Behind The Seams: Industry challenges and a call to love our neighbours

Behind The Seams: Industry challenges and a call to love our neighbours

By Anthony Ma

My family has been manufacturing clothing domestically in Vancouver since the early 90’s. Needless to say, clothing is in my blood.

There are still fond childhood memories of long summer days spent in the factory, watching workers handcraft garments from start to finish. I still remember hanging out on the factory floor doodling on cardboard boxes while chatting with Angel at her sewing station.

In the age of fast fashion, it’s easy to take the industry for granted.

But there is so much that goes into producing the clothing that we wear: design and fitting, fabric cutting, sewing, washing and drying, pressing, folding, and packaging. That doesn’t include all the other complementary aspects such as operations, marketing, fulfillment, and brand management.

At Rise + Dew, we have so much respect for the work ethic and endurance of the people in this industry and we want you to know that behind every garment, there are skilled, precise, and thoughtful workers who take pride in their product.

Unfortunately, domestic manufacturing has experienced a steady decline over the last decade. It’s increasingly difficult to compete with the cost of overseas labour while people entering the domestic trade are few and far between, certainly not enough to replace those from the previous generation heading into retirement. Companies have no other options but to move production overseas or throw in the towel. 

We’re facing the same challenges.

Despite this, we chose to manufacture our first chapter locally because we’re called to love our neighbours. Being able to shake the hands of those who have spent their careers as the backbone of this industry makes a difference. The relationships we have are meaningful and the quality of their work is unmatched. We’re proud to have them as an extension of our team. 

We hope you can see and feel this as you put on your Victory sweatshirt.