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Apparel production shifts back to Los Angeles
Sep '12
Ms. Ilse Metchek
Ms. Ilse Metchek
Until recently, US retailers used to outsource their bulk garment manufacturing to foreign enterprises, owing to low cost of production in those countries. But now, the western US state of California has started insourcing garment production back to its own manufacturing facilities, established mainly in Los Angeles. 
Ms. Ilse Metchek, President, California Fashion Association (CFA), in an interview with fibre2fashion reveals the reasons behind the shift from the previous trend of outsourcing garments from foreign countries to the present scenario.
She states, “Researches have shown that insourcing could increase domestic manufacturing by 12 to 15 percent. Bringing the production back to local manufacturing units would not only drive additional business to the area but also create thousands of jobs in the process.”
She informs, “CFA has initiated the ‘Made in Los Angeles’ project, which aims to develop opportunities for strategic alliances with California’s brand managers and manufacturers who wish to place contracts with local garment producers.” 
“The project also undertakes the responsibility to promote manufacturing and design services in Los Angeles regional cluster through concentrated marketing on website and active participation in tradeshows,” she says.
Speaking about the aims and objectives of the ‘Made in Los Angeles’ project, she replies, “The program would enhance the ability of the apparel and textile industry of Southern California to attract further business investments and continue strong economic growth. It will provide business training and mentoring on issues affecting fashion industry’s growth and development.”
“Further, the project will strengthen the Los Angeles region’s ability to remain competitive in the global market by positioning itself as a comprehensive apparel-sourcing destination and would additionally bring sustainable job growth in the Southern California apparel and textile industry by encouraging manufacturing and production houses to return to the region”
The CFA President reveals that the state’s apparel manufacturing industry is also working to create an information source and an on-line directory for those who wish to return to the local manufacturing sector in Southern California.
“The directory will provide information about contractors, printers, textiles, finishing, mechanics, pattern makers and designers. The information source, on the other hand, will have details related to the compliance with labour laws and registration, as required by the State and Federal laws,” she avers.
There are a total of 994 garment companies in California, which collectively earned above US$ 1 million of revenue in 2011, out of which Los Angeles County alone had 692 companies, followed by Orange County with 96 firms.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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