We sincerely hope you and your friends and family are safe during this global pandemic, hitting the global economy hard. While the health of everyone around us is important, we see large companies cancel orders in Bangladesh for 100 million+ USD. Corporate social responsibility? The large brands have been only looking at saving themselves, but putting thousands of jobs at risk.
When our customers with manufacturing in China reached out to us in February, telling us they have supply issues due to manufacturing places in China closing down because of COVID19 measures put in place by the Chinese government, we set up the client with us in less than 2 weeks. What’s more – now that the crisis in China seems to be under control, the customer will not pull out orders from our plant, but continue to manufacture garments in both China and Europe. The right thing to do! Especially keeping the sustainability topic in mind. Manufacturing in Europe has been a hot topic for years now.
Opportunity lays in difficult times.
What you should do right now? We believe that now is the time to fine-tune your sustainability programs. Are you doing enough effort to make your brand sustainable, do you have the best ethics in place? Can you move from bulk production to more flexible production with lower minimum order quantities (MOQ) with faster lead times?
What are we doing at Sportswear of Tomorrow?
When the first news arrived in Europe about the COVID19 outbreak arrived at us via customers who had manufacturing in China, we sat down with our customers and worked out an emergency manufacturing plan on how we could get them started with us as quickly as possible. Obviously, making such a fast switch isn’t easy. Many Asian suppliers purchase fabrics locally and there was no way we could the same fabrics from Asia as many companies had to shut their doors. Step 1 was to look for alternative suppliers of fabrics and trims. We can proudly say we managed this in less than a week with the support of our European suppliers.
Sportswear of Tomorrow is buying its raw materials exclusively from EU suppliers.
We had thought that the virus outbreak would be rather quickly under control. Unfortunately, the virus is hitting hard in Europe now, especially in Italy. With that, also the Italian government has put measures in place and forced our suppliers to in Italy to shut their doors as well.
In an attempt to fight the COVID19 virus, Sportswear of Tomorrow and its partners have transformed production lines to the manufacturing of medical and other protective gear and giving these items free of charge to local hospitals and organizations in need.
We have put all other orders on HOLD, for the time being, to prioritize the manufacturing of these protective clothing and accessories.
We are currently helping brands to build new collections, which will be launched in AW2021. We advise brands to look to fine-tune their collections, online stores. We believe the economy will quickly recover, once the governments in Europe are getting more flexible again on the measures they have put in place right now.
Do you have questions on your running orders or development projects? Please, get in touch via RFI@sportswearoftomorrow.com
Stay safe, everyone