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 26th May 2017

Lenzing unleashes new eco-friendly fibre

There's a new eco-friendly fibre on the anvil—Austrian speciality...

Apparel/Garments | On 26th May 2017

Benetton seeks approval for FDI in single-brand retail

Global fashion brand Benetton Group, has sought Indian government's...

Apparel/Garments | On 26th May 2017

Walmart to conduct GST workshops for SME suppliers

With the objective of supporting its small and medium-sized (SME)...

Interviews View All

Manuj Terapanthi
Texaura

Transparent supply chain and fair trade will boost sustainable market

Mukesh Agarwal & Rajesh Agarwal
Madhuram Fincap Pvt Ltd

Increasing prices and lack of demand main issues facing industry

Siddharth Biyani
Mangalam Industries Pvt Ltd

‘The manufacturing sector is improving day-by-day, becoming better in...

Ashok Desai
Bombay Textile Research Association

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

Marcel Alberts
Eurofibers

Coating at a fibre level is a practice not usually seen in the...

Urs Stalder
Sanitized AG

Urs Stalder, CEO, Sanitized AG, talks about the increasing use of hygiene...

Bani Batra

Bani Batra’s couture wedding collection is inspired by traditional Indian...

Sonam & Paras Modi
SVA

Sonam and Paras Modi's Sva Couture is synonymous with head-turning...

Pranav Mishra
Huemn

Designers Pranav Mishra and Shyma Shetty’s Huemn is known for its...

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

news category


Related Categories:
May 2017

May 2017

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

SUBSCRIBE


Browse Our Archives

GO


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