27. Son of a Tailor

Company: Son of a Tailor

Website: https://www.sonofatailor.com/

CEO: Jess Fleischer

 

son of a tailor

 

About Son of a Tailor

Son of a Tailor is a Copenhagen-based fashion-tech company that offers custom fit essentials for men, with a proprietary algorithm that requires just height, weight, age and shoe size to create perfect fit. But it’s not just a cool product; through technology and a LEAN supply chain inspired by Toyota, Son of a Tailor is fundamentally changing how apparel is made. Today, it’s industry practice to attempt to forecast trends, produce large amounts of garments, and hope to sell as many of them as possible (with unsold inventories going to waste or being burnt to make room for the next season). How is this possible in 2021?

Son of a Tailor flips the model. They don’t produce anything until it is sold. And they make each product one by one. To do so, the team has had to apply an engineer’s mindset to clothing production. CEO and Founder Jess Fleischer attributes Toyota’s “LEAN Manufacturing” philosophy as part of the reason why he started Son of a Tailor, where “instead of mass producing, you treat each garment as the production unit, then you design production around that.”

Convincing factories of this approach early on was challenging. They tested out a number of factories and countries before settling in Portugal, but the initial question they got from factories was always: what’s your minimum order quantity? When Son of a Tailor would respond, ‘one,’ potential partners would balk. A typical order is in the hundreds or thousands for one pattern. Finally, the team found a partner who saw the zero waste benefits of an on-demand model.

The model is better for garment workers, too. Made-to-order requires constant communication with production to work on each individual garment, which means the company knows each garment worker and can enforce better treatment. Customers can, too. Each item comes signed by a member of the garment team, and customers can look up members of the team on Son of a Tailor’s website.