LIMITED RUNS / LIMITING WASTE

THE PERSONAL STORY BEHIND OUR DECISION

Ever go to the fabric district in NY, or even Philadelphia? If you have, you'll remember the stores you encountered with 1000s of fabrics of every print, texture, color -- enough to make you get chills & come up with a million ideas in one afternoon.  Most of these stores are actually selling you the last yards from a designer or Mill called End Runs. This means that you are seeing the last 20/50--even 300 yards from a much larger run they are no longer using. In 2009 I spent countless hours in these stores, learning about materials and testing/trying what worked-- what inspired me. 

In 2011 & 2012 I launched a line in Old City Philadelphia under my first name --Kendra. We sold direct to customers from a pop-up shop I opened in my neighborhood, which I worked nights & weekends after work. The crew that helped was excellent but were custom ateliers, not manufacturing-industry people. Our line did well locally, but fit was inconsistent and I cringed every time we ran a production of goods, not knowing their chance for good fit or sell through. 

We ran one more production in 2014, which was a beautiful collection of cashmere tunics -- but again, fit was inconsistent and I finally made a decision: it was time I learn the basics of pattern making, fit and how to develop a line, so I did. The pain of running beautiful garments in quantity seemed wasteful and was frankly painful for my capital supply.

I shut down my LLC and took a step back for about a year, then I started again. I spent weekends alone for almost 18 months teaching myself pattern-making, took some weekend courses with a professor, and attempted to make samples after about 14 months of self-teaching. I even made one dress 11 times before I started to get it right.

By 2017 I was ready to begin putting the pieces together of what is now CHAR-COAL. As a business person & creative, I thought about what works and what I want: I want the joy of creating each piece from an inspired fabric. I don't want to waste ANY MORE by running large inventories -- which wastes my capital resources & contributes further to this vast wastefulness I was seeing.

So began our business model, and my purpose.

LIMITED RUNS

From above you now know I see opportunity in hurdles or obstacles. The same is true for our fabrics. Where some may see that they can only access limited yardage of a fabric, I see it like cool artwork. Each textile is destined to become a particular garment, and so we offer only 10 or 20 (for now). The End Runs market is large, and we can access more as we grow, but for now -- we stay small.

So, we use Designer End Runs to create a LIMITED RUN of each garment. 

LIMITING WASTE  - #GFNR

If you've read above, you know that we agree. The fashion industry is inherently wasteful and is thankfully trending toward sustainability. However, in starting CHAR-COAL I wanted to think about how this translates for me personally. I'm happy to say that we are now finally able to execute a mini-mission that I always envisioned -- Encouraging Others through our End Cuts.

We have kept almost every quality End Cut from our production (all the way back from the Kendra line). Yes - I have rice bags of End Cuts. We decided to use them to do a 'different kind of good.' Remember the days when you were having a hard time, and someone sent you a personal note? Handwritten words like: hope you're doing okay, thinking of you, you've got this! We're bringing that back.

With each ONLINE ORDER, you have the option to send a GIFT FOR NO REASON (#GFNR) made from End Cuts to a friend, a sister, co-worker, ... whomever you choose.

We'll package and send it to her and we'll enclose a note -- just like sending flowers. Moreover, we will NOT market to her, we are genuinely trying to Encourage Others, Rise Tides...

Click here for more information about this Seasons #GFNR.