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11 Tip On How To Communicate With An Overseas Garment Factory

You Say Potatoe, I Say Potato?

Like most fashion designers-It takes time to understand what goes on in production. Especially because the clothing is made elsewhere.

Even when two people are speaking English there is always a chance of things being “lost in translation”. Now imagine the person across the ocean doesn’t speak English as their first language. The art of communicating; to get your thoughts across can be a little tricky and visa versa.

The following are some tips on how to get your message across when working in garment manufacturing:

1. Do not use any slang, abbreviations or figures of speech.

2. Use simple words and grammar (do not write above a grade 7 English level)

3. Keep subject headings clear (change them if it’s a chain so you can search emails quickly)

4. Use pictures wherever necessary. (Take a picture of the garment and add arrows and notes using any picture editing software, Microsoft Paint is simple enough)

5. Use bulleted lists

6. Separate paragraphs for each main point you are trying to make.

7. Use spacing in emails wherever necessary to make it easy to read

8. Read over your emails thrice. Think about it before you press send-Wait at least 15 minutes. The worst thing you can do is send several follow up emails, because you forgot something. Or have someone else read it over.

9. Always ask the person you are talking to “confirm by return and confirm understanding”, Microsoft also has a confirmation for receipt button

10. If the written language becomes an issue video conference via Skype.

11. This may seem obvious but above all be polite and assertive. I’ve heard and seen many instances where clients don’t treat garment workers with respect and react out of stress and lack of understanding.

Remember they have numerous time sensitive and urgent emails from other clients.

P.S. I hope you understand what I wrote

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