Small but Mighty: Production At AL

Small but Mighty: Production At AL

small-but-mightyWe are a small team of eight, designing and making our comfortable garments in-house, in London.

Although small, we have made it our mission to change the typical way the fashion industry works and produces clothing in an effort to challenge typical industry standards. 

We are aware we are a long way from perfect, but below are a few of the steps we have taken to date.



Business Model
By producing Made To Order it has also enabled a smoother transition to be more inclusive in sizing, now offering XS - 5XL, without creating excess stock and thus wasting fabric. It has enabled us to purely make what the customer wants, rather than second guess what we think will sell (and trust us, each season we guess what we think the best seller will be and more often than not, we are wrong!). 

In-House Production
We have chosen to produce our clothing in-house in order to control as much of the supply chain as possible. 

Ensuring that our garments are long lasting is incredibly important, with the aim being that our clothes are transitional season upon season, rather than thrown away. With that in mind, we work with our team to ensure each garment is made to the highest quality to ensure longevity. 

Fabric Sourcing
Although our clothing is made in-house we do have to source our fabric from an external supplier. We source 90% of our fabrics in the UK to keep the ‘journey’ of the fabric as short as possible which in turn helps keep our carbon footprint low.

Prior to 2020 we only sourced fabric outside the UK when it wasn’t available, however the temporary closures of suppliers during the lockdowns of 2020 have meant we are now working solely with UK suppliers.

Learn more about our fabric sourcing process here


Production Process 

Every wondered what happens after you place your order?

As soon as you place your order it is handed to one of our two in house cutters. We don't hold stock, rather fabric rolls. The cutter will only cut what is required once an order has been placed. 


Given we are made-to-order, each garment is cut individually per the size and fabric ordered by the customer. 


Once cut, it is passed to our three seamstresses. We currently operate across seven industrial machines so our production model is a hybrid between tailoring and factory. The seamstresses will split the creation of the garments between them, sewing in the most efficient way possible. 


Standard practise in the industry is for factories to make large quantities of each garment in various sizes in order for the factory to be as efficient as possible in producing the clothing.

Although Made To Order is less efficient (each time the seamstresses are handed a different colour or style of garment the threads and sewing process has to be changed which of course takes time) we have seen a dramatic decrease in the amount of waste fabric. 


QC, Packing and Dispatch
Once your garments are finished, they are handed to our part time packer who QC's your garments before they are packed up and dispatched. 



Packaging and recycling
We try to keep all materials used within our parcels as environmentally friendly as possible. The cards included in each parcel are recyclable and the mailing bags are both re-usable and compostable. 


When you receive your order.... will see what your order card contains stickers with the details of your order. This is the exact sticker that is used by the cutting and sewing teams to ensure that what you ordered is cut and made. 

Looking after your Laundry
Make sure you check out this blog, to maximise the longevity of your AL. 

And finally....
... have a look at your size label when it arrive... ;) 
(You can find out more here). 


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