One of the most popular events during New York fashion week is the Runway/catwalk show. Various designers from all over the world showcase their clothing lines through models at this event. While a handful of the clothing items on the runway are made in America, a more significant number of international designers are showcased as well.
Some people have suggested that New York fashion week should do more to promote and showcase ‘Made in America’ clothing. They argue that this would help to boost the American economy and create jobs. Others say that the event should continue to showcase a variety of international designers, as this is what makes it unique and exciting.
However, the behind-the-scenes of the fashion industry are not what you would expect. A deeper look into why ‘Made in America’ apparel should be more aggressively marketed during New York Fashion Week will expose an underbelly brimming with humanitarian issues, which designers and businesses appear to overlook. In this article, we will explore the potential implications of promoting ‘Made in America’ clothing at events like the New York Fashion Week and consider the pros and cons of doing so.
Behind The Scenes
When it comes to runway fashion, the working conditions of those who make the clothing are often overlooked. The main problem is that most clothing factories in America have been outsourced to other countries, where labor is cheaper. In these countries, workers are often paid very low wages, are required to work long hours, and are often treated poorly. This means that the people making the clothing that eventually ends up on the runway are not paid a fair wage and are constantly working in poor conditions.
The tragic event in Bangladesh provided a new perspective on the implication of most imported runway fashion items. In April 2013, an eight-story factory structure in Bangladesh collapsed, killing more than 1,000 people. With the memory of that catastrophe fresh in people’s minds, the industry is now more concerned with increasing New York manufacturing — taking advantage of geography, cost savings, and goodwill generated by a “Made in America” label.
There are a few reasons for the new focus on producing clothing in America. One is that it simply makes financial sense. It can be cheaper to produce clothing domestically when shipping and other import costs are factored in. Additionally, having clothing in America can create jobs and help boost the economy. And finally, there is growing consumer demand for clothing made in America, as people become more aware of the working conditions in other countries. This is increasing pressure on fashion designers and brands to produce their clothing in America.
Post-Covid Realities in the American Fashion Industry
While the United States relied mainly on China and other Asiatic nations for fashion supplies despite the Bangladesh tragedy, the Covid-19 epidemic would be the next wake-up call for the fashion business.
The Covid-19 outbreak resulted in China’s production halts first, followed by the closure of stores worldwide. The news continued to be gloomy, with European and American retailers canceling their purchases. Canceled orders are a cause for concern in various sourcing regions. In Bangladesh, for example, garment factory workers have been laid off and salaries slashed. The pandemic has brought the global fashion industry to a standstill. This industry discontent resulted in a rise in discussions about producing locally in cities like New York, Detroit, and Los Angeles.
Producing fashion locally would create jobs and help boost the economy. Additionally, it would reduce the dependency on China for fashion needs. Apparel businesses are now being forced to modify their sourcing and manufacturing methods. In light of the current global health crisis, we will likely see a move towards localized production to be closer to the end consumer and have better control over the supply chain. This would also allow for quicker turnaround times on trend-driven items.
In addition, the pandemic has forced American consumers to realign their priorities. Approximately 70% of customers considered it essential to support local businesses during this time, according to the Cotton Incorporated 2020 Coronavirus Consumer Response Survey. In addition, consumers began looking for ways to help restore the economy, with more than six in ten consumers (61%) wanting to spend money on Made-in-USA labels.
Reasons Why the American Apparel Industry Should Prioritize Locally Sourced and Manufactured clothing
The American apparel industry is one of the most important manufacturing industries in the United States, employing over 900,000 workers across the country. The industry significantly impacts the US economy, with an estimated annual output of $318 billion.
However, in recent years, the industry has come under fire for outsourced production, often to countries with poor working conditions and low wages. In response, many consumers demand more transparency and accountability from brands and are increasingly interested in purchasing locally sourced and manufactured clothing. There are several reasons why the American apparel industry should prioritize locally sourced and manufactured clothing; they include:
One of the significant advantages of locally produced fashion is that it is more environmentally friendly. When clothing is produced close to home, it reduces the need for long-distance transportation, which can significantly impact carbon emissions.
In addition, locally produced clothing is often made from sustainable materials sourced from nearby farms and factories. If the clothing is made locally and the materials and textiles are also sourced in the region, this benefits the environment.
Benefits for the Local Economy
Another reason the American apparel industry should prioritize locally sourced and manufactured clothing are that it can positively impact the local economy. When clothing is produced in the United States, the money spent on labor, materials, and other associated costs stays within the country.
