Coalatree’s On-Demand Success – The New Era of Apparel Manufacturing
Coalatree is an outdoor brand from Utah. During the start of the Covid-19 outbreak, Coalatree wanted to contribute to community safety by making protective face masks.
However, Coalatree had never sold face masks before and they did not know if anyone would buy them. Like many apparel and accessories brands selling a new product, they were facing the following problems:
- Is this a short-lived trend – were they too late to the market?
- Is there true demand for this type of product?
- Is the up-front risk of placing a large order worth it – what it if they don’t sell?
- Can we compete with all the other brands selling this product?
Traditional high-volume apparel manufacturing makes it impossible to test the demand for a new product before placing a large order. It is also slow to market – production alone takes AT LEAST 30 days.
To address these problems, Coalatree decided to team up with Blacksmith’s Internationals’ Domestic On-demand Cut & Sew Factory.
After receiving the recycled fabric that Coalatree donated, the Blacksmith facility’s highly skilled workforce was able to produce the first order of 150 masks in a matter of hours. The masks were shipped and delivered to Coalatree the next day.
As masks were sold and donated, Coalatree was easily able to place several additional small orders (of about 250 each) during the following weeks. In this way, they were able to re-stock before their supply ran out.
- Cost-effective small orders (as small as 150 units)
- Turn-around times as quick as 3 days from order to delivery
The Blacksmith On-demand Factory was purposely built to provide apparel and accessories brands with a solution to piles of unsold merchandise. This new form of manufacturing is cost effective, quick to market, sustainable, and low risk.