Finding a good manufacturer for the production of a clothing line is no easy task, especially in times of corona. If you are currently unable or unwilling to travel and are still looking for a manufacturer for a new brand or who already have suppliers, but want to investigate whether it can be done more cheaply and sustainably, Men of Orange has come to the right place. "Travel is not necessary, we have samples from reliable manufacturers in our showrooms" Koen Ellerbeck and Eefje Witvoet worked for years as chief buyer and senior product developer at various Dutch fashion houses. Since 2016, they have been helping brands search for a premium clothing manufacturer with their company Men of Orange. It differs per brand what Men of Orange means to them. Ellerbeck: "Every customer is unique and we provide tailor-made assistance. For the services, the brands pay us a percentage of the orders they place." Ellerbeck and Witvoet saw the applications increase in this corona time. More brands are looking for help with their production process.
We Less travel "We have a lot of brands at the table that come to us now because they can't travel," Witvoet says. "Because we have been working with manufacturers for many years, it is no problem at all to communicate remotely. A few words are enough," she says. Ellerbeck and Witvoet have a large network and know exactly which manufacturers are reliable and produce high-quality clothing. Ellerbeck: "We have a suitable partner for every product group, both in Europe and in Asia." Brands don't just have to rely on good connections with manufacturers from Ellerbeck and Witvoet. They can also see with their own eyes exactly what these manufacturers can do - in the Netherlands. Men of Orange has three showrooms in Heemstede. Here are samples of all manufacturers with which the company works. Ellerbeck: "As a brand, you first want to see and feel what such a manufacturer produces. That's why we have it hanging in the showrooms." Produce closer to home The company can also help with other issues. For example, Men of Orange sees that more and more brands want to produce closer to home, but do not know how to approach this and with which manufacturers they can best work together. The brands not only want to produce closer to the Netherlands, because of the high transport costs, but also to be able to switch faster in this crazy time. Brands want to be more flexible. Sustainability also plays a role in this. "We can advise brands on this," says Witvoet. “Our production partners are fully engaged in sustainable developments. Organic cotton is almost a basic principle in this. Also think of GOTS certifications, recycled materials, but also new initiatives such as alternative dyeing processes with herbs instead of chemicals.'
New issues during the corona crisis According to Ellerbeck and Witvoet, fashion brands are currently facing new challenges. For many brands, for example, it is a moment to investigate where savings can be made and whether the production process can be more efficient, flexible and cheaper. There are also brands that look at how they can improve or expand certain product groups. Finally, there are brands that are very good in a certain product group and use this time to expand that range, but do not actually know how and where to start. From now on, all those brands can ignore Schiphol and drive on to Heemstede. Even when corona is over soon. For more information or to make an appointment, visit menoforange.nl.