This is a story by Lauren Taranto, and her personal experience of working with Clothing Manufacturers Asia to launch her newest clothing line called, Zingara Collection.
Hi Lauren, tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m from Australia and live in a little town not too far from the coast with my husband and son. I’ve always had a passion for creating my own clothing and style, by doing things naturally and sustainably; caring for our earth is of the utmost importance to me. After having my son in early 2016, I had the option to go back to work or focus on my dream of starting a clothing line. I took a leap and created my clothing label, Zingara.
Zingara is made up of comfortable styles, using natural fibres, and lots of natural colours. I feel to me, one of the most important aspects of my clothing line, is that they are produced ethically. The production of Zingara has a positive impact on the people and community where it is produced.
When you first approached Clothing Manufacturers Asia, what happened?
“After sending an email explaining my vision of Zingara, I promptly heard back from a Client Services Manager. They teamed me up with my Production Manager, Luh Dewi, who has since helped me with every aspect of my production.” – Lauren
My Designs and Tech Packs
When I first approached CMA, I already had a vision for my first collection. But I didn’t have any tech packs; I had never done this before. I sent my first round of tech packs and Tano helped me review them.
Once Luh was assigned to me, she expertly helped me to create my remaining tech packs. I soon got the hang of it and in no time I had my designs drawn up, sizing figured out, and materials chosen.
I now prefer to send physical samples with my alteration instructions that explain changes to elements such as buttons, fabric, and colours. I find this is much faster for me and I love to be hands-on with my samples from the get go. It allows me to really get a feel for what I’m creating.
Not long after I started this venture, my family and I flew to Bali where we met Luh for the first time. I received my first completed samples. It was like magic seeing my designs come to life!
Having all your garments' details in tech packs allows manufacturers to provide accurate quotes and create exact patterns. Although using tech packs is the industry standard, sending samples with alteration instructions works just as well.” - Luh
Sourcing My Fabrics and Materials
Natural fabrics and natural colours are a big part of what Zingara is as a label. I knew I wanted to stick with fibres such as pure Cotton, Linen, Hemp and even Silk for future collections. To me, these materials are in their most natural form.
Luh and the CMA team have been amazing at sourcing my fabrics and they truly understand what I want.
I really love using natural earthy colours and CMA provides plant-based dyeing. The results are exquisite and makes my clothes look fabulous!
We're so excited to be using natural dyes for Lauren's fabrics. We use tree bark and leaves to make the dyes. Completely susutainable, this also aligns better with Lauren's brand and compliments her clothing for a truly natural look and feel.” - Luh
My Patterns and Samples
Nowadays, instead of creating tech packs, I work by sending physical samples accompanied by my alteration instructions. I feel this method works better for Luh and I. It allows us to work much more effectively together when we are reviewing changes on samples rather than on documents.
This also makes for a smoother transition for the manufacturer. They can get a feel for the garment and truly understand the changes I want to make. I feel it also takes less time to create my new samples instead of using a 2-dimensional document to work from.
When I make my samples, I choose to make them in the exact fabric that will be used in the final production. I prefer to use white or the natural colour of the fabric (called Ready-for-Dyeing), and sometimes I like to have a range of colour options. Having the additional colour options makes it easy for me to choose the final colours for production.
Once Luh has sent me my completed samples, I then decide if they need any further adjustments and test the sizing and fit. If I need to make any adjustments, I send them back with notes and give the go ahead for production.
Luh and the team at CMA are always supportive at each stage of the sampling process. They also provide recommendations for fabrics, dyeing, and even the functionality of my styles in case something I design may not actually work how I want.
Lauren is such a treat to work with. She knows what she wants and is constantly communicative about her desires. We love that about her because it makes our work easier. Lauren’s productions always move from patterns to samples to mass production with ease.” - Luh
My Main Production
For my mass production runs, my manufacturer began by grading all my sizes for me. The original prototypes / samples are always made in one size to ensure that everything is as I want it to be first. Then the sizes are graded for all other sizes after I approve the final samples.
While my sizes were being graded, Luh began the production of my care labels and hang-tags. Having this done simultaneously with my production ensures that we don’t waste any time because once my garments are completed, I want everything checked and packaged right away for shipping.
Luh’s team also provides quality control checks along the entire life cycle of my production, from samples to mass production. That’s perfect for me because it means I get to have extra sets of eyes on my production at all times, which really reduces the number of rejected pieces at the end.
Production for my collections takes anywhere from 6 to 10 weeks, depending on the quantities and detail that needs to go into each item. Once the production is complete, it takes about 3 days to get to me in Australia. Amazing!