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Produce Globally, Sell Locally

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How do little independent labels survive in a retail landscape increasingly dominated by fast fashion and luxury brands? The founders of Nolita boutique JF & Son explain their approach to Cathy Horyn: Set up a studio in India and a factory in China. At both, seek out skilled workers, and pay three times the living wage, not to mention health insurance. And—here's the tricky part—establish a successful side business doing cutting, sewing, and detail work for other designers. It's not traditional, and it won't help save the Garment District, but it's one way to be a socially responsible indie business in Manhattan. [On the Runway]