Factory Visit: Nana Atelier
July 18, 2021 - Los Angeles, CA
Nana Atelier is a woman-led small batch production factory located downtown Los Angeles, California. Through and through, they are an outlier. From long term employment to waste management, Nana Atelier is a constant inspiration as they redefine ethical production, prove why it's necessary, and show it's real value to society. The team currently makes our sweatshirts, and is developing our bags and jackets.
Core to Nana Atelier's work, is the idea that a garment worker is as valuable as other positions in fashion's supply chain including designers, models, and customer service. Garment working is skilled and labor-intensive work. The speed at which garments are made is a frequently targeted area of exploitation by way of overworking and undercompensating machinists. In fact, UCLA found that in Los Angeles garment workers are paid an average of $5.85 an hour which is often achieved through piece-rate payments structure. When workers are paid cents per individual action, wage theft becomes prominent. In Nana Atelier's intro to Embracing Transparency, Social Responsibility, and Circularity, they state:
Instead of pushing for this speed and volume, we value our team’s skills and expertise. Our Operations Manager and Floor Manager are mindful of the work load, speed and expectations of each of our team members. We do not engage in piecework. We do not believe in pushing for unreasonable speed to make up our margins. We treat our facility not as an input-output machine but as a team of human hands with valued skills. We strive for a healthy professional work environment that is trusting, caring, and nurturing for our entire team. We take pride in our love of the craft and the appreciation of the artistry of our work.
So... what policies does Nana Atelier institute in order to create an empowering work environment?