Salmaan Andani: development director + production manager of Free Label's factory
"Who made my clothes?" It's such a simple question, but the answer has major implications for people around the world. What an honor it is to be able to know the names and faces of the people that make our clothes. I've reviewed some super comfortable basics by Free Label recently, and now I'm beyond thrilled to introduce you to Salmaan! Salmaan is the business development director and production manager of Free Label's Toronto factory.
Can you share a little bit about your personal background?
My academic career started in Nuclear Medicine. After spending my evenings and weekends working in the family business, I realized my interest was not in the medical sciences, but rather in business. I completed my Masters degree from the London School of Economics and joined the family enterprise shortly thereafter. I have been making t-shirts ever since.
In what capacity do you work with Free Label?
I directly oversee the production of Free Label’s bamboo t-shirt and tank top collection.
Describe a typical day in your life.
Nothing is typical in a Canadian manufacturing business. My day starts early as I comb through the e-mails that have compiled from the moment I left the office the day prior. I flag all that require follow up and then go straight to the production department to see the progress of workflow through the cutting and sewing sections. Then back to my desk for inventory management. I take stock of all the raw materials on the floor, the materials in order and generate purchase orders in anticipation of future demand. From there I usually have meetings lined up with current and prospective clients going over projects for the upcoming seasons. End of day is sales reports, cash flow management and account receivable/payable updates. Everything in between is managing the minutiae that comes with an operational business. All strategic work and high level business analysis is conducted on weekends when there are no distractions.
What is your dream job?
There is no such thing as a dream job. Just inner contentment in all that you do.
When you aren't working, what sort of things do you enjoy doing?
There’s not much time for that! But I like movies and early dinners.
Has your time working with Free Label impacted you at all?
Every client brings a unique perspective on the industry. Free Label has been no different. Their penchant for classic minimalist designs has struck a chord with many consumers. There is a strong demand for ethical manufacturing and Free Label’s success is testament to this growing segment. Free Label’s success has corroborated the appeal of socially conscious enterprises and has provided positive assurance to JERICO’s choice to maintain production within Canada.
Have you noticed any major shifts in the industry with the rise of awareness over ethical fashion?
Canadian manufacturing really struggled in the past. Now, with consumers seeking transparency in supply chains and ethics in labour management, we are seeing a surge in demand for Canadian made products. Today, the difficulty facing domestic producers is building capacity commensurate with the demand.