Here at YALA we are so encouraged by the increased call for transparency, as people want more and more to feel good about what they are supporting with the purchases they make.
We want you to know we are here for these conversations. We may have shied away from them the past because they can be difficult and nuanced; it can get messy to unravel perception from fact. Honestly, sometimes we simply fear we’ll bore you.
But we aren’t letting that stop us anymore. Today we’d like to let you in on something we may have neglected to explain in the past, which is our unique ‘sewn where sourced’ production method.
Our Cooperation Operation is Growing Strong!
Here in Southern Oregon we employ a small staff of nine people, but what really keeps things running is a sixteen-year long relationship with our garment factory in China, and the twenty-five long-time, dedicated workers we partner with there.
The truth is, this partnership helps us achieve many of the ethical and sustainable standards we hold ourselves to, which is where our ‘sewn where sourced’ practice comes in. So, what does that mean? Let us break it down for you.
Transparency at Every Stage of Production
After our bamboo is grown and harvested in the Shunan Bamboo Forest in China it gets chipped, then processed into pulp which gets spun into yarn and made into fabric in a nearby region. The fabric then gets dyed in a neighboring facility, and finally made into clothing in our garment production factory in Changshu City, China. The finished product is then shipped to our warehouse in Southern Oregon where our staff processes mostly domestic, US orders.
Even though our clothing and bedding are produced overseas, the entire process occurs within a small footprint. And because that footprint lies within a single border, there are uniform safety regulations across every step, that are easy to monitor. We speak to our Head of Production in China Every. Single. Day.
Made in China... With Pride
In contrast, it is not uncommon for natural fibers grown in the US to get shipped to Turkey to be processed into yarn, then shipped to India to be made into fabric, and finally shipped back to the US to be sewn and sold as a domestic product. Production steps are often spread out all over the globe in pursuit of the lowest end cost.
This is why ‘sewn where sourced’ matters. Keeping a natural fiber’s entire manufacturing process from growth to finished product in a small radius reduces fuel and shipping materials, and ensures our products only cross the ocean one time. It provides good jobs to the people who live in the region where the natural resource is harvested.
We won’t deny that producing garments overseas is a huge responsibility. We face skepticism that is not unfounded, but is often based on the worst examples. We are not perfect but we are always striving to learn from our mistakes, embrace new ideas and do better. Our global impact will always be a guiding factor of how we do business.
Thanks for tuning in, and take good care.