WHO WE ARE
Skilled Laborers Brigade (SLB) was founded by Shannon O’Hara and Rachel Kibbe, veterans of the fashion and sustainability spaces.
SLB consists of over 200 garment workers and factories, who work under safe conditions. We came together because the lack of domestic manufacturing in the United States is a national security issue, a climate issue, and an economic opportunity for workers and our communities.
HOW WE DO IT
SLB is rethinking apparel manufacturing from the start. Leveraging our unique hybrid domestic manufacturing process, we employ highly skilled local workforces. With a worker-first approach and a focus on the environmental impact and lifecycle of the materials we use, we are considered in our approach. Our goal is to employ more people, at fair-wages, and to manufacture sustainably.
Up until the 1990's the United States had a robust apparel manufacturing economy. The loss of jobs and skillsets, as apparel manufacturing shifted off-shore, is staggering to our economy and puts our national security at risk. Overproduction and lax environmental rules have led the fashion industry to contribute up to 10% of total global greenhouse gas emissions. SLB knows that we have many highly skilled people here in the US who are capable of making our clothes and doing so in a more environmentally friendly.
SLB's model, with proprietary workflow technology, leverages both local American factories and skilled apparel workers’ home studios to create dignified jobs and a safer, more nimble way of manufacturing.
No New things.
But IF THEY ARE GOING TO BE MADE...
SLB does not believe in making new things only for the sake of making them. However, if a designer or retailer has a product they truly believe needs to be made new, then we have a responsibility to help them make them in the best way possible for the planet.
As experts in circularity and sustainability, we know that a localized supply chain, where products are produced closest to where their raw materials are sourced, thereby limiting CO2 emissions, is key. Circularity is only truly enabled when local systems are in place to recoup products and extend their lifecycles or to recycle them. Designing for repair, upcycling, and recycling is vital.
repair, Reuse, UPCYCLE, BIODEGRADE...
We have a core commitment to sustainable and circular manufacturing processes. We address these challenges and opportunities from the start including:
designing close to raw material sources
design for durability
manufacturing with natural and climate beneficial materials
purchasing from American mills whenever possible
sourcing from sustainable textile producers
designing out waste
upcycling and recycling