This time of year is a wonderful time for a little rest, relaxation and a reset before the new year begins. No matter what holiday you celebrate, the colder weather, shorter days and general surrounding festivities often offer days off from work and a bit of a break from traditional long weeks.
In the apparel industry, we tend to see a big slow-down of work in December as we see coworkers and teammates take weeks off at a time throughout the month. One key item to remember at this time of year is that our manufacturing partners around the globe also take time off from work for many different holidays this time of the year. Even into the early months of the upcoming new year, this is a key calendar component that all brands should be considering if working with overseas partners. From December through February, holidays like Chinese New Year, Christmas and Hanukkah will affect development and production timing for your businesses.
What I like to do in early October of each year is to reach out to all of my suppliers, factories and any other manufacturing partners I am working with and ask them what their holiday schedule will be for the next six months. Not only will this allow you to understand what days they will be offline or unable to work, but these are key dates to work into your annual calendar.
For example, at my last corporate job, I was tracking two different factories’ time off dates for Chinese New Year, all major holidays in India and the extended Christmas holiday weeks that are typically taken in Central America and Mexico. If we were expecting to receive any samples or production orders during these times, it became crucial for us to understand that there would be delays.
Working in such an international industry is an amazing experience, but all of the important cultural differences need to be respected and taken into consideration at your company.
I hope that you and your teams are taking some time to unwind this December. 2022 has been a difficult year for so many brands and businesses. I wish all of you the happiest of Holidays, no matter which ones you observe. May the remainder of this year be full of warmth and love for you and all of yours.