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Article: Why 'Sewn Where Sourced' Matters

Sewing tools on a table. Scissors, thread, and a measuring tape.

Why 'Sewn Where Sourced' Matters

Here at YALA, we are encouraged by the increased call for transparency in business, as people want to understand and feel good about what they support with their choices.

We want you to know we are here for these conversations. We may have shied away from them in the past because they can be complex and nuanced; it can get messy to unravel perception from fact. But mostly, we honestly fear we’ll bore you.

But we aren’t letting that stop us anymore. So today, we’d like to let you in on something we may have neglected to explain before: our unique ‘Sewn where Sourced’ production method and why it matters.

Our Production Partnership is Strong

Here in Southern Oregon, we employ a small staff of nine people, but what keeps things running is a decades-long partnership with our garment factory in China and the twenty-five long-time, skilled people who work there.

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 in Production

After our bamboo is grown and harvested in the Shunan Bamboo Forest in China, it gets chipped, processed into pulp, spun into yarn, and made into fabric nearby. The material then gets dyed in a closed-loop system of a neighboring facility and made into clothing in Changshu City, China. The finished product ships to our warehouse in Southern Oregon, where retail and wholesale orders are processed. 

Even though YALA clothing and bedding gets produced overseas, the entire process occurs within a relatively 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.

Domestic Made is Not Always

In contrast, it is common for US-grown fibers to get shipped to Turkey to process into yarn, then sent to India to make into fabric, and finally shipped back to the US to be sewn and sold as a domestic product. Production steps can be 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. It 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 comes from.

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 always strive to learn from our mistakes, embrace new ideas, and improve. Our global impact will always be a guiding factor in how we do business.

Thanks for tuning in, and take good care.

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