Here's a little peek into our operation:
This is our sampling and small batch setup which features arguably the best view of any sewing machine operator in the city. Much of our current stock is sewn right here. Dawn (pictured) works here, when she's not making soup. Shout out to East Van Soup Spoons!
Lloyd from B.L. Industries (pictured above) was our very first cutter and contractor. For years, he has been a critical contact in Montreal and in many ways also a mentor. He has spent his entire career in the garment business, joining his father as a teen. During winter, he'll often ski moguls in the morning then work a half day in the afternoon. In Montreal this is known as joie de vivre.
This is the address to Beau-Fab where we deal with Mario. His uncle Victor is an original factory owner from the early days of garment trade in Montreal (pictured above). Our very first order of fabric in 2013 was from Victor, gleaning the end rolls of their finest knits as their factory moved locations.
Globe-Tex deals with rolls of fabric that are the industry's 'odd and ends' selling them by the roll or by the metre at decent prices. Local knitting factories and manufacturers will sell to them what they don't use and we are there on the other end happy to collect and create. This place is a true gem and open to the public!
The country of Bangladesh is the world's 2nd largest Ready-Made Garment manufacturer. This industry accounts for roughly 80% of the countries exports, employing an estimated 4 million garment workers. Strides have been made improving both environmental and social practices in Bangladesh since the tragic events of 2013, and despite western views of overseas production, the conditions remain ripe for continued implementation. Notably, the ever widening access to both decent 4G internet as well as Facebook offer a new vein of communication to the end buyer of ethical production practices.
Friends Made has begun to establish connections with various manufacturing sources in Bangladesh. Our aim is to keep bringing you an ethical product, and in addition to our Canadian workforce, bring transparency and empowerment to those who desperately need the work from a global perspective. Above are some photos of the first exploratory mission. The mission was highly educational and truly Bangladesh thrives off the people's selflessness, generosity and willingness to help others. We believe it is important to give a nod to the hands that made your product, and aim to test the limits of what an ethical, lean and transparent manufacturing process looks like on a global scale.