Designing + Manufacturing With Green in Mind

It’s Green Week at Maker’s Row! We’re counting down until Earth Day with tips on becoming more green.  Whether you are a brand or a manufacturer, sustainable options are available to add to a more eco-friendly society.

Designing with Green in Mind

As a fashion designer or entrepreneur, your brand can be more eco-friendly through the products you make. Green thinking can start with design all the way to manufacturing. In addition to working with an eco-friendly factory, here are a few ways you can participate in the sustainable fashion movement:

Zero-waste fashion refers to items of clothing that generate little or no textile waste in their production. TabiiJust is a zero waste womenswear clothing label that used Maker’s Row to launch their line. Pre-consumer zero-waste fashion aims to eliminate the waste of materials during manufacturing. Post-consumer zero-waste creates clothing from used garments such as second-hand clothing.

Try considering more sustainable and organic materials. This will take some research, but look at the renewability and source of a fiber, the process of how a raw fiber is turned into a textile, and the material’s total carbon footprint. All these add to a more sustainable fabric.  Natural fibers are fibers which are found in nature and are not petroleum-based. During your research, you might discover that natural fibers can be categorized into cellulose (plant fiber) and protein (animal fiber), and  can be used for anything from buttons to eyewear.


Recycled or reclaimed fibers are made from scraps of fabrics collected from clothing factories, which are processed back into short fibers for spinning into a new yarn. There are only a few facilities globally that are able to process the clippings.

If you’re direct to consumer e-commerce the type of packaging you ship can either harm or help the environment. It is possible to get eco-friendly boxes that are on-brand and recyclable.

Building An Eco-Friendly Factory

Designing a manufacturing system that eliminates waste is usually seen in the form of lean manufacturing. Lean manufacturing is a systematic method for the elimination of waste within a manufacturing system. It is also known as lean production, or just “lean.”  Lean can refer to a number of things. A “lean” company or process is one that maintains the proper standards of waste reduction or one that is “becoming lean” and aiming for the “lean” title.  “Becoming lean” refers to a process, a commitment to continually changing the manufacturing process until the status of “lean” is achieved. In addition, Lean Six Sigma Toolbox is a set of tools or methods used as resources to maintain or achieve “lean” status. Lastly, lean can also refer to a philosophy. Lean thinking is a business management philosophy that aims at reducing waste.

As a manufacturer, you can also incorporate green into your shipping. Consider using boxes from recycled material, like corrugated boxes.  

Want to look for eco-friendly factories on Maker’s Row?

Use the code GREENWEEK17 to get $10 off our essentials plan! (Ends on 4/22/17)

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