Hello, friends!

I have lots to share with you, and I wanted to gather all of this information into one, efficient update. As of Monday, 3/23/2020, Nashville has implemented a “Safer at Home” order, closing down all nonessential businesses for the next 14 days. We are SO ON BOARD with this decision. This is the right call, and widespread action is the only thing that will get us through this pandemic as quickly and safely as possible.

Over the past two weeks we’ve been trying our best to prepare for a full shutdown. The majority of our team has already been working remotely. Last week we got our Sewing Team set up to work remotely, moving industrial equipment into homes and apartments. (This was no small feat! Shout out to our incredible Sewing Team for making this happen.) Our E-Commerce and Admin staff have been working from home, leaving just our Cutting and Fulfillment Teams with in-warehouse work. Their essential job functions—cutting out hundreds of garments on our large cutting tables and washing, packing, and shipping out packages—can’t be done remotely. We established strict hygiene practices, social distance protocols, and staggered shifts to keep the number of employees in our 10,000-square-foot warehouse under 10 at all times. 

Regardless, the “Safer at Home” order means we can’t continue to conduct any in-warehouse business. Knowing this would likely be necessary at some point, we have worked hard to come up with creative ways to keep our full team working in some capacity and paid in full even in the event of a full warehouse shutdown. Here is where I have to extend a deep, heartfelt thank you for all of your support over the past week. Your purchases are precisely what will allow us to keep payroll intact even when we aren’t able to keep normal production going. We obviously can’t go forever without picking normal work back up, but your dollars have provided us with some security for the next few weeks. And for that we are so grateful. At this point in time, we are not sure when we will be able to return to normal work. Nashville’s “Safer at Home” order is in effect for 14 days, but in the meantime, there could be state or federal orders that impact the amount of time we’ll be out of the warehouse.

Okay, now I’m going to get into it and share exactly what you can expect from us during this time.

・・・・

If you have already placed an order with us, here’s what you can expect:

Online Sample Sale, Physical Gift Card, and Scarf Purchases

  • All online Sample Sale, Physical Gift Card, and Scarf purchases made on or before 5PM CST on 3/22/2020 have been packed up and shipped out.
  • Packages were picked up on 3/23/2020, and you should have received a shipping confirmation email.

Alabama Chanin x Elizabeth Suzann Collaboration Preorders

  • All AC x ES preorders (with the exception of orders including Long Sleeve and Sleeveless James Mock Neck styles) have been packed up and shipped.  
  • Packages were picked up on 3/23/2020, and you should have received a shipping confirmation email.
  • We are awaiting one final shipment from Alabama Chanin that includes the James Mock Neck styles and will ship out the remaining orders as soon as we are able.
  • All customers with outstanding AC x ES orders that haven't yet shipped will receive an email from our Customer Relations Team with an update on their orders this week.

Made-to-Order Purchases 

  • All made-to-order garments purchased on or before 2/23/2020 have been packed up, shipped out, and are on their way. You should have received a shipping confirmation email.
  • Made-to-order garments purchased from 2/24/2020 through 3/1/2020 have been cut and sewn, but are in our warehouse waiting to be washed, trimmed, packed, and shipped. We will be able to process these garments for shipment the *first* week that we are able to return to work in the warehouse. 
  • Made-to-order garments purchased from 3/2/2020 through 3/8/2020 have been cut and are at home with our Sewing Team, who will sew your garments from home over the next two weeks. We will wash, trim, pack, and ship these garments the *second* week after we’ve returned to work in the warehouse. (We’ll be processing the orders from the bullet point above first!)
  • Made-to-order garments purchased from 3/9/2020 through 3/15/2020 have not yet been cut or sewn. We will begin cutting and sewing these garments as soon as we return to work in the warehouse, and they will be processed for shipment the *third* week after we’re back!
  • Made-to-order garments purchased from 3/16/2020 through 6PM CST on 3/18/2020 have not yet been cut or sewn. We will begin cutting and sewing these garments in chronological order when we’re back to work in the warehouse, and they will be processed for shipment the *fourth* week after we’re back!
  • Made-to-order garments purchased from 6:01PM CST on 3/18/2020 through 3/22/2020 have not yet been cut or sewn. We will begin cutting and sewing these garments in chronological order when we’re back to work in the warehouse, and they will be processed for shipment the *fifth* week after we’re back!
  • Made-to-order garments purchased on or after 3/23/2020 have not yet been cut or sewn. We will begin cutting and sewing these garments in chronological order when we’re back to work in the warehouse. We do not know how many orders we’ll receive in the future, so we can’t commit to shipping estimates at this time! It will be at least *six weeks* after we return to work before these orders begin to ship.