This has a direct and positive impact on jobs and economic growth. If you purchase locally produced items from a store, such as clothing, your money will contribute to the national or local economy.
Improved Working Conditions
Another important consideration is that locally sourced and manufactured clothing is likely to be produced in better working conditions than overseas. In the United States, laws protect workers’ rights and ensure that they are paid a fair wage.
Better Quality Control
Another advantage of locally sourced and manufactured clothing is that it allows for better quality control. When clothing is produced locally, brands have a better understanding of the conditions in which it is made and can ensure that standards are being met. This is not always possible with overseas production, where brands may have little visibility into the working conditions and manufacturing process.
A Step in the Right Direction
The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) has been working diligently to bring more fashion manufacturing back to the U.S., and they are slowly but surely making progress. For example, the CFDA, in collaboration with the New York City Economic Corporation and entrepreneur Andrew Rosen, is launching a program to promote, support, and invest in local manufacturers.
The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund inspires the project, which helps emerging designers develop their businesses by providing them with resources such as mentoring and exposure. The new initiative is a Fashion Fund for manufacturers, who can apply for funding. If chosen, they will receive grant money and access to business resources and advice from industry leaders.
This is a much-needed step in the right direction, as it will not only help to improve working conditions for those who make clothing, but it will also help to boost the economy by creating jobs in the manufacturing sector.
Fashion Week designers will be able to keep a tighter eye on quality and fit by relying on factories in the United States. They can make quick design adjustments if required. ARGYLE Haus of Apparel is one example of a brand that has made local production an essential element of its identity.
The Los Angeles–based company sources all its materials from the U.S. and manufactures its clothing in downtown L.A. factories. As a result, the company has complete control over its product from start to finish. This is a model that other fashion brands should follow suit. By investing in local manufacturing, they can improve their products’ quality, support the economy, and create jobs.
How ARGYLE Haus of Fashion is Making a Positive Change for the American Apparel Catwalk
ARGYLE Haus of Apparel is a Los Angeles, CA-based award-winning fashion design company. This fashion brand was founded in 2014 and has assisted launch more than 150 new businesses. Our company offers is a fashion incubator that provides designers with the resources they need to succeed, from mentorship and business consulting, to marketing and event production assistance. Our professional approach to Made-in-USA apparel is inspired by a commitment to provide the American consumer with access to high-quality, fashionable clothing that is manufactured domestically.
The growing popularity of American-made apparel has led to an increase in the number of designers and brands offering products that are made in the USA. This trend is being driven by a combination of factors, including a desire to support domestic manufacturing and a preference for clothes that are ethically and sustainably produced. ARGYLE Haus of Apparel plays its part by ensuring that all of our garments are designed and manufactured in the USA. We believe that this commitment is important for several reasons:
It creates jobs and Boosts the American Economy: Every time you purchase an item of clothing that is made in the USA from ARGYLE Haus of Apparel, you are supporting domestic jobs and helping to grow the American economy.
It helps to reduce pollution and conserve resources: When clothing is manufactured domestically, it cuts down on the emissions that are generated from transporting goods around the world. It also reduces the number of resources that are used in the manufacturing process, as domestic factories are often more efficient than those located in other countries.
It ensures that workers are treated fairly: By buying American-made apparel from ARGYLE Haus of Apparel, you can be sure that the workers who made your clothes were paid a fair wage and treated fairly. We believe that the trend is here to stay, and we are committed to continuing to offer our customers high-quality, stylish clothing that is manufactured in the USA.
Here are some of ARGYLE Haus of Apparel’s most important distinctions:
Our approach to sustainable fashion distinguishes ARGYLE Haus of Fashion as a company. Our sustainable fashion designs are created with the future of the planet in mind. We use natural fibers, low-impact dyes, and upcycled materials whenever possible. The goal is to produce beautiful, high-quality garments that will stand the test of time, without harming the environment.
ARGYLE Haus of Fashion is also committed to making a positive impact on the American apparel industry. We are dedicated to working with new and emerging designers to help them launch successful businesses. We believe that by supporting new talent, we can help revitalize the American fashion industry.
As a brand that is entirely manufactured in the United States and has its production facility, we have complete control over quality assurance. This allows us to produce garments of the highest quality, while also maintaining our commitment to sustainable fashion. We are proud to be one of the few brands that are entirely made in the USA.
ARGYLE Haus of Fashion is changing the landscape of the American fashion industry, one designer at a time. Contact us for a free consultation to find out how we can help you launch your fashion label.