For Yael Aflalo, founder and owner of fashion company Reformation, outsourcing used to be the norm. Then, a trip to visit a factory in China set her on a different path.
“The air pollution was so intense, I found it difficult to breathe. And the visibility was reduced to a block,” she said. “It was really striking. I thought, ‘I don’t want do this anymore.’”
So she turned her attention to developing a business built on the concept of sustainable manufacturing, creating products with as little waste and pollution as possible.
Five-year-old Reformation is the product of that effort, and it has resonated with consumers enough that its revenue has tripled in the last two years. To keep up with the growth, she recently consolidated her New York and L.A. teams in a new 30,000-square-foot manufacturing facility east of downtown Los Angeles.
There, she uses vintage materials, unused fabric from larger manufacturers and eco fabrics. The company also makes use of recycled materials and renewable energy to fuel its operations.
“This is across the board really using sustainable solutions,” she said. “We use whatever we can to ensure that.”
Now she employs 105, with more than 60 working in the factory, and sells through two company-owned stores in New York and one in Los Angeles.
– Kay Chinn
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