Not letting past setbacks stop me from future possibilities

By Katina Gad

What I mean when I say I’m re-launching is…

That I am changing the products I make, the fabric I use, and how I make them. But don’t worry, my process will still be environmentally friendly and ethical, maybe even more so than before! The best part is that the pieces in this collection will be a lot more affordable too.

When I originally launched Unity Outfitters I had the vision to create a clothing brand that would be made 100% ethically + sustainable, fair trade, supportive of women, artisan, etc… everything! That vision is still my long-term motivation and why, but now I am accepting that it will take time to build my business, and require several revisions to how I operate along the way.

"Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself." —Rumi

 

Why lingerie & sleepwear?
One of the reasons I initially chose to use “Outfitters” in my business name was because I like how it doesn’t limit what I put out to one category of clothing, and I always really wanted to create a collection of lingerie and sleepwear. So I am excited to take the opportunity to re-launch making something I really enjoy designing & creating.

New fabrics?
A big challenge for my eco/ethical business model in creating lingerie is the lack of sustainable & environmentally friendly materials available to produce with. There are little to no natural materials particularly made for this, so I’m working to develop some for the future in the Philippines, and looking for additional options in the USA and worldwide to work with in the future. Right now I am planning to use two materials that are eco-friendly and ethical including either a soy/organic cotton blend or a lyocel (regenerated wood-pulp)/organic cotton blend, and a footloom woven peace silk (harm free silk.) benefiting women weavers in India.

 

What are you working on now?
Now that I have my natural dye color stories all picked out, what I am up to right now is that my sample-making fabric is on the way, I am finalizing which of my designs to produce, I’m drafting the patterns for these to make sample pieces, and working on developing a kick-ass Kickstarter campaign so that I can fund this business growth through pre-selling without taking out a loan and going into debt or asking for donations.

Any more changes?
Along with many other things going on behind the scenes here (like my working part time jobs & setting up an airbnb in my house) I am also finalizing details to start working with a North Carolina based cut & sew facility. While I’m still going to be the one designing and developing our products, not having to cut and sew every item is one of the changes I am looking forward to most. Being able to manufacture ethically is a big deal to me, so I promise to keep working to a fair and just supply chain.

What can I do to help, you ask?
Please invite your friends to sign up for my mailing list or follow my blog? Growing a small business takes a village, and I really appreciate all the word of mouth love you can spread.

From time to time I hope to continue sharing personal updates like this instead of just blogging about the fashion industry. I want to keep you all in the loop about my business and my process as an artist and human being. If there are ever any topics you want me to cover on my blog, or if you would like to guest blog, please drop me a line and shout it out!

XOXO – Katina

P.S. I’m also hoping to sell off ALL OF my existing inventory before re-launching, so if you sign up for my mailing list I will give you 25% off right away, and if you stay tuned there I will continue to share the discount love with more deals for years to come.