Unmade Makes its Mark

Sadie Keljikian, Express Trade Capital

Unmade, a London startup, has a unique approach to sustainable, high-end knitwear. The company — as the name indicates — allows customers to customize colors and pattern arrangements before the garment is manufactured. Founded in 2013, the company has already received significant support from investors and consumers alike. The firm’s big-name backers include Connect Ventures, Felix Capital, and Jose Neves (CEO of Farfetch).

Each piece is specifically tailored to the customer’s exact specifications. This results in a method that involves almost no waste, leaving minimal off-cuts and no surplus merchandise.

Frédéric Court, Founder of Felix Capital said in a recent Forbes article “[Unmade] is a formidable enabler for creative talent to design and produce knitted garments that just couldn’t be created before, mainly because of supply chain and design technology limitations.”

Pieces are manufactured using the same type of industrial knitting machine that is used to mass-produced garments, meaning that the knitwear is high quality, but not nearly as expensive as a typical custom made garment. Each piece is created using recently developed software, called Knyttan, which automates the production process.

The plan is to eventually establish production facilities internationally, making the process even simpler by limiting shipping distances to allow customers to create their custom garments and receive them faster. If the investors involved with Unmade are as confident as they appear, we may see Unmade expand beyond its London home into the U.S. soon.

Click here to learn how ETC can help you fund your design firm.

Contact us for more information.

West Bank Country of Origin Marking Requirements

As per U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), those manufacturing goods in West Bank must ensure that all goods produced in West Bank or Gaza Strip are marked correctly. Goods entering the U.S. from these locations must abide by these marking requirements.
Goods produced in West Bank or Gaza Strip must be marked as originating from:
• “West Bank”
• “Gaza”
• “Gaza Strip”
• “West Bank/Gaza Strip”
• “West Bank and Gaza” or
• “West Bank and Gaza Strip”
It is not acceptable to mark these goods with “Israel”, “Made in Israel”, “Occupied Territories-Israel” or any variation.

Visit our website.

Contact us for more information.

American Apparel’s Rehab

Sadie Keljikian, Express Trade Capital

It’s been a complicated year for American Apparel.

Founder and former CEO Dov Charney was fired following an internal misconduct investigation involving sexual harassment, defamation of a colleague and misuse of funds back in December of 2014. Since then, the company’s resilience has been repeatedly tested by Charney’s character, internal issues and declining sales.

American Apparel (“AA”) posted consecutive annual losses since 2010 (long before Charney was fired) and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October. During the company’s time under Chapter 11, new CEO Paula Schneider faced an insurrection of employees who were loyal to Charney and felt that new management was not living up to the standards that had been set in AA’s Los Angeles manufacturing facilities. Schneider responded with a memo asking staff “not to be influenced by unfounded personal attacks.”

Since his (very public) removal from the company, Charney has made numerous attempts to win or buy his way back to corporate control. He filed a $30 million dollar defamation case against the hedge fund controlling the company last spring, further depleting AA’s resources.

More recently, Charney and his allied investors from Hagan Capital Group and Silver Creek Capital offered to buy American Apparel in a $300 million bid last month, but were rejected in favor of one that gave control to the company’s debtors.

Schneider has attempted to rebuild the brand since she took over last year and is confident, despite recently mounting difficulties, that the company has a bright future. A Delaware Bankruptcy Court judge approved the new reorganization plan and rejected Charney’s bid, allowing AA to exit Chapter 11 and begin to rebuild without Charney. Schneider says she is relieved to be in a position that will allow stabilization of the company. She plans to address and improve e-commerce operation, the wholesale business, and other “foundational” concerns. In a recent interview, Schneider said of the upcoming changes, “These aren’t sexy things. It’s making sure a size 6 is a size 6 in every pair of bottoms.”

Although American Apparel has had a rough go of it for the last five years, with Charney truly gone and the company refocusing on limiting overtime and creating a consistent product, it’s looking like the brand might finally be out of the woods.

Visit our website to learn about ETC’s financial solutions.

Contact us for more information.