WORK+SHELTER offers a range of Designer Services to guide you through the process of creating custom designed products. If you’re not someone who has a lot of experience in the production side of the industry, you might not initially realize how complex it can be. Some of you may have even gone through the process before on your own, and are looking for a better path.

The good news is, we can work with you regardless of experience level to fill the gaps where you may need help. We have assembled our own in-house team of designers, fabric experts, and pattern-makers to guide you through every step. We are also able to work with your in-house design team and collaborate throughout the process. Our designer services mainly focus on assisting with the development and sourcing for custom designed products before launching into production.



When it comes to initial product development, WORK+SHELTER can provide assistance with the following:

  1. Technical Flats
  2. Measurements
  3. Tech Packs/ Spec Sheets
  4. Pattern-making
  5. Grading
  6. Sampling


Our Production Manager, Ritu Marwari working with Founder + CEO, Theresa VanderMeer to finalize a tote bag sample for Ben & Jerry’s.


An important note–the process can take time— depending on level of detail in the product, necessary rounds of sampling & revisions, and designer experience.

Due to the nature of ethical manufacturing, sampling can take anywhere from 2-3 months, and once production begins it can be 3-4 months before you receive your final product.

Rapid development & prototyping can be achieved using in stock materials for less-complex products and flexible clients– resulting in less revisions & faster turnaround.

Throughout the development process, we will be considering the right fabric for the product(s) at hand and walking you through our ethical and fair-trade sourcing options.



WORK+SHELTER has five main avenues when it comes to our fabric sourcing capabilities:

  1. In-Stock Sustainable
  2. Small Scale Sustainable
  3. Industrial Scale Sustainable
  4. Cooperative Buying Sustainable
  5. Market Ready Conventional

The materials you need to source will depend on the product and on the size of the production order. Small batch production can pose challenges when it comes to sourcing, but we will work with our current stock and vendor connections to find you the perfect fit for your product.


One of the W+S queens, Bhawana Acharya is our in-house merchandiser and is responsible for going to the local markets to scout out what fabrics and trims are available, based on client asks.


Once we decide on the material for the product, we move into sampling and then production.



The partnership between WORK+SHELTER and our clients is what really makes our Designer Services stand out. With custom designed products, it takes a whole lot of teamwork to bring these products to life. We’re here to help & lift you up throughout the process— the whole point is to use us as a resource whenever you need us. We are willing to work within all of our capabilities and constraints to find the best solution for your custom product needs.

On average, our US team is in India for 6+ months over the course of the year, working directly with our team to oversee every aspect of sourcing and production.

We pride ourselves on our seamless communication not only throughout our close-knit W+S community, but also with our client partners. Time zones are no longer a hindrance— we speak with our team in India every day, and are able to provide a quick response to any questions or problems that may arise along the way.


Client partner, Samantha Jo along with Karina Rosenstein + Theresa VanderMeer of WORK+SHELTER meeting with our screen printer, Pratap Singh.



Over the next couple of weeks, we will be sharing more insight into the specifics of our Designer Services and when they’re right for you to use them. We will also be discussing our different sourcing avenues in more detail to provide transparency about our ethical supply chain and options for our client partners. Stay tuned on the blog!

If you have an exciting apparel or accessory design in mind that you’re looking to develop or discuss further, drop us a line at [email protected] or schedule a meeting with us if you’d like to chat through the process. You can also find more information on our website here.

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