Last week's Elizabeth Cline presentation really drove home the fact that, regardless of how repetitive I sometimes feel having been talking about it on the pages of the Mercury for so many years, domestic manufacturing in general, and in the apparel industry in particular, is crucial on many levels. (This is far from just a problem for people who like fashion, in case you are still knee-jerking.) In my interview with Cline, she gave a shout-out to the handful of small-batch local apparel and accessory factories operating successfully here, Portland Garment Factory being the first and most high profile of its kind. In an article for CNN today, she did so again:
I was recently in Portland, Oregon, and met with the owners of Spooltown and the Portland Garment Factory, two small shops that have opened recently in a city that had very little existing garment industry infrastructure. They were able to build profitable manufacturing businesses from scratch. Just imagine what other Americans cities could do with the right government and consumer support.
Presciently, Hand-Eye Supply's excellently curated series of lectures/discussions with local makers, Curiosity Club, is featuring the women behind PGF, Britt Howard and Rosemary Robinson, for their next edition this Tuesday, Sept 18 at 6 pm in a talk titled "Journey Through Apparel Design and Manufacturing in the USA." Whether you're already on board with the important work that small firms like PGF are doing, or are just starting to realize that independent fashion may be more than simple frivolity, this is going to be a good one.