Happy New Year!
I feel like our new year really didn’t start until January 20. The optimism and change that Barack Obama’s administration brings to the table is quite inspiring. I think we are all ready to buckle down, get creative to find new ways to tackle the challenges ahead. Good luck to everyone in 2009!
New Laws Regarding Children’s Clothing – IMPORTANT!
If you are producing children’s clothing (or children’s toys, jewelry, or sewn products) you need to be aware of the passing of last year’s Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, which focuses on ensuring that any products for children 12 and under do not contain dangerous amount of lead and/or phthalates (found in plastics). This law goes into effect on February 10, 2009. There is a tentative exemption for items with lead parts that a child cannot access and products made of natural materials like cotton. As the law is currently written, products shipped to stores must be accompanied by a general conformity certificate showing there was third party testing on each product for lead and phthalates and that the product passed. Testing a garment or product could run $500 to $1,500. For a very large company making thousands of one style, the cost of the testing is not going to be much of an issue, but if you are making 100 to 500 per style, that could significantly increase your bottom line. Also, testing takes time (weeks or even months) and all manufacturers are working on a tight production schedule as it is. The fines are big for non-compliance. There is a fair amount of out-cry regarding this new law from small and mid-size manufacturers so stay tuned if this Act will directly affect you. I have found these three sites to be helpful: www.bloomberg.com, www.fashion-incubator.com (I love this site!) and www.etsy.com/community (then click on forum). Stay informed!
Center for Pattern Design (www.CenterForPatternDesign.org) is a non-profit membership organization focusing on elevating the art and science of the pattern through education, resources, a database, events and products. Sandra Ericson, the Director for the Center for Pattern Design, has been teaching patternmaking, draping and design classes in Northern California for over 30 years (including teaching Draping at Apparel Arts for a time.) She also publishes Antiquity Press books, an on-demand series of books and instructional materials on pattern design. Sandra is focusing on bringing influential designers, drapers and patternmakers to the US from Europe and Asia to share their knowledge with Center members. To quote Sandra, “Memberships make all goals possible.” Let’s keep this incredible local resource up and running.
Great Reads to Inspire
Future Fashion, White Papers, (Distributed by Chelsea Green), ISBN #978-639-4099
On of my students brought this book to my attention. It is a collection of essays focusing on the emerging green movement in the fashion and textile markets. The essays highlight production and manufacturing and educates the reader on the positive environmental impact of going green.
Madeleine Vionnet, (Chronicle Books), by Betty Kirke
If you are not familiar with Madeleine Vionnet, I suggest reading everything you can find on her. Her approach to the design and construction of women’s clothing was, and still is, very unique. Not only does this book highlight her life and accomplishments, it also shows in miniature many of her original patterns.
Until next time!