Britt Howard and Rosemary Robinson: Portland Garment Factory

Journey Through Apparel Design and Manufacturing in the USA

Website: Portland Garment Factory

PGF was started by Britt Howard after she received endless compliments about the baby clothes she designed for her daughter, Piper. After a serious inquiry from a New York Boutique owner, Britt took the idea of taking the line into production seriously. She searched for a place that would make and grade patterns, work through samples and do full scale production for independent designers. The search results were unimpressive. Overseas factories have insane minimums, long lead times and impossible communication barriers. PGF was quickly conceived and instantly welcomed by the fashion community in Portland. Nine months down the road, Rosemary Robinson came in as a potential client starting a Womenswear collection. A recent transplant from San Francisco, Rosemary was exploring the possibilities of venturing into a design and retail business in Portland. Her experience working for independent designer, Lemon Twist, gave her the drive to create a start up Womenswear apparel line manufactured in the USA.

In a matter of two years, PGF transitioned from the original 300 square foot studio to a 1000 square foot retail/work space to now occupying the current 5000 square foot warehouse. In its infancy the owners cut and sewed everything themselves (while holding down night/weekend waitress gigs) and now PGF employs 12 people, has an extensive internship program, and an in-house line of womenswear, aptly named HouseLine.

Britt and Rosemary are currently designing and developing HouseLine Fall'13. Exciting new collaborations include an accessories collection with Poler and a recycled scraps housewares collection using Solmate Socks production waste. PGF is thrilled to launch Crazy Wind, from designer Chiyo Takahashi: a Womenswear line using Japanese Kasuri fabrics.

PGF is committed to entirely vertically integrated design, development and manufacturing. Clients have a unique experience working with PGF because they can be truly involved in every step of the “design to market” process. Working directly with the owners, patternmakers and seamstresses and watch as their creative visions come to life. The intimate relationships between designer and product is almost impossible to cultivate with other manufacturing facilities, domestic or offshore. PGF’s primary clients range from high end fashion designers and soft goods developers to mass market institutions and commercial retailers. Items made at PGF have sold at Saks Fifth Avenue, Fred Segal and independent boutiques across the county. PGF has made garments for Target commercials, developed new styles with Nike, and produced items for the Cannes Film Festival.