April production trip: a look behind the scenes

April production trip: a look behind the scenes

Last month the time had finally come and after a long break due to Corona, Brand Director Katha and Designer Kerstin headed to Portugal to meet some of our main producers in person.

In an interview, designer Kerstin tells us about this exciting visit and what she experienced.

Hello Kerstin, it's nice that you're taking the time to let our customers take a look behind the scenes with this interview. I'm really excited to hear what you have to say. After all, this was your first personal contact with the Portuguese partners after starting at OGNX last year.

Hi Marisa. The visit was very inspiring and brought us a lot further in our development. I'm happy to be able to take a little bit with our customers. It was incredibly fun for me to finally get to know the producers in person, with whom I had been in contact by telephone and electronically in the past. This simply creates a completely different relationship of trust and makes collaboration more efficient in the long term.

Before you tell me a little more about your agenda, I would be interested to know how you came to work with these producers in the first place. How do you get to know sustainable producers and start a collaboration?

It is always different. We get to know the producers at trade fairs, for example, or search for them specifically via so-called sourcing platforms. However, it can also happen that a producer contacts us themselves. If we are interested, we will arrange an appointment - initially online and later in person on site. There we will then convince ourselves personally of the production conditions. If these meet our quality standards, an initial sample is usually ordered and the finished product is later developed together.

Our production in Portugal

The sewing station. All seamstresses have enough space and brightness here.

Production trip to Portugal

The cut. We place the parts in such a way that there is as little waste as possible.

Production trip to Portugal

They were able to plan the upcoming collections together with the producer.

The producers in Portugal are already “old hands” and we have been working with them for a long time. What did you do during your visit there?

Even if you already know the producers, it is important to visit them regularly in order to strengthen the relationship and promote trusting cooperation. We used the days in Portugal to gather inspiration and further develop prototypes with the producer. In this context, we have already determined the entire collection for spring and summer 2023 and presented new fabric qualities.

I don't want to give too much away, but you can look forward to fluffy sweat qualities and supple and super elastic functional fabrics.

Of course, discussing something like this on site is much quicker than sending lots of emails and pictures back and forth. It was also exciting for me to get to know the faces behind the names and to see the production facilities live for the first time. We not only discussed the products, but also the effects of the Corona crisis and the Ukraine war.

A lack of raw materials or the sharp increase in raw material and energy prices are certainly causing a lot of problems for producers?

We are very happy to have survived the pandemic largely unscathed as things stand today and have not lost any producers in the process. However, the war and the shortage of raw materials are causing us a lot of trouble at the moment. We are working on a solution to distribute the sharply increased energy and cotton prices in such a way that neither consumers nor producers are burdened too much. It's not that easy.

I can imagine that. I am sure you will find a solution for all parties. At the same time, we hope that this situation will not last long and that the situation will then ease somewhat. You mentioned earlier that you visited the production facility. How can you imagine this, what stations are there?

Which individual stations a production facility has depends, of course, on what exactly is being produced. However, as a rule there is

  • the pattern creation
  • the fabric warehouse
  • the sewing park
  • the packaging
  • the finishing (ironing, finishing)
  • the quality control
  • the sampling laboratory

One producer we met doesn't produce clothing at all, but will support us this year by producing paper packaging. This was a project that had been on our desk for a long time and we were now able to finally decide on its use and have already commissioned the designs of the bags.

Very cool. Thank you very much for your time Kerstin. This helps us a lot and gives us all a better understanding of your work.