Our manufacturing and supply chain story

Have a look at how we manufacturing and supply leather - textile - clothing - uniforms on our timeline from seed to store

CodePen - Vertical Timeline

Planting and harvesting the raw materials

Uniform manufacuterer

Cotton requires a great deal of water, so much so that countries that have been irresponsible with their irrigation practices in the past are starting to feel the consequences. Cotton is also the perfect feast for a variety of pests, so bringing in a crop can require heavy.

Bt and Organic cotton

Bt and organic cotton represent the two different roads cotton producers have taken to deal with the problems posed by cotton cultivation. The organic cotton movement is spearheaded by the Sustainable Cotton Project, a nonprofit that helps farmers move from standard practices to more sustainable, ecologically friendly options. The Sustainable Cotton Project also helps apparel manufacturers incorporate that cotton into their fashion supply chain.

Planting and Cultivation

Harvesting and Ginning There are a variety of machines that are used to harvest cotton, including pickers and strippers, named for the way they pull the cotton from the stalk. Most modern cotton operations use machines rather than hand picking, but in some areas the backbreaking labor of hand-picking cotton is the only option.

Weaving the fiber into cloth

The raw cotton fiber is run through what’s known as a carding machine, which further cleans and purifies the fiber and lines them up into 2-3 soft, straight ropes called slivers. The slivers are then loaded up into a spinning frame, which rotates the fiber at incredible speed, twisting it into recognizable cotton yarn. This yarn is then fed into a loom. While some hand looms are still functional (and used), most production facilities use modern loom machines that operate at an exponentially higher speed. The looms weave the cotton yarn into sheets of cloth, known as gray goods, that are shipped to garment manufacturing facilities to be bleached, dyed, or otherwise finished.

Purification and pre-finishing

The process starts with a final round of purification and cleaning, which can include:
• Singing: Heat is applied to the unfinished cloth to burn off surface fibers and make the cloth smoother.
• Desizing: Sometimes unfinished cloth comes in huge pieces — acid and enzyme washes are used to break it down to a more manageable size.
• Scouring: The unfinished cloth is cleaned with chemical washes to remove any remaining seed fragments or plant wax.
• Bleaching: Bleach is applied to remove off colors from the cloth, and get it as white as possible.
• Mercerization: An alkaline soda is applied to the cloth, which makes the fibers swell up, appear more lustrous and feel softer.
• Raising: A machine with thousands of tiny, sharp teeth runs over the cloth to pluck surface fibers, adding fuzziness and warmth to the final product.
• Calendering: The fabric travels between different types of heated rollers to produce the desired textural effects.
• Chemical Finishing: Chemical treatments can add wrinkle-resistant, flame- retardant, and anti-microbial properties to the cloth.
• Sanforization: Sanforization is the industry term for pre-shrinking cotton, ensuring that garments won’t come out of the dryer half their original size. Once the cloth is finished to specifications, it is shipped to the next step in the fashion supply chain: garment factories where it will be cut, sewn, and turned into your cotton t-shirt.

Production of garments

At the No Borders Factory.

While some companies have implemented vertical integration and spin their cloth in the same facility where they make their garments, most clothiers produce their garments in factories spread out all over the world. These workers put the pieces together, delivering an almost-finished product. As the garments are completed, they are collected and sent back for another round of finishing, cleaning, and pressing before being packaged and stored for shipment to distribution warehouses worldwide.

Shipping finished products to our warehouse

Your t-shirt is now on the final steps of its journey to your closet. Depending on the distribution system used by its producer, once the shirt leaves the doors of the noborders factory it will head to a distribution warehouse or directly to the retail store. Since most apparel manufacturers sell their garments through multiple channels, we’ll follow this t-shirt through the distribution warehouse. Brands, retailers, and host of other companies all use massive distribution warehouses to organize and move their products to where they need to be.

Distribution from our warehouse to storefront

As soon as a store is ready for another shipment of shirts, they call the warehouse and your shirt makes another leg of its journey: to the store, or to your house if you ordered it via an online retailer. The shipment is loaded up either on a freight truck or, if the order was placed through an online retailer, sent out via postal service,FedEx, or UPS right to your door. On its journey along no borders supply chain, it’s seen more people and places than many of us ever do. From seed to storefront, before you ever put it on, your clothing has lived a full life.