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Discussions about the fashion industry thread

King Calder

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What's crazy to me is that my first pair of Warby Parker glasses in like 2011(there-abouts?) was $95 and a decade later their entry level acetate glasses are still that price. I'm sure there's still a hefty margin baked into that price, but honestly if they'd raised those prices to like $125 in the interim I wouldn't have blinked. I just bought another pair of prescription sunglasses from them two months ago for $175 and that still feels like a deal to me.
 

jah786

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Nice to see GQ write about clothes again. Rachel Tashjian is a great writer; I always learn something when I read her work. Some good brands on the list. Was surprised to not see Rowing Blazers on there. Not a brand I shop with, but they have made an impact in the sportswear market for sure. If we are talking about brands of a certain size or exposure level, then Buck Mason and Faherty brand are notable exceptions as well.

https://www.gq.com/story/the-new-american-sportswear

The only thing I didn't understand was Noah being a sub 1M brand. that just doesn't seem possible. Maybe a misquote?
 

dieworkwear

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Have people been following the passage of SB-62 in California? I know there are some people here who work in garment manufacturing (such as @jah786 and @Epaulet). I'd be curious to hear their thoughts on the details of this bill and/ or the garment industry's piece-rate system.

Bill:



An article:


 

clee1982

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Have people been following the passage of SB-62 in California? I know there are some people here who work in garment manufacturing (such as @jah786 and @Epaulet). I'd be curious to hear their thoughts on the details of this bill and/ or the garment industry's piece-rate system.

Bill:



An article:


dumb question what's paid by the piece mean, like you make 1 shirt and I'll pay you, the shirt maker $50 (or I guess if things are chopped if you attach the shoulder on this suit I pay you x)?

The bill would prohibit any employee engaged in the performance of garment manufacturing to be paid by the piece or unit, or by the piece rate, except as specified
 

dieworkwear

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dumb question what's paid by the piece mean, like you make 1 shirt and I'll pay you, the shirt maker $50 (or I guess if things are chopped if you attach the shoulder on this suit I pay you x)?

The bill would prohibit any employee engaged in the performance of garment manufacturing to be paid by the piece or unit, or by the piece rate, except as specified
Piece rate means the garment worker gets paid by each piece they help produce.

Supporters say it's a way to keep up productivity. Critics say it's a way to skirt minimum wage rules.

The new SB-62 has a bunch of things (outlined in the article I linked), but it's basically about getting rid of the piece-rate system and making brands responsible for the factories they use.




 

cb200

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The only thing I didn't understand was Noah being a sub 1M brand. that just doesn't seem possible. Maybe a misquote?
100% thought the same thing. Unless they are working on favours the MOQs for the things I've seen would mean they have to be above that in terms of top line sales to do what they do...
 

ValidusLA

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Have people been following the passage of SB-62 in California? I know there are some people here who work in garment manufacturing (such as @jah786 and @Epaulet). I'd be curious to hear their thoughts on the details of this bill and/ or the garment industry's piece-rate system.

Bill:



An article:


I haven't been following it, but my general impression is that piece rating is usually pretty predatory.

We do most of our production overseas, but we have a certain number of garment workers in LA. All our garment workers are paid hourly, full breaks, holiday, 401k, 100% of health insurance paid, and all the benefits of the rest of our staff.

Ive heard pretty bad stories from some of my QC workers who used ro work piece rate garments.
 

dieworkwear

Mahatma Jawndi
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I haven't been following it, but my general impression is that piece rating is usually pretty predatory.
That's my impression as well.

TBH, when I hear about the outworker system in Italy and Britain, sometimes it's painted as this very quaint and romantic thing. But it also seems like a way to skirt wage and labor laws.

In the US, I can't think of why we should keep this system. I'm sure some factories will close if SB62 passes, but I also don't think those factories should be around. They seem terribly exploitative. Consumers sometimes buy into the MiUSA idea because they assume labor laws here are stringent and sweatshops don't exist, but this piece-rate system undermines that.

 

clee1982

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Piece rate means the garment worker gets paid by each piece they help produce.

Supporters say it's a way to keep up productivity. Critics say it's a way to skirt minimum wage rules.

