So after a suspenseful run up to production, sorting out samples and selecting a manufacturer, as well as the gestation period in which I juggled anxiety on what was being done on the other side of the world and the chaos of a home renovation, I finally got word that the products were being delivered to me.
Cue another period of anxiety as I was worried that import duties would cost a bomb and be fraught with bureaucracy. Kudoes to Fedex that this didn’t end up so stressful and the shipment was delivered to my door without even me having to go to the Customs Office in Garching.
So the truth is, after the initial elation of receiving the product, I tested the product by wearing it myself and found a major weakness: the bottom seam was not strong enough and would open up after some weeks of wear. Also, the radiation barrier, with its looser weave turned out to be prone to being caught by the retractable reel, the keys pocket faced severe wear from the sharp metal protrusions of the keys, ditto the back pocket which also faced hard wear from coins and pen. Which meant that all these sections also needed to be reinforced, in order for me to sell them with a good conscience. Aargh, this was my nightmare come true, of receiving hundreds of inventory that I may not be able to use!
Ultimately though, I sucked it up and decided to just take on the task of reinforcing each one, piece by piece. After some months however, I decided that I should invest some more in this endeavour, even if it meant increasing my costs. I thus engaged a local master tailor, the lovely Marion von Mandel, to do the reinforcements.
You will find, thus, that the hipi, upon close inspection, will show some visible stitches on the inside where it has been reinforced. We have tried to do it as immaculately as possible but some pieces may show marks of personal tailoring, rather than industrial machine-sewing.
Besides the fact that I was brought up to never waste anything, I hope you see that as also good for the environment and a dedication to quality, rather than trashing the product and adding to landfills or flogging them off, cheap or otherwise, as suboptimal goods.