This post was originally shared with Brunswick Park's newsletter subscribers in September 2015.
A long time ago we promised you transparency - even if it meant flying over the North Pole (yeah, we did that) to get it. It's been two weeks since we returned to Boston after a week in China visiting Brunswick Park's factory. It was an amazing experience getting to know the people manufacturing our products professionally and personally. While it was an expensive trip, it was so important to us that we went and shared this experience with you. You should always have the opportunity to understand where and how your clothes are made.
The trip was mentally and physically challenging (have you ever sat on a plane for 15 hours? No bueno). But more importantly, it was eye-opening. I learned more about creating a piece of clothing in those few days than in the past year. I could write a series with all of my thoughts on Hong Kong and our factory (which is a few hours outside) but I'll try to condense it into one post with a few reactions:
1. Holy shit these people are talented. I'm not allowed to call out the brands that were being worked on in addition to Brunswick Park, but the work that was being done was highly technical and impressive. I'm talking pattern drafting like a puzzle to make the most of fabric (shown below), laser cutting, bonding, we even watched as a garment was submerged in a tank of water to make sure zero moisture could seep in.
2. It was super hot. We found out that years ago, our factory was among the first to mandate that air conditioning be provided throughout the factory and its campus and now we understand why. It was a sanctuary from China's August heat.
3. Our team is made up of some of the hardest working people I've ever met. Not only did they blow us away with the progress they made on our second prototypes - we got the opportunity to see some of the innovations they are working on in their "innovation lab." They are constantly experimenting with new fabrics and pushing the limits of technology to ensure their brands are on the cutting edge. It's fashion week right now, and while it may seem like this is where innovation in fashion is happening, I would argue that real innovation is happening on factory floors.
4. I had never been to Asia before and let me say I hope everyone gets the opportunity to visit.Hong Kong was one of the coolest cities I've ever visited. It felt like New York City was dropped on a Hawaiian Island and we took full advantage of everything the city has to offer. We even took on the high temps and hiked "Dragon's Back" which was voted the most beautiful urban hike in the world.
By taking this trip and working with our factory directly, we can ensure that we are achieving our goal: to provide you with smarter apparel, at a third of the price, working with ethical manufacturers. If you're into our transparency be sure to share this post. You'll be able to buy Brunswick Park in a little more than a week :)