A designer asked me how he could avoid Labor Issues in production of his line and keep costs low?
For small business owners this is a very important question. While 98% of shoes and apparel are made overseas, according to the American Apparel & Footwear Association, don’t be discouraged if you wish to produce American only made clothing.
Being able to keep a close eye on your product is key for smaller companies. You may not have the resources to fly employees out to check the conditions and ensure there aren’t child labor, structural buiding issues and other key factors that are not in compliance with your company’s ethics.
Therefore, I recommend utilizing a manufacturer in your own backyard. People tend to think that manufacturing oversees saves you tons of money. Perhaps it did at one point but currently some companies are shifting course with the push for increase pay overseas. It may still bode true for some products and individual companies to get a better “deal” but at what cost. Although wages in U.S. are higher than Asia & Mexico, manufacturers here are starting to streamline production using technology, through these methods they are able to then keep costs a little lower on this side. I believe with the right research you may be able to save money staying within your territory.
Here are a few suggestions:
listing of NY manufacturers and other great morsels of information
2) Manufacture is an incubator for those wanting to make clothes domestically
3) Maker’s Row profiles the best American Factories. You can search the site by the type of product you wish to have made and you will be given a list of results. You can contact them via the site or directly, send pics about what you need made etc. this is a great tool
4) Set your sights out of state in Raleigh, North Carolina or Fort Wayne, Indiana considered to be manufacturing hubs as well. Here are some links to listing of manufacturers in these areas Raleigh and Fort Wayne
Hope that helped! If you have a question then Speak Up! Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org!
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