Truckee woman is changing the fashion industry
RedThread makes custom clothes for women
Special to the Sierra Sun
“It’s not you, it’s the clothes.”
That’s what Meghan Litchfield, Founder and CEO of RedThread says.
Litchfield has decades of experience in the fashion industry, working in Chicago, San Francisco and even London. But when she got pregnant and had a hard time finding pants that fit, she realized the sizing system does not work for most women.
“After I had my kids, I got really frustrated finding clothes that fit me, especially pants, and I talked to my friends and they were all having similar issues,” Litchfield said. “I started doing research and found that basically 90% of women can’t find pants that fit them.”
That led her to start a custom made clothing company, and RedThread was born in 2017.
“I didn’t really have a solid business plan, I was just trying to figure out how to help women find clothes that fit them well and make them feel good,” Litchfield said.
Litchfield said she’d get feedback from women that said clothes didn’t fit them because their butt was too big or their legs are too long.
“We always blame ourselves,” Litchfield said. “It’s not you, it’s the clothes.”
RedThread makes staple clothing items, such as black pants, a simple black dress or a versatile jacket, made specially to fit each body. Customers send two pictures of their body, one from the front and one from the side, to a secure email. The system is then able to calculate the position of the phone and distance they are from the phone and produce exact measurements.
“The problem is, the reason nothing fits us is standard sizes. Having 10 or 15 sizes is actually kind of insane,” Litchfield said. “The idea that that could encapsulate all the different curves and lengths and everything of every woman.”
The customers are able to specify how they like their clothes to fit. For the pants, they can decide if it comes with pockets or not, how long the pant is, whether it falls to the floor or to the ankle or the width of the leg.
The clothes are ready in a week and shipped right to the customer. They use pre-cut cloth, allowing them to get clothes made quicker and cheaper than normal custom-made clothes.
There are lifetime alterations, even if their body changes, because bodies do frequently change.
While making women feel good is her main purpose, Litchfield also has sustainability as a driving pillar. She doesn’t want the clothes to be thrown away just because women change.
If they have to make the customer a new item, they wash the item and donate it to Dress for Success which provides women the tools they need to be independent and succeed professionally.
The name RedThread came from the idea that red chalk is frequently used to mark alterations and it is also an empowering color for women and it’s the thread that holds us all together.
“We’re building this community of women who are fearless and sick of the norms and sick of all the standards,” Litchfield said.
She started making clothes out of her garage but was recently able to expand to a warehouse space in Verdi, Nev.
Sizing standards are a fairly new idea. Litchfield remembers that her mother custom made her clothes for her and many other people of her generation had their clothes custom made too.
She believes that her generation lost the art but this upcoming generation is revisiting the skill.
There has also been a trend of more inclusivity in clothing brands, although many popular and high fashion brands continue to stick to the standard clothing sizes.
Litchfield is hopeful this trend will continue and the industry will change.
“I’m hopeful for the future but it’s definitely happening slower than I would like,” Litchfield said.
To learn more, visit https://redthreadcollection.com.
Laney Griffo is a staff writer for the Tahoe Tribune, a sister publication of the Sierra Sun
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