Made by Maya Maya

Amanda took her first steps on producing Maya Maya's own goods a few years ago,. these have all been manufactured via the same source, an independent small ethical business. 

Here is some detailed information about Amanda's own supply chain for her own products provided her supply partner.

Every piece is responsibly made. That means that all aspects are considered. From fabric choice, to manufacture, dyeing or printing, embellishments, packaging, shipping etc. 

In China I have the most contacts due to over 20 years of working with various suppliers. I found truly wonderful people in that time. The main factory I use started out as a suit tailoring business and they kept up with the personal touch and impeccable quality. It's still run as a family business despite growing larger and continuously scaling up. They pay people fairly, working conditions are great and there are even social incentives such as childcare, medical care and free canteen on site. They engage in recycling schemes and have passed environmental tests with flying colours.

Currently I work with two fabric suppliers, who understand my sustainability preferences and are able to find textiles to suit. Including dead stock fabrics and trims, circularly produced fabrics, Azo free dyed textiles and more. Preference here is given to natural and naturally derived fabrics as these are biodegradable. When synthetic fabrics are used, the suppliers try to find mills that have better environmental standards (using less water in production, reusing certain chemicals, recycling waste etc).

One question that comes up a lot is travel footprint for manufacturing in Asia. To that I can simply reply that most commercial fabrics are made in China and India, so either the fabric travels or the whole garment. Air or sea miles are the same. European fabric production is improving in some places, but in others factories are closing. Overall the output is small and prices are high. I am monitoring the developments and can advise when it's viable to produce something in Europe.

In Europe I work mainly with Italian suppliers. The minimums tend to be higher compared to China, but still acceptable. Again, all places have been vetted for working conditions and environmental standards. Turkey can be interesting but high levels of corruption and huge amount of bureaucracy make it complicated and not good for smaller businesses.

My experience with production in UK is not consistent. Quality varies, people are unreliable and making in small quantities is often difficult. Plus you have to consider sampling costs, which with pattern development can amount to 10-15 times the final quoted price. Most factories in the UK will not develop patterns or even make first samples. 

I am willing to try again and again as I think supporting local is the best, but it's not easy.