Good Apparel: Reshoring Manufacturing + Ethical Design

© Shannon Grant, courtesy of Good Apparel © Shannon Grant, courtesy of Good Apparel © Shannon Grant, courtesy of Good Apparel © Shannon Grant, courtesy of Good Apparel

By Staff | Women
Posted Mar 31, 2017

Kathryn Hilderbrand’s journey into the clothing industry started at the age of sixteen when she apprenticed under an Italian tailor. She went on to study design and is an entrepreneur with over 30 years of experience in the fashion industry. Born in California, Hilderbrand worked for master tailors in Virginia Beach and on Cape Cod before settling down in Washington, D.C., and starting her own tailoring business in 2004. A victim of the recession, she shuttered that business and moved to Cape Cod where she began again.

Under the name Good Clothing Company​, Hilderbrand and her team have been providing ethical, sustainable and small batch production to local and emerging designers like Cape Cod’s own Fisherman’s Daughter and last year’s Project Runway runner-up: Rack Addick,  since 2015.

Responding to the need for local manufacturing, both in job creation to the region and to meet rising demand from designers for ‘made in USA’, earlier this year Hilderbrand signed a lease on an additional 10,000 square feet of mill space in Fall River. Shares Hilderbrand,

Fall River was an obvious choice for our second manufacturing facility. There is a rich history of manufacturing in that city, coupled with millions of sq. feet of abandoned mill space. Our mission with Good Clothing Company is, and always has been, to create jobs and opportunities within our industry that affect positive change.

The sustainable manufacturing facility is dedicated to re-shoring the US apparel industry, under ethical and sustainable practices, and local job creation. It is also home to the newly launched house line: Good Apparel (launched March 10), an ethical extension that marries Hildebrand’s skills, resources and desire for a better fashion industry. Shares Hilderbrand,

By producing in small batches, we are able to avoid excessive waste and overproduction. Everything for Good Apparel is developed and manufactured in-house, reducing our footprint and passing savings along to our consumer. Additional benefits that result from creating a completely vertical business model are quality control, US based jobs and higher wages for employees. Less waste, smarter production and quality product.

In addition, Good Apparel plans to disregard the traditional fashion calendar and will release new selections every 45-60 days or when inspired by locally sourced and sustainable fibers, like their new “Limited Linen” tunic dress, released today. Made from 100% linen, this versatile piece can go solo as a cover up or pair with jeans/leggings.

Of this slower, more ethical production method, Hildebrand shares,

The Good Apparel House Collection Woman knows the value and importance of mindful consumption and responsible fashion. She is creative, current and sophisticated. Producing in a small batch model allows us to release smaller capsules, produce less volume all while keeping collections current and fresh. Locally sourced textiles also play a big role in that decision and oftentimes determine the direction, quantity and creation of our collections.

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