A business that fails to become its own version of the survival instructor meme once the crisis hits is at risk of disappearing. And what does that famous meme advise us to do in the face of adversity? IMPROVISE, ADAPT, OVERCOME.
Now, let’s see how that translates to the clothing industry. And let’s expand the adversity spectrum to the never-before-made products.
Garment manufacturers with fabric knitting facilities can improvise with knitting patterns and yarn combinations to fine-tune the fabric according to their clients’ specifications. That translates to faster lead times and more quality consistency.
Adapting manufacturing to different types of products translates to higher flexibility. And it’s usually smaller clothing factories that adapt to changes easier because the system they have to reorganize is less complex.
When a garment manufacturer focuses most of its capacity on custom-made clothing, it will grow a loyal client base. Such clients can help their manufacturers overcome crises like the COVID-19 pandemic.
We, as clothing manufacturers, have been dealt a bad hand in the wake of the pandemic. That’s because the majority of our production revolved around making clothing for marathons. And guess what events were among the first ones axed due to the coronavirus pandemic? That’s right – marathons.
This is Danimir Ljepava, an avid marathon runner. We made custom-made running tees for each time he participated in a big 6 marathon. Because of COVID-19, he is yet to participate in the Tokyo marathon.
So let’s see how the improvise-adapt-overcome meme applied in our battle with the COVID-19.
Once the coronavirus cancelled all the events we were to make clothes for, our production completely stopped. And it wasn’t likely that it would start any time soon. But then the same coronavirus brought business to us after a few weeks. In the first few months of the pandemic, one product that was in-demand worldwide was face masks.
That meant that our entire workforce had to relearn their profession a bit. Initially, it involved a lot of improvisation until we picked up the pace. That was the first time we worked with silver-coated and non-woven fabrics. Also, the first time we made such tiny products in such great numbers. But hey, face masks got us through.
The ascendance of face masks brought about permanent production change for us. Because once the face mask hype started simmering down, a new trend emerged – streetwear. A lot of small orders from startups were popping up every week, one of our major clients increased their demand for various types of streetwear, and we found ourselves in a completely new sportswear-free environment.
One trend we’re liking a lot is a surge in demand for sustainable fabrics and production methods. Hopefully, there will be more and more brands working with sustainable manufacturers. Being a small group of dedicated professionals (there are currently 171 people working at FUSH˚), we pulled off this switch relatively easily. And we’re getting better at it with each passing day.
As we said earlier in the text, having loyal clients can help you weather the storm. It surely helped us. Two big clients of ours didn’t cancel their pre-coronavirus orders. And they ordered merch for events that got cancelled due to the pandemic. And then those same clients ordered so many face masks from us that we managed to work at nearly 100% capacity.
We provided the services of a CMT clothing manufacturer for both those clients, meaning we made clothes according to their specific instructions. Being that dependable makes you a valuable asset that a big business wouldn’t be willing to give up.
Now that you know that FUSH˚ can overcome unexpected obstacles, there’s nothing left to do but reach out. Keep in mind that our minimum order quantity is 500 pieces per design or colour.