Indie / Startup Designer Entrepreneur Resources
General information sources for emerging designers:
Fashion Incubator – Extensive resource of 2000+ pages of patternmaking, sewing, and manufacturing information geared towards helping designer entrepreneurs navigate the industry and understand a wide range of technical aspects of this business. Kathleen Fasanella’s background is in technical patternmaking, and she is also the author of the popular book “The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Sewn Product Manufacturing.” Buy her book for exclusive access to the site’s member-only forum – an excellent source of information on sourcing, construction, and many other industry topics.
Startup Fashion– initially created as a place for emerging designers to connect with one another, and has quickly become an overall comprehensive resource for emerging fashion professionals. They are a team of industry pros who come together to share knowledge and experience with those who are just starting out. It is their mission to create a space for those with an interest and passion for the industry to learn, share, network, and grow.
Fashion For Profit – Francine Harder, author of “Fashion For Profit,” a series of books dealing with various aspects of starting a fashion business, designed specifically for people who want to start or who have already started a new fashion line.
Fashion Business Incorporated – a non-profit organization that provides the fashion industry with entrepreneurial development, resources and training, to support its growth and profitability. They host regular workshops and webinars targeting business education, sourcing, networking opportunities, marketing, and consulting services through their resource center in L.A.
FashionDex – extensive database of contractors and material suppliers
AboutSources – industry sourcing information from contractors to trims to fabrics
Technical Illustrations, Specs, and Tech Packs
Designer’s Nexus – downloadable flat sketches, croquis, tech pack templates; Illustrator, Photoshop, and Excel tutorials and brushes.
Ethical, Eco, and Sustainable Fashion:
Eco Fashion World – resource guide to sustainable designer brands and online eco fashion stores
Social Alterations – an education lab for socially responsible fashion design
Ethical Fashion Forum – industry body dedicated to a sustainable future for fashion. A not for profit organisation, EFF aims to make it easy for fashion professionals to integrate sustainability at the heart of what they do.
EcoSalon – covering conscious fashion news and trends
Ecouterre – is a website devoted to the future of sustainable fashion design. They are dedicated to showcasing and supporting designers who not only contemplate cut, form, and drape, but also a garment’s social and environmental impact, from the cultivation of its fibers to its use and disposal. Their ethos: To follow the evolution of the apparel industry toward a more environmentally sound future, as well as facilitate a conversation about why sustainable fashion matters.
PR & Marketing:
PR Couture – PR Couture explores the ever-evolving role of public relations, marketing and social media in the fashion industry.
FashionablyMarketing.Me – a digital perspective on fashion, marketing, and media.
Business of Fashion – delivering daily fashion business intelligence on emerging designers, disruptive technologies and global brands that are making their mark on the industry at a time of unprecedented change.
We Connect Fashion – Connecting fashion brands, retailers, and service providers with each other and with marketplace intelligence since 1998. Helping fashion companies succeed with business networking, market research & fashion industry know-how.
General Indie / Startup Business Tips and Advice:
BizLadies – This excellent series on Design*Sponge is a collection of guest posts from creative indie entrepreneurs and covers a myriad of business topics and how to navigate the many aspects of running a business in today’s web-dominant marketplace
Local Living Economies:
BALLE – Network of socially responsible businesses. Believes that local, independent businesses are among our most potent change agents, uniquely prepared to take on the challenges of the twenty-first century with an agility, sense of place, and relationship-based approach others lack. They are more than employers and profit-makers; they are neighbors, community builders and the starting point for social innovation, aligning commerce with the common good and bringing transparency, accountability, and a caring human face to the marketplace.
Disclaimer: This directory is intended as an informational resource only. Although we initially research and have found value in all the companies and people mentioned here, COsewn doesn’t necessarily endorse all their products or their opinions, nor are we responsible for the competency of the professionals listed. We encourage you to examine any resources you may choose to use in order to verify that any professionals that you retain can provide services and counsel that are compatible with your individual needs. Asking questions, obtaining local references and understanding that you are responsible for your own choices by thorough reading and discussing the suitability of service providers is essential and is your responsibility.
It is important to understand the difference between a directory and a referral service. A directory is simply a list of professionals or businesses (the Yellow Pages is an example), and no recommendations, guarantees or endorsements are made regarding the quality of service you might expect from any of the professionals or businesses listed.
A referral service, on the other hand, is a screening service, and a recommendation is being made, with at least some endorsement of the professionals or businesses listed in the service. Usually, a referral service will require a professional or a business to meet some quality criteria before they are accepted into the referral service and included in the database. This might include certain professional qualifications, a specific number of years of experience, passing a special test or training program not required by everyone in the profession or business, an absence of consumer complaints about the professional or business, etc.
We offer a paid project management and consulting service where we provide referrals based on established relationships and industry credibility, should you desire personalized assistance in contracting an apparel service provider.
From time to time, COsewn will endorse, promote, or suggest services and/or products for sale. We strive for transparency along with credibility, so rest assured that our recommendations are ALWAYS based on a belief that the product and its creator will provide excellent and valuable information or service based on a review of that product, our relationship with that person, and/or a previous positive experience with that person or company. In some cases, we will be compensated if you decide to purchase a product based on our recommendation. In some cases, we will receive a product for free for review purposes. Please do your own due-diligence before making any purchase.