While doing some research regarding sweatshops, I came upon more listing services for sewing contractors on the web. The first is the Garment Contractor’s Association (of southern California, not that location matters as much these days). Select “production referrals” to search their database. Speaking of California, here is a link to an FAQ for that state’s required process of manufacturing licensure. Due to workplace problems, registration and an exam is required to start an enterprise in CA. On a related note, anyone hiring independent contractors should read this. Lastly, you can search the database to see if a contractor’s registration has been denied, revoked or suspended (for California only) here.
Another site I found was Textile and Apparel Traders although judging from the forum, it doesn’t seem this site as seen a lot of activity lately. However there is an extensive resources section that is totally free. For example, they have over 4,000 different contractors listed to say nothing of a comprehensive fabric and inputs directory, also free of charge. Registration is required but in my opinion, that’s a small price to pay. I haven’t gotten any spam from there.
The last resource I found in my California foray was a link to TALA, The Textile Association of Los Angeles. TALA is a trade organization comprised entirely of fabric salesmen. Dallas has a fabric sales rep organization too although I can’t get a fix on them (The Dallas Textile Club). I’m sure NY has one too but nobody tells me anything. Nobody from NY will talk to me (and I’d take it personally but it’s my understanding that NY doesn’t talk to anybody outside of NY either- why are people in our business so weird?). If you don’t know this already, buying a listing of a group’s members regardless of where you live is a most excellent idea. These guides are usually better than those guides you can buy from those for-profit directory publishers although the latter does work for their money too. My member’s directory from Dallas 1995 is still a great resource that I use. Anyway, TALA also hosts fabric shows, their fall show is scheduled for October 17th-19th and features over 350 vendors. This will be held at the CaliforniaMart in LA. Membership directories cost $100.00 (print, CD rom or web access). If you live in LA or want to order by mail, the address is 110 East Ninth Street #A703, Los Angeles California, CA 90079. The phone number is 213.627.6173.