A brief note before I start in – I am posting the below update a few weeks late. I am committed to continuing these weekly letters but am finding myself needing a bit more time for reflection to understand what the next step of this work looks like. So for the moment these letters may be less regular while I figure that out. Thank you for your patience and your continued support.
Earlier this month the first five blouses shipped out! This was bittersweet. I am so proud of them, proud of the design, the fit, what they represent, the sewing quality. The tough part is that, after writing last month I spoke at length with the Sew Co. team and learned that they do not have a sewer available who is trained to sew blouses and will not have this for the foreseeable future. To be clear, they did a wonderful job on the first five blouses but they had to work slowly to accomplish this at an hourly rate not feasible for selling these blouses to customers under the current model.
For the next 6 blouses we will be able to work with a home sewer but as of yet, we have no long term solution that would reliably allow us to make these blouses. The national shortage of sewers is acute and there is just no way around this fact as we work to build an apparel production model that values and pays sewists as skilled crafts people.
So for now I send these blouses out as seeds of our dream here together. Fittingly I’ve stamped the boxes with dandelions and am finding much peace in the idea of releasing these first blouses to the winds (or the UPS trucks of the world) and seeing what happens.
Thank you all very much for your support.
Go, fight, win.