Ports are backed up, manufacturers are running behind schedule, the traditional fashion calendar doesn't make sense anymore, and the apparel industry's current manufacturing processes do not work with e-commerce the way it worked in the wholesale market for decades. And the carbon emissions created by multiple levels of global transport conflict with the Fashion Pact members' goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.
What can an American apparel company do?
MAKE STUFF HERE.
Here's what many American apparel manufacturers would say in response:
- Prices are prohibitive.
- The skill level for their particular product is not equivalent in the US.
- Raw materials are made by or near the manufacturers .
Well then, it's time for some creative thinking.
How do costs really compare, considering duty rates and loss in sales due to delivery delays, and the leftover inventory not only caused by delivery delays, but also by committing to large quantities long before actual sales quantities are known. Leftover inventory also causes a loss in a brand's intangible assets - finding products at steeply discounted prices is not a good look for the brand.
Instead of focusing on weaknesses of the skill sets here, what strengths do American apparel manufacturers have, and can any be useful to your brand?
Can your raw materials be sourced in USA, or near here like in Central or South America?
Are you customers willing to pay a premium for clothing that is Made in USA?
IMO, it's worth considering.