Dallas-based fashion designer Tish Cox has inked an agreement with the Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind for the manufacture of her namesake line.
Under the terms of the agreement with Cox — whose line has an average retail price point of $500 — predominantly blind and visually impaired employees will be cutting and sewing her fashions. Dallas Lighthouse chief executive officer Hugh McElroy predicts that the contract with the fashion brand “will create an impact of $76 million to the Dallas community over the next five years.”
McElroy, who joined as ceo in November, oversees the agency’s 185 employees and its operations. Dallas Lighthouse also provides rehabilitation and community outreach services, as well as manufacturing, fulfillment and business services. The organization provides blind and sight-impaired individuals with a foundation for enhancing their independence by providing jobs, job training skills and other support services.
McElroy said, “In addition to robotics, automation and Lean assembly of various products at Dallas Lighthouse, its textile manufacturing capability is robust and geared for high-output production.” He added that the agreement with the fashion firm is resulting in the creation of an adjacent 4,500-square-foot fashion garment center where the line will be produced. Lean manufacturing is an assembly line methodology developed for Toyota in its production of automobiles.
Cox said she is completing details of her spring and fall 2017 designs, which she forecasts would require her to increase her production staff to “more than 80 artisans within five years.” Through the agreement with Dallas Lighthouse, which will provide 75 percent of her production staffing needs, Cox also will have a local facility that she can access routinely.