How important is it to you that your clothing is manufactured in the United States? In response to the increased outsourcing of jobs, human rights violations in Eastern factories, and a demand for job growth in the USA more consumers are demanding American produced fashion. At Nineteenth Amendment we champion ethically made, home-grown fashion. But what exactly does it take to manufacture great fashion in the USA?
This past Tuesday, Gemma and I educated ourselves on American manufacturing at City Source, held at the Fashion Institute of Technology’s (FIT) New York City campus. City Source is part of the Save The Garment Center initiative, which aims to keep fashion production in NYC. What we found at City Source was a wealth of established, independent manufacturers operating out of New York and New Jersey.
Each manufacturer had samples of their goods on display displaying some impressive craftsmanship. We met many representatives from family-owned factories that have been in business for generations. Among the notables we met business owner Ramdat Harihar, who has worked with big names like Marc Jacobs when they were just starting out! This is his gorgeous, “Pineapple Pleat”!
For a designer, there are a plethora of local design resources from custom made buttons, one of a kind fabric flowers, unique dyed fabrics, and factories that handle everything from cutting to shipping. City Source was more proof New York City was, and still is, a viable and trusted apparel production hub.
So what did we learn? As a designer, you should think about manufacturing locally. You may end up with a higher quality product and less of a headache. As an amender, you should be aware of where your products come from and support designers who keep their production in the U.S.A. After all, bringing back production to the United States is, at its root, about bringing designers and their consumers closer together – sounds like a good mission to us : )