March 21, 2008, 12:00 AM

Tailormade Jeanswear customizes location

Tailormade Jeanswear Ltd., which manufactures custom denim and chino pants and sells them online, recently took steps to tailor its location to better serve its North American customer base.

Tailormade Jeanswear Ltd., which manufactures custom denim and chino pants and sells them online, recently took steps to tailor its location to better serve its customer base. The e-retailer has moved manufacturing facilities from Mauritius, an island country in the Indian Ocean, to Parras, Coahulia, Mexico in an effort to cut costs and take advantage of better manufacturing facilities.

The company specializes in hard-to-find sizes and styles, and about 70% of its customers live in North America, says Sam Meeks, managing director and one of the founders of Tailormade. Shipping fees-which the denim maker covers-were getting steep.

“Sometimes 50% of the cost of the order was spent on shipping,” Meeks says. “Larger people are often as big around as they are tall and that means our specialty jeans can weigh 6 pounds.”

The new location also gives Tailormade room to grow. “There was only one denim mill in Mauritius; in Parras, there are two premium denim mills,” Meeks says. Additionally, the city has a 100-year history of weaving denim fabric and sewing jeans, and experienced manufacturers there are more willing to work with odd orders and sizes, he says.

Meeks adds that high-quality fabric is easier to find in Mexico. The company’s chino line is expanding, and suitable fabric was rare in Mauritius, Meeks says.

Meeks, whose denim experience includes stints with Levi Strauss in Roswell, New Mexico, Jordache in Nairobi, Kenya, and several places in between, launched Tailormade in 2003 because he saw growing demand for specialty jeans. The company offers such services as the clone-a-jean, which allows customers to send in their old favorites for an exact replica, as well as jeans made for customers confined to wheelchairs or with other disabilities. The company sells about 120 pairs of made-to-order denims and chinos a month, ranging in price from $99 to $180. Annual sales total about $250,000.

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