Nike-owned Converse, the company responsible for the Chuck Taylor All Star shoe, is suing to stop other shoemakers from copying what it says are distinctive elements of its design. Grant Halverson/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Grant Halverson/AP

Fashion designer Natalie Chanin stands in front of in-progress garments at the Alabama Chanin Factory. Chanin and Billy Reid, internationally acclaimed designers, have teamed up to test the concept of organic, sustainable cotton farming and garment-making. Debbie Elliott/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Debbie Elliott/NPR

Universal Elliot Corp., a belt-maker in New York City, is one of the fashion companies featured on the Maker's Row website. Courtesy of Maker's Row hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Maker's Row

OptiTex creates digital models of clothes for department stores like Target and Kohl's. These computer designs let stores create or tweak new styles without actually stitching prototype garments. OptiTex hide caption

itoggle caption OptiTex