Legal Things

NDA’s & Fashion

Why I probably won’t sign your NDA

Spending money and time developing your new clothing line is a huge deal, and you want to protect your investment. I get it.

But here’s the deal about having contract designers, sewers, and pattern-makers sign a NDA: Most won’t do it. I actually don’t know of any who would.


It’s not because we want to steal or share your ideas with the world – if we did that, we would have a pretty terrible reputation and we wouldn’t get any business and we might as well just shut our doors right now.

You have to understand – there is little in this world that has NOT been done in terms of “fashion”. To be totally blunt, the T-shirt you designed is like thousands of other T-shirts, and no one needs to sign a NDA for that. No one is re-inventing the wheel (or jeans, or A-line dress, etc etc). If you truly have an idea so innovative that it requires legal protection, I would skip the lawyer and just go straight to the big guys and get your idea patented.

That aside, the very simple reason that if Casual Brand Creative will be patterning, sampling, and producing your line is that we have no control over who sees what during this process. We do not work in a bunker where no one is allowed in and out of our facility. Nor do we work with suppliers who work in an isolated camp. If your garment is laying on a table, and someone walks by and sees that garment, we cannot make them unsee it. The good news? Those eyes probably have a one-track mind when they are on site, and that is to check on their own goods. They usually aren’t trying to pull some undercover spy operation to steal others’ ideas.

Like I said – we don’t want to share your intel, but because chances are that we cannot 100% protect whose eyes fall upon your project, we don’t want the responsibility that your NDA requires of us.

If that doesn’t sit well with you, please know that the seasoned people who have been in the business years and years do not require NDA’s, because they know. It’s just not done. This should make you confident to know that successful brands do not practice this.

Disclaimer: If it’s not obvious, I am not a legal expert and you should probably ask a lawyer about your specific project needs, but honestly I just gave you some solid advice.

Fashion 101

FYI Friday: Vocab Pt 2: Production Abbreviations To Know

This Friday, I am offering a list of some high-level production terms that you should take note of.

  • SKU – stock keeping unit (each style has it’s own special unit number in order to keep track of the style throughout seasons)
  • CAD – computer aided design (for sketching, tech packing, etc)
  • QC – quality control (post production, when you or someone you hire looks over the goods to ensure they are made as per your contract and design, and that the quality is acceptable for shipping)
  • L/D – lab dip (a test dip of a customer color you plan to use for a fabrication)
  • S/O – strike-off (a print test)
  • WIP – work in progress (a WIP report ensures you stay organized and stay on task/on calendar with your production goals)
  • K/D: – knit-down ( a swatch knitted up to test specific knits you want, for sweaters etc)
  • PP – pre-production (a sample will be sent to you before beginning production to ensure all specs, components, etc are correct before cutting the bulk fabric)
  • TOP – top of production (production has begun, and this sample you will receive reflects how the rest of the production will turn out)
  • SY – sample yardage
  • SMS – salesman/photo sample

Running production can be a daunting task – it takes great attention to detail and organization.

Casual Brand Creative offers production management, and we are here to answer any questions you may have!

Happy Friday!