(Filed Under wholesale Lingerie News). BODY associate publisher Ted Vayos interviewed the founder and CEO of UCA Lingerie, Ms. Adah Hanson.
VAYOS: How did you get started in the intimate apparel industry?
HANSON: I have been producing and trading intimate apparel since 1999. We started our business for the French and German markets. Eventually expanding into Western and Northern European countries, the Middle East, Australia and the U.S. marketplace.
VAYOS: When did UCA launch its company brand in the U.S.? Where are your offices and factories located here and abroad?
HANSON: Our UCA Lingerie brand was launched in October of 2021. We have our U.S. office and warehouse in Charlotte, North Carolina. Our production factories are based in China and Bangladesh, R&D center and design house are in Shanghai, China.
VAYOS: How many employees work for your company? How much product did they produce for the marketplace in 2021 and 2022?
HANSON: Our overall employees were 1500 in 2021, while for 2022 we increased to 1700. For 2022 our expected shipments will exceed 23 million pieces to all our served retail customers and brands.
VAYOS: How did you launch the UCA brand in the U.S.?
HANSON: About one year ago, I brought our UCA Lingerie brand to the U.S. market via on-line e-commerce only. We hope to offer the most beautiful, feminine, sensual designs to U.S. women, leveraging our 23 years experience of the quality, best fitting, and our direct control of manufacturing and supply chains at lowest possible prices. We are a typical women for women lingerie brand, designed by women, crafted by women.
VAYOS: Why is your company named UCA?
HANSON: UCA means unique, crafted and authentic. It is the type of spirit to represent modern women in today’s society. They are unique and authentic and looking for the crafted products with more elegant details and intriguing design thoughts.
VAYOS: When did you expand operations into other countries? Why did you choose to open new factories outside of China? Why is factory diversity so important?
HANSON: Our Bangladesh factory was opened by the end of 2012, and has been in successful operation for almost 10 years. About ten years ago, we foresaw that Chinese economic development is so quick and every cost rose rapidly and manpower was in shortage. Thus we started to shift our production to Bangladesh, which provided low prices and an abundant labor force. We brought there high standard machinery, techniques, management experience. So from the very beginning our factory was operating with a higher standard. Bangladesh has young and abundant manpower, and peoples are willing to work for a better income. Our current factory efficiency is about 30%-40% above those of the other similar locally-run businesses. We employ a unique combination of Chinese materials/accessories, Chinese knowhow for lingerie technique, plus management, plus Bangladesh manpower. Which allows us to offer better pricing and stable delivery even during the past three years in pandemic. We can predict that for 2023-2024, the whole world economic and political situation will still be difficult. And employing a diversified factories base in multiple countries will be a winning strategy to migrate geopolitical risks.
VAYOS: How big are these factories?
HANSON: Our Bangladesh factory employs more than 1350 people, Chinese factory has 300 people, and there are 100+ people working in merchandising office/R & D center/design house. So, over all, we have more than 1700 employees.
VAYOS: What are your factory certifications? Why are these important to your company and customers?
HANSON: We have multiple certifications at both factories. Including:
-Human Rights: BSCI, SEDEX, ICS,WRAP.
-Environmental Protection dyeing: Oeko-tex: Detox, Higg Index.
-Sustainability: organic cotton (GOTS & OCS), recycled material (GRS).
-Building construction safety (only requested in Bangladesh): RSC.
Our certifications cover all sides of production. We met with a higher standard and routine maintenance is really important. This is encouraging us to supply the best standard goods to our customers as well strict self control to let us keep a real good management. Our end customers can receive from us the products not only showcase nice workmanship but healthy goods and they are rest assured we are all responsible for a better and sustainable world and life. ”Sexy but not guilty“.
VAYOS: How much production are you currently shipping around the world every year? Where are most of your current customers located? Do you do private label design and production for other lingerie companies or major retailers?
HANSON: In 2021 we shipped 21 million pieces all over the world. In 2022, the figure will be over 23 million pieces. Most of our customers are located in Europe. Yes, we can do private label design and production for other lingerie companies and major retailers apart from our own UCA Lingerie brand in U.S. But we do prefer to establish our own UCA brand in the States.
VAYOS: Where is the UCA product design team located? How big is the UCA design catalog?
HANSON: Our design team is located in Shanghai. We offered almost 600 plus designs to our clients every year. It includes two major seasonal catalogs, plus actual sampling, one for A/W one for S/S. We prepare them 15 months in advance. While for each month we send an additional 30-40 designs in 2D and partly in 3D, and this is just like a design and styling library. So our customers can pick and choose freely anytime. We introduce the most updated laces, fabrics, workmanship, fashion at a quite amazing speed.
VAYOS: Who handles UCA Lingeries wholesale sales division for the United States? How can retailers contact them for a product catalog?
HANSON: Our Charlotte office is handling the wholesale for US. Our company email is Contact@ucalingerie and our service line is (980) 580-9855.
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