Photography by Rita McNeill, words by Ellen Tirant
Our From the Floor Series provides insight into what we do at Dorsu, how and why. Following a brand is one thing, knowing how that brand’s product is made, by who and under what conditions is different.
Conventional garment manufacturing in Cambodia is confronting. Driven by global demand for high volumes of goods at unsustainably cheap pricing, safe working conditions and a livable income are not prioritised.
Our From the Floor Series gives insight into what we do at Dorsu, how and why. Have you ever wondered where your clothes were made? Brands are typically disconnected from their suppliers, focusing on design, marketing and sales while clicking “go” on an order to a factory. Knowledge of the production process creates an understanding of the work put into the garment that we unpack or pickup to wear, highlighting the value of our purchases and the true cost behind them.
We produce our garments onsite. Our workshop is a converted salt warehouse with an industrial machinery set up in a large open plan space.
The first step in the cutting in process is running a portion of the fabric through the wash, to test shrinkage and colour fastness. Fabric is cut into pieces that are washed and then laid on our cutting table, measured according to the pattern being cut. We cut up to 30 layers at a time and cut the sections using an industrial cutting machine.
The cut piece bundles the move into the production room and move through our production line. Different team members carry out different steps of the production process, with one person or a group of people performing one task focusing on quality per step. Making a garment is complex and includes:
From production, garments are sent through the first stage of quality control, where one of each size is washed and measured in detail against their garment specifications.
Items are pressed ready for the final stages of quality control.
All items are put through the final stage of quality control, where each garment is checked over for shrinkage, warping and construction or fabric faults. Garments are then folded, packed and stored in our warehouse for sale.
We produce screen printed t-shirts from our customised range, working with our screen printing partner in Siem Reap to print tees for businesses, organisations, events, schools and groups of awesome people all over the world. These tees head through a few more stages of production where we check across the prints to make sure they are absolutely perfect and ready for delivery, right to our customers’ door.
All production staff undergo extensive training and skills development, to ensure we’re upholding a safe, efficient and quality-focused work environment.
Upon employment, all staff are trained against our internal Human Resources policy, including occupational health & safety procedures, fire safety and evacuation and child protection. Training is updated and undertaken annually, where staff are also trained on the safe use and maintenance of sewing equipment and procedures to deal with risks and incidents in the workplace.
We believe that fair and safe employment is the responsibility of all companies and we prioritise the physical and emotional wellbeing of our employees above everything else.
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