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Choosing Factories With Care

Do you look at labels on clothes when you are shopping to see where they are made? I do.That’s because I have spent many years deciding which factories intimate apparel brands should use to make their products.

You have a set of factors you consider important when choosing products for your children. And ethical brands use similar criteria to choose suppliers. Lucky & Me care about these principles as well. These are the criteria we use when deciding which factories craft our products.

Safety

The primary consideration is always safety. This simple word has a multitude of applications. When we as parents think of safety, we’re always thinking about the safety of our children. In the factory setting, this means working with suppliers who ensure all elements of the product are safe, including the fabric, lace, thread, and any accessories.

Safety also means the factory holds their workers in high regard, and has policies and procedures which ensure a safe, healthy working environment. It also means hiring workers who are qualified, and not hiring workers who are underage.

Safety encompasses environmental concerns. It means choosing factories which adhere to the highest standards of environmental protections for the health and well being of those who work with the products and also neighbors who would be affected by unsafe practices. 

Quality

If you’re anything like me, you will look for the highest quality you can afford, especially for your kids. For some, this means organic cotton for its chemical-free properties and softness. Other parents focus on finding the right fit so undies don't ride up and are comfortable all day. Lucky & Me set high quality standards and then partner with mills and factories they know will be able to achieve those standards.

For many, quality comes down to attention to detail. In clothes, I look for the finest fabrics that feel good against my skin and solid construction that won’t fall apart in the wash or after a few wear cycles.

For my tween daughter, a key consideration is fashion, which also means clothes that hold their shape and color after washing. And in a factory, quality requires strict adherence to standards and procedures. Brands like Lucky & Me ask for specific fabrics, colors, sizes, and details. A factory focused on quality will follow the brand’s instructions and ensure that the product quality is intact. 

Value

Over the past 20 years or so, there has been a focus on the apparel industry and their practices when choosing factories, especially overseas factories. Many retailers used cost as their primary consideration when choosing suppliers, and this often resulted in poor quality, substandard working conditions, and environmental disasters. This leads to a decrease in both quality and reliability - and sometimes even safety. 

“You get what you pay for” is a cliché precisely because it’s true. We’re all looking for the best value when spending our hard-earned dollars. This means finding the best quality at a price that is affordable. At Lucky & Me, we are committed to providing a quality product at a reasonable price. 

Reliability

Another key consideration in choosing a supplier is reliability. We’ve all had the experience of buying a product once, loving it, and then the next time we purchase it, it’s not the same. These differences can be the result of a number of factors. Sometimes the fabrics are a little bit different, and don’t stretch the same amount. Sometimes it’s a sewing difference, one sewing machine operator takes more of a seam allowance than another. A good factory will identify these differences during their quality reviews, and ensure that the products they ship all adhere to the specifications.

Ethically Made

In recent years many major brands and government agencies have collaborated on identifying important considerations and standards for social responsibility. One program is called WRAP – Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production. All Lucky& Me factories are WRAP-certified. You can read more about factory certification and WRAP here. You can be certain that all Lucky and Me products are made with the highest dedication to the principles of Safety, Quality, Value, and Reliability.

Read more about how our values are applied to choosing factories on our Ethically Made page.


By Liz Smith. Liz has worked across the globe for many of the world's best known apparel brands, including Justice, Chico's, Victoria's Secret, and Hanes. She has worked closely with dozens of factories in more than 20 countries to ensure that production is of the highest standard. Liz has managed all aspects of garment production, from design through fabric development to sewing and merchandising - so she knows what it takes to make high-quality apparel. Liz is thrilled to share her knowledge about clothes to help discerning customers choose the finest products. 

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