Interesting post by Eunice Lee (person behind Unis) in response to comments made on the pricing of her garments on Commerce With A Conscience:
Unis is a very small company. I have one store in NYC and we wholesale to about 25 specialty boutiques in the US and Canada. I looked on Bill's Khakis website and they are sold in over 500 stores the US. I think you can try to number crunch and imagine the economy of scale. I may have heard some where that Bill's own their factory as well( not 100% sure)....which will most definitely reduce the price of cut and sew on the pants. I totally admire Bill's Khaksi! No criticism from me...
Manufacturing in the USA will cost more. Our minimum wage here is one of the highest in the world. On top of that there are VERY few factories left here, which means, I have fewer choices. Even if I made 5,000 pairs, the cost is the cost...there isn't a huge discount for that amount of work. I actually recently started to move my production out to LA because it's more affordable to manufacture ( and that's mainly because the overhead costs are much cheaper than NYC).
YOU, the consumer has chosen. You have chosen to buy cheaper, and companies have listened! They moved their production off shore. When you have so little manufacturing left in the USA, there are fewer factories who you can actually negotiate prices with.
What do you think the landed cost of a pair of $60 chinos are????
Most likely it's landed for less than $13 a pair...into the USA. That is TOTAL cost! Fabric, trim, wash, dye, cut & sew... ALL of it. Wow.
I'm going to explain to you more in detail why my Gio chino is the price it is. The fabric is a beautiful double weave cotton twill made in Italy. I use a very good quality corozo button(not plastic), the inside construction of the Gio chino is constructed just like a tailored pant with a full waist curtain. Cotton prices have gone through the roof. No one can lock down a price anymore. It's been crazy. The cost of shipping( gas prices)...all affects the final retail price.
On top of that...I have a very small dedicated staff, overhead and just the general cost of running a small business also adds to why my chinos cost $228.
FInally, my Gio chino has gotten so much press because it's the best fitting fashion chino out there. The guys buy the dressy unwashed version ( for more money) as well as the garment dyed slightly rumpled version. They both make your ass look great!
You may want to watch the documentary "Schmatta". It's a very interesting history on the garment industry.
By the way, watched Schmatta last night. Pretty grim: In 1965 95% of clothing sold in the US was made in the US. As of 2009 it's only 5%.
We just received our 1st delivery of Unis on Thursday. Cooly grey and Marine Gio Chinos are in. This season her shirting is probably by far the best in terms of fabric and design...we'd also like to extend free shipping across North America. Shoot me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org for any inquiries. Pictures to come...
We finally received our full shipment of Unis. Here is the colour palette of our Gio Chinos. Again if you guys have any questions, shoot me a pm or emial, email@example.com. We'll have more pictures over the next couple of days.