The above link will take you to an interview by Erika Miller, Nightly Business Report – PBS in NY, with Nanette Lepore, a major U.S. fashion designer who figures prominently in the Save the Garment District Campaign in NYC.
It is estimated that only 5% of the apparel sold in the United States today is actually Made in the USA. Compare this to the 95% local production as recently as 1960. Alright, so that is a 50 year span. But how about this, in the last six years alone, apparel manufacturing jobs in the garment district have decreased 50%, down from 32,000 in 2005 to only 16,000 today.
Nanette Lepore maintains 85% of her production locally in the garment district. Lepore admits that mass merchandisers would have a difficult time manufacturing locally given their thin profit margins, but for higher-end lines, where the profit margins are larger, serious consideration could be given to the local option.
Here is one designer trying to save the garment district, 20,000 garments at a time. Check out her line at http://www.nanettelepore.com./
Let me know what you think about this issue. Until next time…