Hi Caftanistas! Thank you for hanging in there with me and Oak Island Caftans! After many trials and tribulations of finding a US cut and sew workroom to make our beautiful products, we have found them and our Summer 2023 Caftan, Kimono and Coverup are FINALLY rolling off the production lines. Product descriptions are ready, product shots are completed, and after some work on the website with our website consultant, OKICaftans.com will be ready to receive online orders. I am SO excited!
Note - being defined as "slow fashion" meaning the opposite of "fast fashion" (here's a definition: https://goodonyou.eco/what-is-slow-fashion/ ) means prices are higher than if you are buying something mass produced with questionable manufacturing practices. For example, you can buy a "caftan" for $30 off the internet or in a drug store. Look at the construction - how long would it take someone to cut out that fabric and sew the garment - 3 hours? 4? How much of that $30 would the cost of the fabric be? By the time you factor in Fabric Price + Labor + Overhead, you probably have cheap fabric and even cheaper labor. When fabric is made sustainably and ethically and labor receives a living wage, there is little left for profit for the designer/owner (aka - your's truly in this case). Am I apologizing for my prices? Yes and no. I wish they were lower, but after all is factored in - it's barely enough to cover the bases and still turn enough profit to make it worthwhile. I'll have a blog post dealing with just this in the future.
NOW - before you drift off to snoozing!
Here is a preview of what you'll soon see:
- The Marshland Batik Caftan - in sizes S/M (American sizes 4 - 10); L (American sizes 12 - 16); and XL (American sizes 18 - 22). We'll work on sizing as we receive feedback, but the patterns were made using these standard quidelines. E.g. if you wear a size 14 most of the time, you would order a size L. Retail price is $249. The Batik fabric is made by artists in Java Indonesia who have been practicing this craft for generations. This particular factory makes a living wage, provides on-site lunch, childcare, and rudimentary healthcare. There are a series of YouTube videos by design team Lunn Studios who has worked with this particular factory for years. Here is one of the videos https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-Fo5YMDgk4 . You truly own a work of art with these pieces. The Caftans are made at Sew Co. in Asheville, NC, also with a living wage and non-discrimnatory hiring practices. The workmanship is amazing! I hope to launch a YouTube channel going in to detail on these practices.
- The Stella Kimono Topper - Some of you have already seen me wearing this beautiful piece designed by American designer Kevin Meredith out of Virginia. You can see more of Kevin's designs on Spoonflower by searching for designer kwmeredith. We then had it printed by Little Cocalico in Pennsylvania, a small family owned business, on rayon challis. Check out their inspiring story https://littlecocalico.com/about/ . The Stella is currently being sewn by the wonderful people at Mt. Gilead Cut N Sew, also in NC. The Stella Kimono is a one size fits all and retails for $224. I wore mine to a wedding in Mexico, where it was typically hot weather. I danced the night away with awesome hubby Kent, and was properly bedraggled by the end of the celebration. The Stella packed like a dream, then I brought it home and machine washed and dried it. It came out looking wonderful!
- Finally, the Cover Up in White Crinkle Gauze is 100% organic cotton, ethically and sustainably manufactured. These one size fits most garment goes from beach/pool to lunch, and one of our fabulous business owners here on Oak Island regularly wears hers to work as a cool and comfy dress! The cover up is also being made at Sew Co, and I could not be happier with how it is coming off the line.
That's the big news for now! Stay tuned for the announcement of our Oak Island Caftan Giveaway for those of you who believed early and subscribed to the website so long ago.
Thank you for all the support and encouragement. An old dog can indeed learn new tricks and I am living proof. Still learning, too!