Where to start?
Crisiswear has always been an uphill battle, but it’s been worth every minute of the hardship involved. When I created the label, I wanted all the clothing to be made in-house through a made-to-order business model. Mainly, this was due to my distrust of mass production and the quality control issues that stemmed from it. Over the years however, I have learned that it isn’t mass production per se that is the issue, but rather the difficulty in finding a manufacturing partner that shares our dedication to high-quality construction and ethical working conditions.
One of the other reasons we never pursued mass production with our label is that we simply never had the capital to properly stock up, and even if we did, I wanted to keep the brand US made. But, anyone familiar with the ins and outs of US clothing manufacturing can tell you, it’s often cost prohibitive. Instead, we began by training interns and fashion graduates--building an army of stitchers who were trained to be more focused and diligent while still learning new skills, such as pattern making, cutting, and design. All of this helped to increase the productivity of Crisiswear and bring to life garments never seen before and made to last.
The choice to adopt a made-to-order concept allowed for high-quality control for our complex and often overbuilt designs, but the major drawback quickly became turnaround time. Even in the beginning with far fewer clients, our fulfillment was around two to three months as all of the clothing was made by one person/stitcher: me. And now, even with two other stitchers including myself, we are still in the same boat, but far worse, thanks to pandemic induced supply chain issues and restrictions to safe working conditions.
We have been trying to change the way we do things for years, but there were always setbacks. Every time we would gain ground we would soon lose it by getting buried in orders. Cash crunches would lead to the need for sales, which would bury us under more orders, extending our wait times and on and on, with the light at the end of the tunnel getting dimmer and dimmer.
Waiting for change isn’t an option anymore, and now is the time to make it happen, and dive straight into the deep end. With that being said I’d like to explain what we have been working on, and be as transparent as I can about this pivotal point for the future of Crisiswear. We are in the process of converting our current business model to an inventory based model. What this means is that our fulfillment time will be reduced to what gear we currently have in stock, which will ship immediately once an order is placed. All Crisiswear designs moving forward will only be released once we have full size run stock made. This process will also allow us to reduce waste textiles by offering limited edition gear with low stock discontinued fabric.
It will definitely take some time to build stock for our current line, but to do so we are focusing on finishing all pending made-to-order orders as we move forward. By the beginning of next year we should be fully stocked. During this time we will be updating all sizes as stock is completed so we can keep the site up and running while these changes are made.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, and for your loyalty and patronage throughout these last 20 years. Without you, we would never even have to make such a positive change. See you on the other side.