Thirty years ago, 90% of all garments worn in America were made in the United States. By 2008, that number dropped to 10%. With the rise of small businesses and entreprenuers, we have an opportunity to bring much of that manufacturing back to the United States. From the consumer point of view, American made purchases strengthen the US economy and further the American dream. However, from the perspective of a brand, manufacturing domestically doesn’t only benefit American jobs; it can lower your costs, increase productivity and prevent waste. Here are 5 reasons why it makes sense for your business too:
Working with a domestic manufacturer makes the communication process easy. Real time phone and in-person conversations result in a better understanding of the specifics of your product. Language barriers, time zone differences and long overseas flights are eliminated.
Order quantity minimums with U.S. manufacturers start at 100 units or less. The small minimum quantity exposes you to less risk and allows for incremental growth. As an apparel business grows, re-orders can increase from 200 then 500 then up to 1000 or 2000 units. This allows you to scale your business at your own pace and removes the risk of holding a lot of inventory.
Quick Turn-Around Times
With local production, communication is fast, along with shipping and lead times. Each manufacturer is unique, but in general, domestic development and manufacturing timelines are about half to one third that of overseas. Excessive rounds of sampling are eliminated due to clear communication; you don’t have to wait for overseas shipments or hold-ups in customs.
Small scale production in the U.S. eliminates the waste of unneeded products otherwise made just to meet overseas minimums. Simplifying and controlling the development and manufacturing process will reduce thousands of waste garments by ensuring each item is wearable, fits properly and remains sellable. There are warehouses upon warehouses full of obsolete inventory and rejected goods. Manufacturing in the U.S. offers a sustainable approach.
During the manufacturing process, many quality issues may arise. Fabric flaws, finishing techniques or packaging among other things may cause hiccups. With the personal connection a domestic manufacturer provides, you will be informed of issues as they occur and solutions can be determined swiftly. This keeps production moving at a swift pace and ensures that the product meets all of your quality standards.
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