(Filed Under wholesale Lingerie News). NuBra, a leading adhesive bra producer, made what many might consider an unusual decision when it began manufacturing its patented bras almost 20 years ago: it decided to make them in the U.S. And it still does so today.
In this interview, BODY publisher Nick Monjo talks with the firm’s Dennis Chen, NuBra brand manager, about the bras, company history and the advantages of its American manufacturing facility in California.
MONJO: NuBra won the original patents for adhesive bras. Can you provide a little history?
CHEN: Our company originally manufactured silicone breast forms for post mastectomy patients. That branched out into making silicone breast enhancers that could be worn with traditional bras, until eventually, the idea came up to simply try making the breast forms themselves the bra! That idea is what became the Original Silicone NuBra, which we then patented. Since it was essentially an entirely new concept, there really was nothing else like it at the time.
MONJO: When did NuBra begin producing its bras in the U.S.?
CHEN: We started producing for the market in 2002 and have continued ever since.
MONJO: Can you describe the process of production. I believe you source the components from different suppliers and then produce the bras in California. Can you elaborate?
CHEN: That’s right. And we are quite selective in doing so to ensure our products meet our high standard for quality and safety. We source our raw materials mostly from the US, with the exception of our center clasps from Europe and our fabrics from Asia. Our adhesives are sourced 100% in the US, and mixed in-house here in California.
MONJO: What about the production facility. Can you share some details about the factory, the employees?
CHEN: Our factory, offices, and warehouses are located in sunny southern California. Our employees, many of whom have been with the company for more than 20 years, enjoy working in a multicultural, family-like environment.
MONJO: Why is it important to produce in the US? What are the advantages to the consumer? To the retailer? To you, the company?
CHEN: The biggest advantage is flexibility and service. Since our production is in-house, it helps us to be able to keep styles and sizes in stock, since we have the option to produce in smaller batches that would be impractical to ship from overseas. Since we’re in the same time zone as our customers here in the US, we are also able to directly take care of our customers’ needs. Also, as we’ve all seen and struggled with during the current Covid-19 pandemic, supply chain disruption has been a massive strain for many businesses. Since most of our supply chain is domestic, we’ve been extremely fortunate in that regard.
MONJO: What are the other disadvantages of producing overseas?
CHEN: As we’ve already touched on a bit with the previous question, one of the main disadvantages of overseas production is time. It takes time to communicate and time to transport, as well as time to make any necessary adjustments. There are, of course, advantages to it as well, especially in the area of cost. But it comes with the addition of a lot of different factors that are often harder (or even impossible) to control or schedule as precisely.
MONJO: What else would you like to add about your U.S. production of adhesive bras?
CHEN: Well we’re proud and thankful to be able to continue operating here in the U.S., providing American jobs and delivering our products to our customers here at home and internationally. We are putting in every effort to protect our employees’ health, as well as that of our customers, and want to continue doing our part both on the economic and public health side of things.
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