FRW uses made to order technology to respond in real time to demand. By ditching the fast fashion business model and replacing it with made to order, FRW is able to cut costs and reduce excess inventory. Did you know that up to 30% of the fast fashion inventory made never sells? That's not our jam. We upcycle everything we can and never mass produce.
THE SOLUTIONS - CLICK HERE
THE PROBLEMS - CLICK HERE
MADE TO ORDER
Print on demand technology is the future of sustainable manufacturing. By scaling down from the traditional overseas factory model to what is called a "microfactory," we get process efficiencies that help the environment, customers and our business. It's a win-win-win.
On top of our efficient processes, we also are using more sustainable fabrics. In 2019 0% of our products were printed on recycled materials. In 2020 that number rose to 25%. Plus, we are now printing recycled fabrics for other brands, pretty cool right? By the end of 2021 we plan for that number to be over 50%!
Now for all the good we are doing, we still don't have natural fibers in the mix. We need $75,000 to make the next machine purchase that can dye natural fibers. COVID budget cuts delayed our planned acquisiton in 2020. We expect to be operational with natural fiber products as early as Q2 2021.
Our unique direct printing system is part of a new generation of polyester sublimation printing in the fashion industry. This sublimation transfer printing system optimizes excellent color reproducibility of the water based & non toxic ink, reduces paper costs and wastage, and increases productivity.
1% for the PLANET
We have partnered with 1% for the planet. In addition to our own sustainability efforts, a portion of every order with FRW goes to help fight climate change.
We love shopping — But it’s a huge contributor to climate change. Everyday in the U.S. alone, online orders travel about the same distance as going to the moon and back ...133,000 times. Make a positive change and choose to offset your carbon emissions at checkout!
We are currently using the remaining stock of non recycled materials and transitioning to recycled polymailers and recycled hangtags. Greener printer are our expert partners in sustainable packaging. We expect the transition to be complete by Q1 2021. On top of that, since we store and ship everything from our warehouse in San Diego, we do not package our indiviudal products in plastic like most online retailers. This alleviates tens of thousands of wasted plastic bags each year.
VISION FOR THE FUTURE
Building a brand is challenging. Building a more sustainable manufacturing business model at the same time...that's a whole different ball game. So why do we do it? Because we believe that the future needs leaders who are willing to do the hard work. It would be easier for us to order products from overseas, add a markup and just collect a check. That doesn't inspire either of us.
We are both Eannagram 7's & 8's, we need excitement and a challenge. Made to order is the future, democratizing manufacturing is the future. Little by little we are expanding our machines and services to other likeminded brands and individuals. We want to build the most sustainable business model possible. It's not going to be easy. But that is why we are doing it. Thanks for supporting FRW.
-Mike & Alyssa
So what is fast fashion?
Fast fashion is a term used to describe a highly profitable business model based on replicating catwalk trends and high-fashion designs, and mass-producing them at low cost.
History of Fast Fashion
Fast fashion has a long and complex history. There are pros and cons. However, we think the cons far outweigh the pros. So why has fast fashion been so successful? Why does a business model which is overwhelmingly bad for people and the planet even exist? The answer lies in understanding how macro trends like globalization create consumer habits over time.
Globalization is the process of interaction and integration among people, companies, and governments worldwide. Globalization has accelerated since the 18th century due to advances in technology. These advancements have impacted every area of our modern life, some we can see, others we can't.
The fashion industry responded to increased demand in the 50's and 60's by looking to outsource production to areas with lower manufacturing costs. Due to a number of political and economic reasons like trade agreements and labor laws, companies began looking for the cheapest places to produce. As demand increased it became normalized to purchase multiple articles of clothing each year. As of 2018, the average US Citizen bought 70 articles of clothing per year.
To keep up, the scale of manufacturing increased exponentially. This resulted in a supply and demand equiilibrium disruption, and ultimately caused what is called, "a race to the bottom." Manufacturers would charge less and less just to secure orders to support their scale. Which resulted in paying their laborers, mostly women, less and less to maintain a profitable margin.
In addition, the quality of material often got worse to keep costs low. And while manufacturers made the clothes to be sold, not all clothes could be sold as fashion became overproduced. However, the cheapening quality of clothing began to actually help the fast fashion business model. As clothes would fall apart after a few uses, consumers could easily buy a cheap replacement. Which helped balance the supply and demand equilibrium.
Consumers, the engine of our global economy have been shaped by the production methods they helped create. For decades US based consumers have opted for cheaper products. Why by a $40 shirt made in the USA when you can buy 3 shirts for $40 at Zara?
Companies like Walmart helped cement this behavior as they forced domestic companies to either outsource their manufacturing to remain competitive, or go out of business. As the internet revolution and Amazon rose to power in the 2000's, the same forces accelerated and drove even more businesses to race to the bottom across many industries.
The good news is that technology is now enabling local companies to create competitive products that last longer, are better for the environment, and more affordable than ever before. Click the solutions tab to learn more about what FRW is doing to solve the problems caused by fast fashion.
THE TRUE COST
Consumers are the engine of the economy and the environment is the exhaust. Fast fashion creates a massive amount of waste each year. It's business done bad, for a long time. We need more businesses to adopt the values of stewardship for the planet and it's people.
If you want to learn more about the traditional fashion industry, global supply chains, and the environmental impact check out documentary The True Cost.