Home / Knowledge / News / Apparel/Garments / Kowalli among 3% of USA-made apparel makers
Kowalli among 3% of USA-made apparel makers
01
Mar '13
According to a survey released in November by Boston Consulting Group, 80% of Americans surveyed say they would pay a premium for products labeled "Made in the USA." Yet only 3% of apparel companies can make that claim. Providence, RI-based Kowalli LLC is proud to be among the limited number of apparel companies offering Made in the USA products to their customers.

The numbers are revealing. According to the National Retail Federation and the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, in 1960, 95% of the apparel sold in the USA was made in the USA. By 1990, this had dropped to 50%, and by 2011, to a mere 3%.

But the tide might be starting to turn. A recent study published in the MIT Technology Review concluded that 14% of companies are planning to restore some or all of their manufacturing to American soil. Reasons are varied, but many claim that domestic manufacturing will reduce the total cost of ownership (as opposed to the cost of labor), avoid large surges in inventory, encourage innovation, and reduce waste. In addition, as Holstein found, companies with local manufacturing are often able to respond more quickly to the changing needs of their customers. “Instead of waiting five months to complete a production run and receive the goods, our average wait time at Kowalli is under four weeks. That’s pretty hard to beat.”

In addition, American manufacturing is enjoying a thorough re-branding. "There's a new definition nowadays for Made in the USA," says Kowalli Founder Alizah Holstein, who considered producing overseas when she started her company in 2009. "To me, ‘Made in China’ meant questionable quality, glacial delivery times, and huge order quantities. Made in the USA is the opposite of that – to me it spoke high quality production, quick responses to my customers’ changing needs, and making only what I know I can sell. It’s lean manufacturing, and it’s cutting edge.”

In addition to manufacturing in the US, Kowalli also sources its materials locally wherever possible. The Kowalli Baby Carrier Cover, the product for which the company is best known, is made of Polartec fleece, which comes from Massachusetts. Even the elastic we use is local, coming from a Pawtucket, RI factory that has been around for more than half a century. “These businesses are the roots that grew the tree of our modern economy,” says Holstein, “and people are sometimes surprised to learn that they still exist. But many of them do, and they’re producing exceptional product.”

For Holstein, however, the most compelling aspect of manufacturing in the US has been that it just might be a good thing for society at large. “People think of apparel manufacturing as low wage work that offers no future, but it doesn’t have to be that way.” She cites American MoJo (Mothers for Jobs), a socially responsible Massachusetts sewing contractor that handled Kowalli’s last production run.


Must ReadView All

Textiles | On 20th Jul 2017

Provide safety net for cotton growers: Congress to Trump

A bipartisan Congressional coalition has called attention of...

Courtesy: ITMF

Textiles | On 20th Jul 2017

ITMF'17 themed on tech, trade, climate in disruptive times

The International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF), an...

Textiles | On 20th Jul 2017

RIL’s Q1 FY18 petrochemicals revenue up 22.9% y-o-y

Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has reported its financial...

Interviews View All

Pratik Bachkaniwala
Palod Himson Machines

Fabric processing machines are picking up

Sunil Kumar Sharma
Loknayak JPNSSSG Ltd

'The blend of cotton–linen yarn has high demand in the domestic and...

Ghanshyam Ghoghari
Kimora Fashion

Bridalwear is not about reds and whites anymore

Iago Castro Asensio
RCfil Distribuciones S.L.

Iago Castro Asensio, International Business Manager of RCfil...

Ashok Desai
Bombay Textile Research Association

Bombay Textile Research Association (BTRA) is a leading name in textile...

Mark Paterson
Technical Absorbents Ltd

Mark Paterson, R&D manager of Technical Absorbents Ltd talks about Super...

Jay Ramrakhiani
Occasions Elegance Wear

It is believed that by early 19th century, Varanasi weavers had moved away ...

Yash P. Kotak
Bombay Hemp Company

One of the directors of Bombay Hemp Company, Yash P. Kotak, speaks to...

Ritu Kumar
Label Ritu Kumar

‘Classics will return’ "There are a lot of people wearing western clothes ...

Press Release

Press Release

Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Submit your press release on


editorial@fibre2fashion.com

Letter To Editor






(Max. 8000 char.)

Search Companies





SEARCH

July 2017

Subscribe today and get the latest update on Textiles, Fashion, Apparel and so on.

news category


Related Categories:

Planning to Take the Leap towards
Sustainability?

Do you see sustainability as a route to business growth?

Yes No

Do you think the sustainability space has the needed tools and resources available for a business to lead change?

Yes No

Do you think adopting a sustainable approach will be a profitable move for your business?

Yes No

Do you want the world to know about your sustainability journey and your business’ environmental footprint?

Yes No

Thanks for your valuable feedback. Claim your free latest sustainability e-book.


E-News Insight
Subscribe Today and Get the
Latest News Update in Your Mail Box.
Advanced Search



X