (Note: Photos are a sample only. We'll offer a variety of colors you'll be able to choose from, such as black, grey, green, plum, etc.)

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