ODM/ODC (Off Duty Model, On Duty Citizen)
What is your product(s)?
ODM/ODC is a platform that offers inspiration for people craving the “off-duty model” look; the stylish basics that never go out of style or off-trend. From the products we produce to the companies we promote, we always ensure the looks we profile are simple, stylish, and sustainable.
The concept of “off-duty model, on-duty citizen” includes the clothes you wear, the products you use and the environment you live in with the ultimate goal of living more consciously.
For a little extra inspiration, we also have a blog that features stories to motivate you throughout your day. Workout routines, sustainability tips, healthy recipes, and travel hacks, will all be available at your leisure.
We interview models you see in magazines and find out their fashion picks. We delve further into their lives to give you a peek into what passions, projects and side hustles they work on in their off-duty time beyond modeling.
Where were you with your idea or business before joining Factory45?
The beginning of January 2016, my partner and I had conceptualized the idea to create a model off duty brand, producing basics similar to what many models wear when they’re not working. I’ve been a model in New York for the past six years and my partner (who is also my mom, has a background in business and journalism).
We had a factory in China that agreed to produce “model basics” for us and were on the path to production, never considering doing so sustainably or ethically. April 2016, I had gone to a talk held by a supermodel activist who is adamant about supporting sustainable companies and raising awareness on the destructive qualities of the fashion industry. (Apparently it’s the second dirtiest industry after oil with regards to waste, pollution, etc.).
It was at that moment I decided instead of contributing to the problem, we would continue with developing the brand, however we would try our best to do it sustainably.
After the talk that night I went home and looked up “How to start your own sustainable Fashion company” and Shannon’s startup course Factory45 was taking applications them following week. I worked on my application and was accepted the first week of May 2016! It seemed like our destiny to be connected with Shannon and the Factory45 community.
How did joining Factory45 help you?
It helped us in absolutely every way imaginable… While we initially had planned production of a miniature line with 5-7 staples, we realized from Factory45 that in addition to having stand-out products made sustainably, brand-awareness was just as important, especially if you want your company to sustain itself.
Before production we started with brand awareness, blogging, networking and the like to get our name out there and gain trust from our ideal target customer. Through a fellow Factory45-er we found our graphic designer who was able to make the idea of ODM/ODC come to life Beautifully.
Prior to Factory45, the idea of sustainability was so new to us so the course really helped open our eyes to life in the sustainable world. Starting your own business and getting the right contacts takes an incredible amount of time and a lot of production partners don’t trust new businesses, rightfully so.
Shannon provided us with pages of spreadsheets for production partners she had worked with and gained trust with from her own start-up experience that we were able to use. She did all the work for us and then provided us with all her findings, essentially cutting down production time in half, I’d say!
Whenever we reached out to a supplier or manufacturer and name-dropped Shannon and Factory45 they seemed much more adamant on working together. The trust was already there thanks to Shannon.
In your opinion, what is the most valuable thing about Factory45?
Honestly, all of it! The community we met along the way through the Facebook group was invaluable and kept us going whenever we wanted to give up. Being able to e-mail Shannon about anything and everything was like having direct access to a walking sustainable dictionary, leaving no questions unanswered which again cut out a lot of the hours of research.
In the end, if I were to take one thing from the course and use it over and over again, which we’re having to do as we continue along with production, is the databases she gave us including suppliers, manufacturers and production partners. That was probably the thing I referred to the most and still use adamantly to this day.
Please describe your business after Factory45.
I’m so incredibly proud of how far ODM/ODC has come, and especially excited for what we have planned in the future.
During Factory45 we were in the process of producing our own t-shirts from scratch. Our t-shirt was originally going to be made at a factory that supported sustainable production, here locally in Brooklyn. We ordered sample fabric from an organic cotton supplier in Texas, got to work on producing a sample tee and were happy with the end result but it didn’t scream perfection.
With a deadline on securing the trademark looming, instead of going back to the drawing lines, we decided to partner up with Groceries Apparel, a sustainable basics company based out of LA that makes all products at their own factory. They sell wholesale, will take out all their tags and sew yours in which seemed like an easier option for us with a time crunch, especially seeing as they had a perfect white tee which was similar to what we had envisioned.
After we ordered our tees, we had to figure out the finishing pieces and how to remain sustainable throughout the rest of the process. From screen-printers to tag production and finding a local seamstress, we’ve been monitoring the supply chain and ensuring everything is done with the proper ODM/ODC standards, sharing all we find with our customers along the way.
While something like printing a t-shirt sounds easy, we learned it was anything but, especially while ensuring sustainability and ethical practices along the way. While it took longer than expected, I’m so happy and proud with our final t-shirt and are extremely excited about future production.
As we grow, our goal for ODM/ODC this year is to partner with bigger companies and see if we can create sustainable collaborations. I personally hate wearing a company that doesn’t value sustainable and ethical production, so it’d be cool to see if we could influence them in any way and work on a sustainable edition. While we’d love to have jeans eventually in our capsule collection, sustainable denim is probably the most complicated there is, seeing as denim production is incredibly wasteful. I thought why not reach out to a company that already has the denim part down, but maybe needs a little work on the sustainable front. I recently reached out to a huge denim brand with a pitch deck for the perfect ODM/ODC edition jeans…They have the marketing influence and power to sell, we have the sustainable brand and knowledge on eco-friendly
production. Let’s see what they say!
In addition to partnering with other companies, we’re going to continue with production of statement tees, probably collaborating with Groceries Apparel again all while slowly getting back to producing our own products from scratch for the mini collection.
It’s an incredible learning process that teaches us something new every single day… It’s what keeps me sane, especially being a full-time model in the fashion industry. After hearing how bad the industry is for our environment and for a lot of the people who make our clothes, I wanted to quit. Now I can still model and use all the connections I’ve made these past six years and make a change for the better. Plus, I’m running a business with my mom and that’s a pretty special bond to have!