We have worked at length with CMTC in months past – as we are always looking for ways to improve our small manufacturing business.  While it may sound like “the glamor of the entertainment industry,” there is the reality – which is that we have to actually “make and create” these super cool textile backdrops and drapes.  Therefore – manufacturers we are!


CMTC and Randy McKinley have certainly inspired us to look outside the box – and to turn to resources and solutions in parallel markets…..  and so recently I decided to start scouting for inspiration in the garment field.

Fabrics, sewing, notions, cutting, sewing machines, skilled labor needs….. check, check check! There is SO much in common – and yet interestingly our markets are just so far apart.

In 17 years of making backdrop and stage draperies I have never had the opportunity to see a large scale manufacturer of “clothing” in action here locally.  With so many items being imported, many facilities and fashion lines are importing their goods “ready sewn” from more affordable labor markets.

Bring on American Apparel.  I learned about them a few months ago – and began to fall in love with their brand, who they are, and of course what they do.  How can I not get excited to learn that there is a local – Los Angeles – sewing facility that employs 6,000 seamstresses in a non-sweat shop environment.  In fact, the American Apparel facility is like a campus! My visit there was very inspirational. I loved that they promote “having a career” in sewing, and not just “having a job”.  Indeed – sewing has been MY career – and I know all too often that it is seen as something you might do while looking to do “something more significant”.

They set a standard for employment that is both sustainable and invests in the future of these skills. Not to mention that they are also committed to the environment and the local neighborhoods.  They offset up to 20% of their facility electricity with solar panels, they recycle over 125,000 lbs of paper and plastic a year – not to mention the hundred thousand pounds of textile waste that they also recycle. They are conscious about their carbon footprint – something we all need to be.

They call it “sustainable and ethical manufacturing” – and I just LOVE it!

AMERICAN MADE by AMERICAN APPAREL – right here in Los Angeles.  Learn more about them here – and show your support! http://www.americanapparel.net/aboutus/

My hat is off!