US Business News

What is Responsible Manufacturing? Ft. Able Made

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Sourced Photo

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Responsible manufacturing is a proactive and holistic approach to production that extends beyond the mere creation of goods. It minimizes negative impacts on the environment, society, and labor conditions while producing quality goods. Core to this approach is cutting the environmental footprint via efficient techniques. Responsible manufacturing can ultimately lead to emissions that are up to 50% lower than those generated by traditional manufacturing approaches. As of now, the fashion industry is responsible for 20% of global waste water. With responsible manufacturing, water usage also sees an impressive decline. 

Our quest to unravel the heart of responsible manufacturing directed us to the doorstep of Able Made, an emerging light in sustainable fashion. 

It’s an intriguing connection: this fashion brand draws creativity from the world of soccer. Ever since its inception in 2012 with the primary aim of providing assistance to the Ucal Mckenzie Breakaway Foundation, the company has maintained a consistent trajectory of growth, marked by the continual expansion of its sustainable product lines and fruitful partnerships with prominent designers.

While Able Made’s name might not resonate with everyone, its dedication to responsible manufacturing sets it apart:-

While the norm for numerous US fashion brands is to outsource production abroad, it’s worth acknowledging Able Made’s resolute commitment to crafting more than 98% of their wares on American soil. This calculated approach not only lessens our local carbon impact but also fuels the emergence of new job opportunities.

  1. Cruelty-Free Wool: Gentle Ethical Practices – Able Made’s commitment to ethical sourcing extends to their use of wool. They prioritize the well-being of sheep, ensuring humane treatment and avoiding practices like mulesing. This approach enhances the quality of the wool fibers; but more importantly, reflects a compassionate ethos.
  2. Upcycled and Recycled Materials: Extending Textile Lifecycles – Able Made’s dedication to sustainability is evident in their use of upcycled and recycled materials from the textile industry. This practice breathes new life into these materials, and contribute to a circular economy. Able Made has recently partnered with Burberry to bring this approach into life.
  3. Certified Organic Cotton: Environmental Excellence – Certified organic cotton stands as a cornerstone of Able Made’s responsible manufacturing approach. Grown using eco-friendly methods and materials, this cotton variety supports soil fertility, reduces the use of toxic substances like pesticides and fertilizers, and promotes biologically diverse agriculture. Able Made’s use of organic cotton underscores their commitment to low environmental impact and comfort.
  4. Eco-Friendly Innovation – Able Made’s emphasis on vegan leather alternatives and their partnerships for material repurposing highlights their innovative approach to eco-conscious fashion. They merge sustainable practices with cutting-edge design, as a contribution to ‘a future where style and environmental stewardship coexist harmoniously’, as the founder says.
  5. Stringent Standards: Able Made’s production partners adhere to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and Bluesign criteria.

“We’re steadfast in our support for responsible manufacturing, all the while generating substantial funds for the health of impactful nonprofit projects that strive to strengthen our communities”, says Suzanne McKenzie, the founder of Able Made.

Smart vs Responsible Manufacturing

In one corner, we have Smart Manufacturing, the trendy tech-savvy cousin of the manufacturing world, and in the other corner, we’ve got Responsible Manufacturing, the eco-conscious, planet-hugging sibling. 

Cruelty-Free Wool, Upcycled and Recycled Materials, Certified Organic Cotton, and Eco-Friendly Innovation – these are the cornerstones of Able Made’s responsible manufacturing approach, and they surpass certain aspects of 3D printing’s sustainability. Unlike 3D printing, which can involve energy-intensive processes and limited material options, methods like Able Made’s ensure ethical sourcing and quality.

Furthermore, the rise of Industry 4.0 technologies ushers in the era of smart manufacturing, where data analytics, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and automation collaborate to refine production procedures. However, unless there’s a mindful endeavor to curtail environmental repercussions, these intelligent systems could inadvertently escalate energy consumption and the accumulation of electronic waste. 

Brands like Able Made are setting new standards for the progressively evolving fashion sector by demonstrating a dedication to true responsible manufacturing practices.


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