We know when making a new garment, so many things need to happen at the same time, that the process can get confusing and seem scrambled. Whether you’re making a formal dress or an everyday t-shirt, the steps the garment must go through in order to come to life are the same. There’s the design-sampling-fitting stages, the fabric sourcing, finding the right factory partner, shipping all the pieces to that factory and then ensuring that your product is made correctly and shipped back to you as you originally imagined. Though it seems obvious, when you’re in the thick of it all the process does not feel this linear or organized and you can often get lost or take a wrong turn.
To keep everyone at our company on the same page, we made a map of a garments’ lifecycle. Initially the map was intended for internal use and to explain to our software developers (who don’t come from fashion production backgrounds) what it is they are building and giving them a visual of the bigger picture. Many times in a company, everyone is working on one little piece of the puzzle, so it’s always a useful reminder to see that we are all connected and building a product for a happy customer.
We’ve used this chart in meetings and presentations to explain our process, and everyone seems to find it to be helpful. After all, most designers are visual learners, so we hope you find it useful as well.