When do we expect to return to work at the warehouse?

We unfortunately do not know. The “Safer at Home” order is in effect for two weeks, which would have us returning to work on Monday, April 6. However, a lot could happen during that time period. There could be state or federal changes that impact when we’re able to return to work. The sooner we all do our part to flatten the curve, the sooner we can get back in action! Please be patient with us, as so many factors are out of our control. We are doing our absolute best to keep our team and customers taken care of during this complicated time.

・・・・

Here is what the ES Team will be doing while we can’t work in the warehouse:

During the “Safer at Home” order, our team will be paid in full. However, without the ability to cut and ship, normal production can’t take place. In order to use our skills and resources for the greater good, we are directing some of our team members’ time to producing cloth masks to be donated to those in need. More on masks below!

    Sewing Team

    • 10 members of our Sewing Team are set up with our industrial equipment to produce garments at home. They’ll be sewing the cut garments referenced above! That’s not two full weeks of work, so they’ll be dividing their efforts between ES production and cloth masks for those in need. More on that below.
    • Four members of our Sewing Team are not able to have industrial equipment set up at home, but they do have access to home sewing machines. They will be focusing on producing cloth masks for those in need.

    Cutting Team

    • Cloth masks are small enough to be cut from home, so the five members of our Cutting Team will be cutting masks and delivering them to our sewers.
    • They’ll also be sorting some of our scrap fabric into packs that we’ll make available to purchase in the future.
    • Our marker maker will also be creating markers (templates that are printed with all of our patterns that are laid over the top of fabric to be cut), so that when we return to work in the warehouse, orders can be cut right away.

    Fulfillment Team 

    • Our Fulfillment Team Members will write thank-you notes for existing orders.
    • They will also cut swatches and assemble mailers for our new Cotton Canvas. Sign up here until 11:59PM CST this Wednesday, 4/1/2020, if you’d like to receive a mailer, so you can feel our new canvas in person. **This signup is now closed.** 

    E-Commerce and Admin Teams 

    • These teams will manage our mask distribution.
    • They are also preparing to launch a Cotton Canvas preorder and several additional online Sample Sale releases.
    • Our Customer Relations Team Members are answering all of your emails!
    • E-Comm is keeping in contact with you all through our newsletter, website, and social media.

    ・・・・

    If you hope to place an order with us over the next several weeks, here’s what you can expect:

    Online Sample Sale, Physical Gift Card, and Scarf Purchases

    • We have several new online Sample Sale releases planned over the coming weeks. Keep an eye out for those announcements via our newsletter!
    • If you purchase an online Sample Sale piece, a Physical Gift Card, or a Scarf on or after 3/23/2020, these products are all in stock and will ship relatively quickly once we return to work in the warehouse. 
    • Our hope is to ship all in-stock items within the first two weeks that we’re back. There is a chance that I may be able to personally ship some of these in-stock items (Liz, solo at the warehouse), but I can’t commit to that for sure right now!

    Alabama Chanin x Elizabeth Suzann Collaboration

    • We have a handful of returned, perfect condition garments from our preorder. We will restock these on the website at some point over the next several weeks. 
    • Again, all orders placed on or after 3/23/2020 won’t be able to ship until we return to work in the warehouse.

