The Domestic Debate: Executives Weigh In On Producing Apparel In The U.S.

As part of our July issue, TransWorld Business explored the advantages and downfalls of producing apparel in the U.S. versus overseas. When skateboarding was in its infancy 50 years ago, 95% of the clothing Americans wore was made in America. If you walk into a store today—be it Wal-Mart or a core retailer—a quick survey of tags reveals a different story.

"Currently, 95 percent of all clothing sold in the United States is sewn outside the United States and imported. The simple fact is that jobs cutting and sewing garments are largely gone and will not return to the US," states Erik Auter, vice president of the International Trade Counsel for the National Retail Federation. Abandoned mills throughout America bear testament to Auter's words. Yet the story is far from over and defined by uncertainty and change—change that may bring some apparel production back to the States.

Contributing writer Michael Sudmeier sat down with companies, as well as production and manufacturing experts, to find out the dilemma faced by many apparel brands at the moment.

In the final installment of this series, we check in with a handful of brands and organizations that are doing their part to increase awareness and continued the development and growth of U.S. manufactured products.


LIM’s Chair of Fashion Merchandising Michael P. Londrigan on labor costs and increasing manufacturing technology.


Anthony Circosta, multimedia maestro at Local Clothes, on more control in the manufacturing process by keeping it local.


Fox River , though more than a century old, continues to maintain its American Made mantra. Find out how.


Eighty five percent of products carried by retailer Dixie Denim are produced in the United States.

Follow the jump to pages two and three to read interviews with other experts and executives.

Editors Note: Click through to page two to read what the masterminds behind AMBSN, Dirtball, Truck Jeans, CB Richard Ellis, and Shifty had to say. And in case you missed it, check out last week’s interview on the subject with 686’s Michael Akira West, too.


Ambsn Designer and Production Manager Dylan Odbert on producing apparel in the U.S.


Dirtball Founder Joe Fox on creating a brand around social, economic and environmental concerns


Truck Jeans Director of Sales and Marketing Nika Adams on benefits And disadvantages Of U.S. production

Doug Works of CB Richard Ellis

Doug Works – lifelong skateboarder and first VP CB Richard Ellis – gives us his perspective on the commercial real estate landscape


Shifty CEO and Co-Founder Javi Mendezona on accelerating development cycle through a domestic manufacturer.