In a radical departure from traditional contract-based manufacturing, we’re proud to say that Beyond Retro LABEL is currently produced at a factory that is fully operated by us. Located in western India, we chose this area both for its proximity to our raw material, and for its people: India is a global hub for secondhand sorting (and thus an epicentre of vintage product), and approximately 34.5 million highly-skilled artisans* call it home. Years of sourcing vintage in the region made it a natural choice for our first factory and a more meaningful investment in the local community.
Our team is part of the Beyond Retro Family. Because LABEL is made off-bolt, e.g. with existing clothing versus rolled bolts of fabric, we have established a close working dialogue to address the unique challenges that arise when we try to cut pattern pieces from trouser legs, or fringe trim from a former suede jacket. Led by Raw Material Manager Padmini and Master Tailor Laxman, our 85 full-time employees are paid fair market wages for normal working hours, in a safe and comfortable facility that is maintained with care. We skype daily, and visit in person several times per year to say hello, collaborate on our latest designs, and ensure both the people and the premises are in healthy working order.
Location matters, people matter, style matters. We like to be at the heart of the action with a project that makes a difference. Crafting clothes from clothes in a factory across the street from our sorting facility yields a clear reduction in carbon emissions, and a rare flexibility with materials that allows us to maintain a zero-waste policy: we can return any fabric that doesn’t pass the prototype phase, and all scraps are recycled back through the facility to be cut or shredded for use as industrial rags, fillers and more. This closes the loop: pretty neat, we think.
Take our Factory Tour and Meet our Makers below:
*Tewari, Bandana. “Luxury Brands Must Credit Craftspeople.” The Business of Fashion. 22 April 2015.