What happens if you want to expand your brand outside of the country? Specifically, Italy. Piece of cake (tiramisu), right? Just box up the goods and ship them over and they can sell in any retail store. Well, not the case. This is what a women’s retail customer of ours found out when they wanted to expand their brand into Italy.
Our customer called us in a panic as they didn’t know what to do with 60,000 moldy hats. These hats had two or three white mold spots on them and, as you would imagine, they didn’t want to put these on the shelves or in bags to ship to their website customers if this was present.
Hulk Hogan rips his shirt off when he gets into the wrestling ring…Superman’s shirt rips when changing from Clark Kent…The Incredible Hulk’s Clothing rips off when he turns into the green giant! These episodes of undressing are done on purpose. What if you are out at a fancy restaurant on a date and stretch to get something on the other side of the table and your shirt pops open because the buttons on the shirt you are wearing are not properly secured?
What if your kid was wearing a blue swim shirt that had dye on it that didn’t set properly on the shirt and when she would jump into the pool, the dye from the shirt would come off into the water around her. No Joke! One of our customers called us in March to ask Darn It’s Apparel Repair team if there was something we could do with 3,000 kids swim shirts that had this problem.
Many apparel and shoe manufacturers use silica packets at the factory level and place small packets in poly bags or large packets in boxes. These packets are a desiccant to keep moisture from damaging your items. They assist to absorb the moisture and keep everything dry.
We all know that there are some very expensive new sneakers in the stores today that look like they have been used and abused for years and have price tickets north of $500 a pair. These are very stylish brands that have really taken the market by storm.
No, we aren’t talking about custom suiting from your local tailor or men’s shop. We are talking about a major mistake that can occur in the apparel factory. Maybe the wrong size labels were given to the stitchers and sewn in the wrong garments. Maybe the garment when it was pre-washed shrunk too much and the fit doesn’t seem right. Lastly, maybe the specifications were not right to begin with and the garment is too loose.
What happens when a sprinkler pipe bursts in your main warehouse right above your new stock that just arrived a few days ago. You just unloaded the trucks onto new pallets and were preparing to put the stock away. When you arrived the next morning, all you could see were soaking wet cartons.
During the pandemic, many retailers overbought many different items when the world did not know what was coming next. Some of these retailers have quite a bit of extra goods on their floors or in their warehouses and are not sure what to do with all of it knowing that that they need to clear space for the fall and winter goods.
It’s always nice having a perfect fitting blouse for when you are headed to work or a night on the town. You put it on. The fabric feels great. The color and pattern look great, but something is wrong. The cuff is 3 times the size it should be and looks silly on you. What’s next?? You take the shirt off and head back to the store a few days later to return it.
Have you ever put on a new comfy plaid shirt to go out for the night and when checking yourself out in the mirror, you realize something is wrong? No, it’s not your hair or your shoes. You notice that the plaids aren’t matching up at the center of the shirt where it gets buttoned up.
Have you ever purchased a pair of pants that was labeled 30 inches in length, and they were actually 33 inches? Years ago, you may have driven to your local tailor shop and had them shortened your pants in a few days and you would be all set. Today, with the instant gratification of online stores and easy returns, you can quickly send the wrong size back the same day and get new ones a few days later.
The apparel world has seen many ups and downs over the last 18 months. There have been major shutdowns home and abroad. There have also been many supply chain challenges that have affected almost everyone and will continue to do so into the next few quarters.
Many of our customers have called us over the last few weeks with concerns about strong odors coming from shipments upon receipt in their distribution centers. Some of the concerns stem from the dyeing and finishing process in the factories. Other issues may have been caused by units being packed damp after pressing, packed in an extremely humid factory, or the shipment may have become wet in transit.
As we all are attempting to get back to normal, many of our customers are finding it exceedingly difficult to get their entire staff back into their respective warehouses. Of course, there are many reasons why people may not be coming back so fast. They may still be uncomfortable with the work environment during Covid. They may be home collecting unemployment.
We know that everyone gets upset when we are sitting at the dinner table and a drop of mustard lands on our shirt or when someone bumps into you while you are holding a glass of red wine and it get all over your sleeve. What do you do first? Find a stain spray or stain stick and hope that the stain comes out? Exactly! Then throw it in the wash and pray!
Have you ever put on a pair of your favorite sweatpants and notice immediately that something just doesn’t feel right around your waist? Does it ever feel all clumped up in a few spots? You look and feel around and realize that the waistband is twisted inside the layers of fabric. You slide, twist and move the elastic inside the waistband, and after 10 minutes have made it worse.
Over the last 24 years in business, Darn It! has been asked to perform many different tasks to satisfy an array of retailers, wholesalers, jobbers and importers. Some of these tasks are simple and some are very labor intensive. When our customer thinks of Darn It, they may think that we strictly handle quality control issues related to apparel inspections and apparel repair. But did you know that Darn It! also services many shoe retailers, accessory manufacturers and hardgoods retailers?
Being on a large cargo ship in the middle of the Pacific Ocean must be a scary place. You cannot see any land for days and it is going to take you a full month to reach your destination. Now, picture yourself AS A men’s casual suit travelling for a month with 2,000 other men’s neatly pressed suits inside of a 40-foot container. That is scary.
You need a trained team to quickly get first-quality goods back on shelves at full price.
Racing the clock to re-sort 9,000 pants in just 3 days! Speed and accuracy. Here at Darn It, we sometimes talk about our apparel sorting projects as if we’re in a car race, hurtling down the track at supersonic speeds. The metaphor isn’t far from the truth. In this business, there’s always a fast-approaching “finish line” – our customer’s deadline.
We all spend our days moving at 1,000 miles per hour putting out fires, meeting with customers, talking on the phone, talking to our team, our second family, our work family. We get knocks on our doors. We get interrupted 12 times. We eat at our desks. Before you know it, the workday (in the office) is over and you think back “what did I actually get done today?”