Many domestic brands have found success by choosing to base their manufacturing in the USA. As apparel producers, it is important for businesses of all sizes to take a closer look at how keeping your labor in the U.S. could help or hurt your brand.
Here are a few pros and cons you may want to consider while deciding if “Made in the USA” is the route to take for the manufacturing your brand:
It is no surprise that the “Made in the USA” stamp comes with high domestic appeal and has a positive reputation to the consumer. As Americans, it is exciting to purchase goods and apparel that are made in the U.S. because we often associate the label with a high quality product and take pride in supporting local businesses. Consumers appreciate goods that are made in the U.S. because it implies more jobs for Americans and fair labor conditions. When developing an apparel line in the U.S., it may also allow the designer to better track the product through each step of the development phase as it goes from initial design to final production. This can help minimize risk for your project by making factory visits more practical and by making it possible to oversee and understand more of the development process.
Choosing a U.S.-based factory may allow for more efficient communication, and the peace of mind of knowing that your project requirements are being understood to the fullest extent as there are no language barriers between you and the manufacturing team. Since styles and trends have proven to be always changing in the apparel industry, having a quicker turnaround and being able to speed up the process of having your product ready for the market is a great advantage to choosing U.S. manufacturing. Producing domestically allows for more efficient development as it will take less time to send samples back and forth during the development process, as well as shipping the final product once it is ready to hit the market. Keeping all elements of production from conception to distribution in the same location not only reduces shipping costs, but also reduces the impact on the environment that manufacturing overseas would cause.
While choosing to manufacture your brand in the U.S. has its clear advantages, it also has its drawbacks –the most obvious being the increased cost compared to manufacturing overseas. Working with a factory in the U.S. ensures that workers are treated fairly and paid fairly due to the higher standard of living, which in turn leads to higher labor costs all around. Since it is more expensive to manufacture in the U.S., you may find there are fewer factories to choose from while you are developing your brand. The limited number of factories compared to overseas also means a limited variety of skilled laborers and the risk of workers not being as qualified or highly skilled as the techniques offered in other countries. This may make it more challenging to find a factory in the U.S. that specializes in the wide variety of techniques that you may be searching for to produce your goods.