    Made-to-Order Purchases

    • Even though our normal production is no longer happening, we are still accepting orders.
    • Our 10% discount code—HOPE10—will be valid through this Sunday, 3/29/2020, 11:59PM CST. We will not limit sales this week in order to allow folks to use the discount without fear of missing out. Please bear in mind that all orders placed on or after 3/9/2020 have not been cut or sewn yet and that we receive a high volume of orders when we offer discounts. We will not be able to begin working on these orders until after we return to normal work in the warehouse, and the lead time will change with the volume of orders that are placed. 
    • After this Sunday, 3/29/2020, we will return to our normal structure of capping sales in order to maintain some semblance of control over our lead time. We hope you’ll continue to support us through this time. Support does not have to look like shopping; sharing photos, fit advice, and styling tips and leaving reviews are all incredibly meaningful ways to support what we do.

    And finally, an update on our Cotton Canvas preorder:

    • By popular request, we are working on a way to launch a preorder of our new Cotton Canvas. This will be with limited photography, and we won’t have all of the substantive information and resources that we usually have with launches. So please bear with us!
    • We do not have a date for when we’ll launch the preorder yet. We’ll keep you posted.
    • These preorders will ship at an undetermined time in the future. Our production yardage was in the midst of being woven, but The New Denim Project has had to shut down operations due to COVID-19. We do not know when they’ll be able to resume, and thus do not know when the fabric will arrive to us. Please only place a preorder if you are very comfortable with an undetermined delivery date! It could be several months before we receive fabric, and then we’ll need to cut, sew, and ship all the preorders.
    • Sign up to receive our Cotton Canvas mailer until 11:59PM CST this Wednesday, 4/1/2020, to feel the new material in person! **This signup is now closed.**

    ・・・・

    All about the masks!

    While our normal production workflow cannot be done entirely from home, the production of cloth masks can. I’m sure you’re aware of the supply shortage in the US. We’ve been reading every article out there (please don’t send me links—I promise I have seen them all!), making tons of phone calls, and nailing down a plan.

    We're now set up and able to make cloth masks with our existing fabrics. This is not a substitute for medical-grade masks. It isn't possible for home sewers or independent manufacturers to produce N95 or medical-grade surgical masks; we simply don't have the required materials. We are under no illusion that cloth masks are an ideal alternative to legitimate medical equipment. What cloth masks can do is provide limited containment of respiratory droplets if folks who are or may be sick wear them, which contributes to cutting down on community spread and allows medical gear to be reserved for caregivers. It has been suggested that they can be used over N95 or surgical masks to prolong their life. And as a last resort, they may be worn by those in need of PPE with no other option. 

    Thus far, we have received requests for masks from hospice care facilities, group homes that serve immunocompromised communities, veterans’ hospitals, medical facilities where limited N95 and surgical masks are being rationed to doctors and where nurses’ aides and other staff have no protective gear, grocery stores or essential service businesses whose staff have nothing to wear to keep themselves or their customers protected, and more. The stories we have received are heartbreaking and illustrate so clearly why this project matters.


    Producing cloth masks is simply a way that we can make an immediate impact and help those in direct need by putting our time and resources to good use for the coming weeks. If you would like to contribute financially to help offset our costs of producing masks over the next several weeks, you can do so here. There is no obligation to contribute, and we will be donating the masks free of charge to those who need them. Your contribution will go directly towards offsetting the wages we are paying to our team to work on this project from home. We estimate it will cost about $5 per mask in labor and materials, and we’ll share exactly how many masks we are able to produce and where they are going.


    Alrighty! That was quite the update. I hope this helps answer any questions you might have and gives you a feel for what to expect from us over the coming weeks. Thank you for hanging in there with us. I’m thinking of you all and hope you are able to find some amount of peace and comfort through this time.