Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Looking towards the Future

To all of my long time followers and supporters, I'd like to introduce to you my new label, entitled simply, Jennifer Fukushima.  Launching August of 2014, with the new brand brings a host of new changes including new European fabrics, a new production team, high end finishing techniques and new prices.  This past season we tested the waters with many of these changes.  We had our fair share of turbulence, but we're getting the hang of things and will be ready to take off soon.

I know that this may surprise some of you and it may mean that the brand is no longer accessible to you or your clientele.  This truly makes me sad, however, we needed to move forward and this was the only way I could do so with the integrity that is so vital to the core of our mission.  Our focus moving forward will be on quality over quantity.

We were concerned about a number of things - first and foremost worker rights, but also quality, as well as streamlining our process.  

After researching and working with new manufacturers, it become blatantly obvious that one of the companies we've been using for a number of years did not pay their workers fairly and thus we had to look elsewhere.  Our new contractors come with an added cost, but also added quality and the assurance that these skilled workers are safe and fairly paid.  

Over our 12 year span of working with reclaimed vintage, it has become clear to us that we will never be able to offer the quality and consistency that customers expect.  It is difficult to predict the performance of materials of unknown origin throughout the process of sewing, washing and wearing.  Thus we've opted for all new materials (eco whenever possible).  We searched far and wide but were unable to source these specialty fabrics domestically, so we've gone with some reputable Italian suppliers.  Again, this change comes with an added price tag.  In addition, we've improved the quality of our finishings.  All items are pressed by an experienced professional so that seams lie flat and there are no strange bulges or puckers.  We've also taken measures to create beautiful, clean seam work both inside and out.

Lastly, streamlining our process has been a large factor in this change for us.  After 12 years in the business, I'm excited to be turning 30 this year.  I just can't see myself continuing to stress my body and mind by working day and night, sorting through dumpster sized bins of used clothing and hauling them from place to place in order to fulfill my vision.  I, like many of you hope to have a family someday and there just won't be time for all of this.

So as August nears, we'll be phasing out Paper People in order to introduce Jennifer Fukushima to the world.  I'd like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of those who have worked with and supported me over the years to make my dreams come true and to bring my designs to the hands and closets of women far and wide.  Follow my new brand on facebook to see our progress over the spring and summer months.

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