The new SB-62 has a bunch of things (outlined in the article I linked), but it's basically about getting rid of the piece-rate system and making brands responsible for the factories they use.




didn't read the bill, but I saw in her twitter there is joint liability, that would definitely change something, wonder how that would work if the brand is in say NY but order bunch jeans to be made in CA?
 

cb200

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I'll need to read the linked to thing... but in bulk production operators are not going to be completing a whole garment in one go. Even a simple t-shirt when broken down into an order of operations will have multiple operators and machines as each step requires different operations and machines. The work units may have different value to the operation. So they may be compensated differently. Piece work allows for that.

Now imagine something more complex with pockets and a lining, buttons, button holes, center front zippers, fly, belt loops etc each of those steps will require different machines and operators. It's more efficient to move bundles of work in progress (partially finished goods) than have people take a single garment through each step and machine. It can be done, but not efficiently.

There are ways of organizing production into cells that are a bit different too. Tracking the work done is important and knowing the progress is key to that, knowing how many pieces of a sub assembly are done needs to happen... linking compensation to production isn't necessarily a bad thing... but it seems to turn out that way. Min wage laws should always apply.
 

jah786

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Have people been following the passage of SB-62 in California? I know there are some people here who work in garment manufacturing (such as @jah786 and @Epaulet). I'd be curious to hear their thoughts on the details of this bill and/ or the garment industry's piece-rate system.

Bill:



An article:


I was not aware of this bill. I know LA has had its share of problems with worker abuse and/or unfair practices. I haven't observed this at factories that I specifically work with, but I also don't live in the area and the number of observation points are low.

I did visit a factory in Philadelphia last week that had two different floors and each floor had a different system. One floor was the piece work and the other floor was hourly. This was by design and totally voluntary. Workers who did piece work were there because could make more per hour due to being fast and efficient. The hourly folks sewed slower but had a set rate and worked on more complicated garments. The garments made by the pieceworkers had to be a blend - not too complicated or they would be hard to sew quickly but special enough to sustain the price of domestic labor. The factory owner described the process of deciding which kind of garment went to which sewing floor of his factory. It was pretty interesting.
 

dieworkwear

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I'll need to read the linked to thing... but in bulk production operators are not going to be completing a whole garment in one go. Even a simple t-shirt when broken down into an order of operations will have multiple operators and machines as each step requires different operations and machines. The work units may have different value to the operation. So they may be compensated differently. Piece work allows for that.
Wouldn't a piece rate only allow you to scale down from the minimum wage? You can still pay people according to their skills -- nearly the entire labor market is organized like that. But with a minimum wage, the minimum is the baseline and you can scale up according to a person's skill.


I was not aware of this bill. I know LA has had its share of problems with worker abuse and/or unfair practices. I haven't observed this at factories that I specifically work with, but I also don't live in the area and the number of observation points are low.

I did visit a factory in Philadelphia last week that had two different floors and each floor had a different system. One floor was the piece work and the other floor was hourly. This was by design and totally voluntary. Workers who did piece work were there because could make more per hour due to being fast and efficient. The hourly folks sewed slower but had a set rate and worked on more complicated garments. The garments made by the pieceworkers had to be a blend - not too complicated or they would be hard to sew quickly but special enough to sustain the price of domestic labor. The factory owner described the process of deciding which kind of garment went to which sewing floor of his factory. It was pretty interesting.
This bill puts an onus on brands, who are contracting work out to factories. One of the challenges is that a brand then has to request the right papers and do extra paperwork (details outlined in the bill). Is this reasonable for small brands?
 

ValidusLA

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This bill puts an onus on brands, who are contracting work out to factories. One of the challenges is that a brand then has to request the right papers and do extra paperwork (details outlined in the bill). Is this reasonable for small brands?
This really isn't reasonable in my opinion.

Enforce on the factories. Chasing down another company's paperwork is a nightmare dreamed up by bureaucrats.

I recently had an ocean container held up in LALB because some customs officer wanted to see timesheets for the fieldworkers who picked the cotton thst went into the denim. Which is insane.

We cleared through after a couple days because all the SKUs in the container were BCI cotton, but there is a reason small business owners meet in dark corners and grumble about the gubment.
 

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