Our Kate Sylvester head office is based in Mount Eden, New Zealand. We have 19 staff members at our head office and a further 17 staff who manage our boutiques in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
Kate Sylvester pieces are designed in house by Kate and a small design team. Print and colour are cornerstones of a Kate Sylvester collection and we work endlessly to ensure our prints are unique. We have an in-house team and gang of collaborators who work closely with Kate to develop seasonal prints and intricate Kate Sylvester development fabrics that you will never see elsewhere.
The design team works closely with our in-house sampling team of pattern makers, sample cutters and two sample seamstresses to bring these designs to life. From the first toile to the final sample, many hands touch the garment to ensure the perfect fit for our customers. In 2015 we invested in Style CAD technology to map how a garment is cut to ensure minimal fabric waste.
Once the final fitting is complete, the patterns and details of each garment are passed over to our Production team who work directly with our manufacturing partners in New Zealand and China.
80-90% of our Kate Sylvester collection and 60% of our entire product offering is made New Zealand and we are incredibly proud to support our local garment production industry. We work with 22 amazing local partners who specialise in their own unique crafts that cover all parts of our garment production process including cutting, making, finishing, pressing, pleating, printing and more. When production in New Zealand is not possible we work with seven boutique businesses in China. They are based in Nantong, Dong Guan and Nanjing and we have been working with them for between 3 and 8 years. These small, specialised factories have between 20 and 50 highly skilled staff members and are perfectly suited to the high-quality product we produce. We have a Cantonese and Mandarin speaking Production Coordinator who works closely with our Chinese suppliers to ensure great working relationships and a commitment to high ethical standards. All of our New Zealand and Chinese partners have signed our Code of Conduct and share our commitment to our high standards and values.
Our ordering and lead time agreement means our production lead times are between 3 and 6 months. This ensures all teams have sufficient time to complete garments and employees are not stretched or pushed to work excessive hours to meet our deadlines. We also ensure that the price of our garments enables the employer to meet at least the minimum wage expectations for the region.
All our offshore manufacturing is accredited as Child Labor Free and Kate is proud to have been an ambassador for this important initiative since 2015.
Meet some of the wonderful people who help bring our Kate Sylvester garments to life!