Reading this thread reminded me of an article i read in business week titled "Why Americans Won't do Dirty Jobs".http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/wh ... 92011.html
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Why can't more manufacturing be done stateside anymore? As someone else has already pointed out, the $ gap isn't that big anymore --- tack on logistics, shipping, duties, etc... Also, what's the unemployment rate now -- 9%? 10%? Plenty of folks out there. So why can't manufacturing in the US work anymore?
I'll leave out my personal views for now... but the article is a good read. Food for thought.
Particularly in the performance garment industry... they do it better (whether you want to believe that or not).
That's not to say there aren't the resources domestically to equate the quality, but ironically, those resources now have higher minimums and are often more difficult to work with than sourcing overseas. If you aren't doing MASSIVE quantities, domestic manufacturing becomes a puzzle and a chaotic jumble of specialist resources spread sometimes over great distances. Overseas now offers an almost completely vertical operation at more manageable minimums than similar domestic vertical manufacturers. It's not lazy, just that shipping adds up and every time there is something that isn't quite right, finding responsibility is a major pain in the ass. In a vertical operation, I don't care who did what... if it's not right, there is one person to talk to sort the shit out.
If you aren't able to commit to these massive minimums, then it is likely that:
A. your fabric and all trim will need to be sourced by you through various vendors - ship to sample maker
B. patterns will be made by someone else - ship to sample maker and to grader
C. samples and prototypes made by a sample maker (in this case NOT related to the manufacturer but MAY be related to the pattern maker) - ship to offices for approval / fabric shipped again to manufacturer
D. patterns will then need to be graded by someone else - this is a specialty that people outside of the industry don't realize how difficult or EXPENSIVE it actually is to do well. A lot of people can do it, but few do it well. - ship to manufacturer
E. THEN everything goes to the manufacturer and fingers are crossed that they can use the patterns unmanipulated and everything plays nicely.
however, under the more vertical approach...
A. send tech-pack to manufacturer (prototypes are not even necessary in most cases)
B. receive samples based on patterns they have made
C. approve and manufacture.
I'm not saying that domestic manufacturing is impossible, and for a small company run by a creative control freak
- sourcing and finding the best specialist is half of the fun and 100% quality control. But you can see why and how overseas manufacturing is quite attractive particularly when they can achieve the quality you are after.
Hey, more time to sponsor dudes with ironic mustaches...
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