How fashion brands can transition to USA-made without risk
Previously, we wrote a little bit about the state of USA apparel manufacturing and what the Trump administration means for the fashion industry. Today, we look at how large fashion brands can re-shore some of their fashion production by linking new technology with improved business processes.
The garment industry really started as a direct to consumer business. Customers would work with the local atelier or designer, selected fabric, get sized, choose a design and walk out, without a garment, but with the excitement of a new garment in a few months. Pret-a-Porter or the ready-to-wear business model, along with the industrial revolution changed the way we make and buy clothing. With globalization, mechanization, and international trade agreements, apparel manufacturing was largely off-shored allowing large brands competitive advantage from lower labor costs. With globalization came increased costs in transportation, higher investment upfront in inventory, longer timelines for production, and an increasingly complex supply and logistics network.
As the Economist states, “[p]rocesses that used to be tightly held together are now strung out across the world; some processes that used to be quite separate are now as close as the workers and designers.” More companies, like Adidas, realize that localized, tech-enabled production can actually increase efficiencies related to local market production. Localization of resources to deliver goods in short lead timelines can enhance brand image and return enticing manufacturing margins — all while producing domestically.
The fashion industry is an ecosystem, and with us, all parts are created equal. With Nineteenth Amendment’s one-of-a-kind platform, we bring the entire fashion process — from design to cutting room floor — to your digital doorstep. This means no inventory held and no excess waste is created. Every product is made to order on-demand and data is collected at each step of the process. It’s fashion — but smarter — and inherently sustainable. Once brands understand what today’s ecosystem looks when powered by quick-turn production, they realize the cost savings on shipping and import/export along with other operational and business benefits.