Clothing manufacturing hub finds home with Carhartt in Midtown

From Crain’s Detroit
By: ANNALISE FRANK

An effort by a local coalition of clothing makers to create a nonprofit industrial sewing center in Detroit is coming to life in space donated by workwear company Carhartt Inc.

The Industrial Sewing and Innovation Center (ISAIC) will aim to grow the city’s clothing manufacturing industry from above Carhartt’s Midtown retail shop on Cass Avenue, according to a news release.

The ISAIC effort is two-pronged. Its nonprofit institute oversees a nationally recognized apparel industry apprenticeship program that will be implemented at its Cass Avenue facility, as well as through Detroit nonprofit The Empowerment Plan and others. ISAIC also aims to start a clothing-making factory late this year in the third-floor, 13,800-square-foot space at 5800 Cass Ave.

The manufacturing operation will provide contract sewing services for other companies, starting with 10 employees and building to 24 by the end of the year, Jen Guarino, chair of ISAIC’s board and vice president of manufacturing at Shinola/Detroit LLC, told Crain’s. The factory will share profits with employees in some way and could possibly be worker-owned, but its structure hasn’t been finalized.

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