The Ash City Fashion Show Event
Last Wednesday, I went to Canada to visit the headquarters of Ash City. The event included a warehouse tour, fashion show, and wine and cheese reception. I learned more than I expected about the process that goes into to creating promotional garments so I wanted to share my new knowledge with you.
The warehouse holds a lab to test all materials for strength performance, color fastness, wicking, snag-resistance and more. Before material is even accepted into the warehouse, all fabric suppliers (most from China) must abide by Ash City's list of chemicals that cannot be used as well as a short list of colors, making importing fabric less of a stress. All tests are done based on American standards of 1 through 5 (5 is the best, 1 is the worst). All rejected materials go back to the fabric suppliers for them to dye again or rework in another way (for example, dye a red shirt black if color is an issue). The time it takes for a material to make its way through the lab is typically 24 to 48 hours, because the daylight simulation process can take from 20 to 40 hours. There is no material that leaves the warehouse that has not been tested and approved by the lab.
We had such an extensive tour of the warehouse that I do not know that I can do it justice in a blog, but I will hit the key points.
1. Ash City takes eco initiatives by recycling used water to water greenery around the property and using 328 watt sleep lights.
2. A whole section of the warehouse is saved for Ash City trade show booths.
3. About 9 million garments are stored in the Richmond Hill warehouse (5 million in Kansas).