Members of the fashion industry looking to make new connections, you may want to start taking notes! Silaye.com is a new networking site for members of the fashion maker’s community dedicated to helping you find your next collaborators. I recently had the chance to chat with Silaye.com’s founder Adila Cokar about why this platform is so needed, and how she plans on revolutionizing the way that industry professionals work and meet.
Silaye in Hindi literally means to sew, but to Cokar, its meaning had so much more to offer her newest business venture. “I wanted [the name] to also reflect community and when you sew you’re stitching things together… you’re actually bringing something together and that’s kind of what my mission is.” With a goal of connecting people in various parts of the manufacturing and design process of the apparel industry, Cokar hopes that Silaye will make it easier than ever to find the right company or individual to help turn your ideas into action.
Coming from a design background herself, Cokar knows the pain points that entrepreneurs face when they’re beginning production. Many designers don’t necessarily know where to start when it comes to sourcing fabrics, finding a pattern maker, or contracting a factory to produce their garments. On the other side, many small scale factories overseas have a hard time receiving contracts for work because they don’t have the visibility or well-known reputation of larger factories. Through Silaye, both ends of the production will be able to connect and put their skills to work.
In addition to allowing fashion industry professionals to connect, Silaye will also be providing valuable information on environmental impact and overall sustainability initiatives of each of the companies who choose to create a profile on the site. “Supply chain transparency is a huge thing, especially [for] the factories and the material suppliers,” says Cokar. “They’ll have a section [on their profile] where things like what they’re doing with regards to fair trade or ethics and also sustainable products, you’ll see that.”
Cokar has big dreams of turning Silaye into a project management tool that will help facilitate workflow throughout all stages of production, but for now she’s focused on growing the pool of professionals on the site who are looking to engage with new clients. Everyone from consultants, to graphic designers, to factories can go to the site and create a profile for free. Simply enter your contact information, and choose from one of three profile types: a Fashion Designer, Entrepreneur & Maker, a Service Provider (professionals such as pattern makers, sample sewers, etc.) or a Garment Factory or Materials/Fabric Supplier. Currently the site’s discussion forum and blog are up and running, with more features to come.
Contributor: Kate Mendonca
Interested in reading about other Start ups?