Thanks to the revival of U.S. manufacturing over the last several years, many up-and-coming clothing brands now have access to improved methods for production (i.e. creating garments in small, limited batches). Small batch clothing provides a wonderful way for makers to build their brand identity, while also giving consumers a chance to own exclusive, quality items.
What is small batch clothing?
Small batch clothing describes garments that are made in a small production run, which typically means between 30 and 500 units (per run). In the past, clothing factories and manufacturers worked almost exclusively with ‘well-established’ brands on large scale orders; but today, small batch production has been gaining in popularity. Slow fashion labels who specialize in small batch clothing can test different products and try more styles once they learn what their customers like — meaning there’s also less inventory (and less waste) to try and manage.
4 benefits of buying small batch
Reduce your carbon footprint
Small-scale production goes hand-in-hand with conscious consumerism, since this type of manufacturing cuts down on waste in a big way. Not only does small batch clothing use fewer resources, it reduces carbon emissions, as well. Whereas mass production assembly lines use tons of raw materials that end up polluting our environment, small businesses need less materials and machinery to make their garments (translating to a very modest carbon footprint).
Own an exclusive item
When a fast fashion brand releases a new collection, they’ll produce thousands of the same shirt, dress, jacket, and so on. With that in mind, there’s no real exclusivity on the pieces you purchase from a fast fashion retailer; instead, tons of other people will potentially be wearing the exact same thing. When you buy small batch clothing, however, you have an opportunity to wear more of a ‘one of a kind’ item, and really express your personal taste or individuality.
Enjoy greater quality
Let’s face it: quality clothing is only going to come from people who care enough to produce it. And unlike mass clothing manufacturers, small batch brands are inherently more involved with the entire production process. From the initial design, to the choice of fabric, to the construction itself, small businesses give special attention to every detail. The end result is a carefully created article of clothing that offers a nicer feel and better durability (for years of wear).
Support small businesses
The idea behind shopping small (like investing in small batch clothing) is all about knowing where your garments come from — and hopefully, who made them. When you buy from a small business or manufacturer, it’s likely their labor hasn’t been outsourced, which means fair wages for the workers and support for the local economy. In addition, small shops tend to provide superior customer service and give back to their community in ways mass producers don’t.
Why SiteSee creates small, limited batches
SiteSee is a clothing brand that’s dedicated to creating beautiful, sustainable, and functional pieces for digital nomads and female travelers. To help bring this vision to life, we only produce small batches of our garments, and really highlight the caliber of the materials and fabrics we use. It’s important to SiteSee that all the materials used in both our products *and* packaging are as high-quality and eco-friendly as possible.
At our core, SiteSee values environmental sustainability, respectful cultural exploration, and supporting fellow small businesses and artisans. And because we care so deeply about the planet and its preservation, we’re committed to reducing waste (including our carbon emissions) by manufacturing each of our collections in limited quantities.
Small batch clothing FAQs
Is small batch clothing expensive?
If you’ve ever purchased from a fast fashion brand, you’ve probably experienced the true meaning of ‘you get what you pay for.’ Although small batch clothing often costs more than mass produced pieces, it’s because you’re paying for higher-quality fabrics, ethical labor (and fair wages), and sustainable production practices.
What’s more, since small batch clothing is thoughtfully constructed and made to last, it’s actually more affordable in the long run; it won’t fall apart or need replacing after a few wears, as is true of most cheap clothing that’s produced in large factories.
What companies use small batch manufacturing?
These days, there are a number of slow fashion brands who are disrupting the industry through their ethical manufacturing and production processes. Some of today’s most loved slow fashion (and small batch) retailers include: SiteSee, GRAMMAR NYC, Two Days Off, Accompany, Taiyo, Tradlands, Whimsy + Row, Amour Vert, Hackwith Design House, and Vege Threads.
Each of these labels is doing their part to promote conscious consumerism and provide quality garments that don’t cause harm to our planet or its people.
How can I tell if a brand runs small, sustainable batches?
If you want to know whether a brand runs small batches, you can do a bit of research and find out for yourself! Most shops in the slow fashion category are happy to talk about their manufacturing strategies and the efforts they’re making toward sustainability (so you won’t have to look too hard to understand what they’re all about). On top of that, clothing tags are a big indicator of how an item was made, since they tell you *where* it came from. In general, clothing made in places like China, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Bangladesh does not support safe working conditions or the ethical treatment of their workers.