The opposite of urban manufacturing

How an outdoor apparel brand is creating a network of rural manufacturers in Colorado

Much like urban manufacturing, Voormi CEO Dan English sees the value of keeping production local: “I don’t want to get a crate of 5,000 pieces from Asia and find out that they’re all made wrong,” he says.

Unlike urban manufacturing, however, English is setting up a network of factories throughout rural Colorado, in small mountain towns that lack well-paying jobs, but where people want to live. He continues, “With distributed manufacturing, I don’t need to worry about large minimum orders, quality control or customs. We’re only dealing with hundreds of pieces at a time. And even with the logistics of dealing with multiple manufacturers spread over hundreds of miles, we still have more flexibility to move and innovate faster than if we were sourcing everything out of Asia.”

He says Voormi is applying the “microbrew” model to an apparel line. Voormi designs and creates outdoor apparel for mountaineers, cyclists and other outdoor-sports enthusiasts.

While the location is different than what the UMA aims to support, the foundation of values remains the same: creating sustainable jobs and keeping quality high. Read the full article on