The GymRat Sweatpant Production
Above, a lone stack of Tan GymRat Sweats patiently waits to have the waistband sewn in along with the elastic cuff at the bottom sewn together. Not a lot of our customers know or understand what goes into the production of the sweats so hopefully this post will help shed some light. All anyone seems to know is they’re amazing, with some customers owning several and others owning every color we’ve made.
Let’s talk about production really quick. First, the fabric for the Sweatpants has to be milled. There’s only one mill in Los Angeles that makes our fabric and NO we will not tell you who it is. After the milling process, the fabric has to be dyed into the color of whatever run we’re doing. After dye, the fabric is laundered and brushed. By brushed we mean the inside of the sweats are brushed with a big steel comb to create the soft plush feel on the inside of the pants. After milling, dying, launder and brushing, the roles are reframed (put back into rolls) and delivered to our cutting facility.
From here we'll make a sample for pre-sales and shooting. We do pre-sales to get raw numbers. Remember every color is limited to either 250 pairs or 500. We always offer a pre-sale discount for the wait, simply because we’re still 4-6 weeks out from delivery. Once we get through 48 hours of pre-sales, we submit numbers to our cut facility. It’s a crapshoot sometimes to guess what type of audience will like each color so this is a critical part in the process so that everyone has a chance to grab a pair. In the past, we’ve done runs and not allotted enough to a particular size. In more cases than not, each color will attract a different buyer. Let’s say purple. Last time we did purple, we sold twice as many xs and small as we did large and xl. Same with the baby blue we did last year. We want everyone who loves the sweats to have an opportunity to grab the size they need before they’re sold out. In the case of the Tan and Grey runs, we are already sold out of XS – Large grey hoodies leaving only XL and XXL left. Good thing for those who jumped in early, bad for those who didn’t. Problem is now….we’re 3 weeks behind due to production delays. …..now moving on to the remaining steps and why there may or may not be a delay.
The reason the Tan and Grey were delayed is pretty much my fault. You remember they arrive at the cutting facility after 4 steps necessary to get to this point right? Well, when we made the samples to shoot Florita in and launch our pre-sales we noticed an excessive amount of lint flying around because of the brushing. The pants weren’t laundered enough. I wasn’t happy with this, so I sent every roll back to wash. When I did this, I screwed up my place in line for every last step required to finish the sweats. But I couldn't move forward as they were. I absolutely refuse to ship and sell subpar product if it doesn’t meet my standards. The excess lint was a problem for me. Everyone kept telling me not to worry. It wasn’t that big of a deal. The fabric was supposed to do that. Yeah ok…..:we’ll see about that", was what I said.
So after waiting 2 weeks for the fabric to be laundered for the second time, we now had the perfect garment but were now facing the issue of figuring out how we were going to get back in line for the remaining steps.
Moving on the step 5. Cutting. Every roll is rolled out on top of each other to cut. Panels are cut with an electric saw and tied into bundles before print or embroidery. Once the panels are cut, we can send them to embroidery and print. Mind you these guys aren’t just sitting around waiting for me and the time slot we had two weeks ago is long gone, so it’s a matter of pleading with each facility to fit us back in. Once the embroidery is done as well as the printing, we can move on to sewing. Once each pair of sweats makes it’s way through the many layers of sewing, they can then be moved to the finishing table where the drawstrings are added and any loose threads can be clipped and or problems can be fixed. This is also where every pair is individually bagged and tagged.
Once finished they are shipped to our office in Dallas where we personally ship every pair.
To anyone who has ever bought a pair of sweats and had to wait past the ship date, I am sincerely sorry. It is never our intention to upset a customer, but it is definitely not our intention to ship out something that I the owner am not pleased with. We’re going into our 5th year of manufacturing the GymRat sweats in LA and I wouldn’t change anything about the process.
Thank you for reading.