A few weeks have passed. We have feverishly continued to sample Garuda’s first release of Kit 1, its finally time to start sourcing and getting equipped for production.
Up until now, we have been sampling using inexpensive fabrics from local stores, sourcing from Schoeller was a different ball game altogether. I got in contact with Schoeller by email and was connected with the representative for the Oceanic region. Firstly I was informed that Schoeller only deals with companies, not individuals, so I had to set up a company which thankfully is a cakewalk in New Zealand. The entire process took 2 days if that.
Schoeller finally agrees to dispatch swatches. I had no clue what anything meant in terms of their fabrics and treatments so I just asked for swatches based on the intended application of pants shirts and jackets.
They notified me the MOQ was 200 meters. Uhhh what’s a MOQ? Minimum order quantity. 200 meters meant something like $8000.00 New Zealand Dollars. Welp back to the drawing board we can’t do that. Fortunately, they told me that they had spare fabrics from other consignments they could offer us and sent us the swatches only for the spare fabrics. Thankfully they were fine (I use the word fine because they worked but weren’t ideal) for the applications I had in mind. So we ordered the following:
Schoeller Cosmopolitan with 3XDRY treatment for pants - around 60 meters - Black and Sand
Schoeller Nanosphere for shirts - around 50 meters - Black, Grey and Yellow
Schoeller WB400 with soft shell membrane for jackets - around 30 meters - Black and Slate
I remember receiving the swatches and immediately thrusting them under a tap to see what the fuss was all about, needless to say, I was impressed the fabric had great resistance but felt amazing.
Okay so we have the main fabrics covered, all that’s left is hardware and fabric for tee shirts.
Sourcing both of those was quite easy, I found a merino supplier for tee shirts by asking around in fabric stores and getting connected to a wholesaler. Hardware was the same, I asked about RIRI zips and was put in touch with the New Zealand supplier for RIRI. I knew I wanted RIRI because all my favourite brands used it, thankfully their MOQ was only 10 units of each variant but they had a lead time of 8 weeks since every zip was custom made.
I say it was easy because I am talking in hindsight, of course, this part of the process required lots of work, from visiting suppliers, researching, doing the admin to make company accounts with suppliers, paying suppliers, the list goes on. So in case you’re reading this and planning on starting a brand just be aware it is not as straight forward as I type it, but you're smart you'll figure it out.
So now we have Schoeller, Merino, and hardware covered. The samples are progressing, the shirt came out great, the jacket had a bit of back and forth and the tees were one and done. Now it's time to find someone to make this stuff, I had no idea where to start so I went to my pattern maker for advice.