Business is Business and Personal is Personal. I agree to a certain extent, but I also know I wont do business with anyone I don't feel a good connection with. Life is too short to deal with stupid, simple as that and if I choose to do business with someone I do not like or respect that makes me stupid, ( IMO ) .
We spent almost a year finding the right manufacture for our apparel. Our list of criteria was specific and non negotiable.
1- High quality fabric. I was recently reminded of the importance of this, I bought a couple of cute summer tops, as I wanted to wear something other than my own apparel all the time ( I know! can you imagine? lol ) After one wash the stitching came out on one shirt and after two washes the fabric faded and pilled. Boo, clothes should last longer than that! Our apparel has to pass a min 30 wash test before I use it. I recently tested a new stitch on a reversible t shirt, it almost made 30 washes but stitches failed after 25, so it failed and was not put into production.
2- Full disclosure of all staff, products, warehouse and manufacturing plant. So basically I said I can show up at anytime unannounced and come in to the manufacturing plant. You'd be surprised how many said no to me, I mean really surprised, even though their fabric passed my tests and pricing would work, I had to skip them.
3- Family run- this was not a must for me, but a huge bonus if I could find a manufacturing plant that was a family run business. I did find that
4- Ideally wanted to stay within North America. I knew it would cost me more to manufacture, but staying in N America sure makes it easier for dropping in. As it was we found one in Mexico, terrible business trip I know.
5- Meet everyone- Yup, everyone. We flew to mexico a few times and met everyone involved with our apparel. We chatted and laughed and made great connections with them. Our last trip, my parents came along to meet them too. My parents live close by six months a year, so having this connection is a great bonus for us. My mare recently had a baby and I sent a picture to the owner of the manufacturing plant via WhatsApp, she loved the foal and congratulated me. That is the kind of connect I want with everyone involved with our apparel
that is it, that was my list, it is an odd list for many and certainly had many a manufacture thinking I was a wee nuts. That is okay. I aim to be different. I know not everyone cares where their clothes comes from, but I do believe the time is coming where buyers will demand to know who makes their clothes, in a world of choices, why not choose the one that you know, the one that makes you feel like family, the one that connects you. We are after all, all connected. M Sport 6= 6 degrees of separation, connecting you to your clothes.