Sunday, August 7, 2011

Factory Visits - Introduction

I like production.

Like many others I tend to look at the country of origin before purchasing a piece of clothing. I prefer my garments made in Denmark, England, France, Germany, Japan or the US. Of course it depends on the actual item and the history of it, but overall I dislike goods made in China, Taiwan or Bangladesh. And I absolutely hate the term "Designed in xx-somewhere-xx".

I also like to see how things are made, what they are made of and what goes into making it. This has lead me to hours of research on the Internet and in books of all sorts. I'm really curious and always eager to learn something new. Always.
It has even lead me to actually wanting to create stuff of my own, which means I'm now making things out of leather, mostly. I also collect tools, fabrics, sewing machines and books about all sorts of crafts.

With some influence from other bloggers like Michael Williams of ACL who started visiting factories in the US, I have also been visiting some factories and craftsmen in Denmark in order to document their bare existence.

Generally, when I speak with people in the fashion industry I always get the response, when I talk about local production, that there is nothing left in Denmark. I didn't accept that answer, and did some research of my own, and I discovered that there are still some makers left. Which is an idiosyncrasy, as the Danish garment industry used to employ a lot of people in the past.
In the last year or so some of the remaining makers have closed or even worse, outsourced their production. So it's a race against time to document the ones that are still producing clothing related goods in Denmark, however I intend to give it a try.
This will be an ongoing subject on After the Denim. And soon I'll post about some Danish leather craftsmen with an amazing heritage.

Now, if you want some factory porn right away, head over to Secret Forts and see his visit to Stanley & Sons' studio right here.
Also if you happen to know any Danish makers, factories, craftsmen or women or you have some stories from the garment industry in Denmark, please feel free to comment, I would love to hear from you.

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