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High labor cost a concern: US apparel maker
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May '13
The apparel manufacturers in the US have expressed concern over increasing labor cost in the country and several global apparel brands are sourcing garments from other countries with low production cost.
 
North Carolina-based apparel manufacturer TS Designs is one of the examples of the US garment manufacturers affected by the rising labor cost in the country.
 
“Due to the increasing labor cost, several garment brands have shifted their base from the US to other countries, including Mexico and Bangladesh,” said Mr. Eric Henry, CEO of TS Designs in an interview with fibre2fashion. 
 
Citing the example of Bangladesh, he says, “The workers’ wage in Bangladesh is US$ 0.50 per hour where as it is US$ 15 in the US, which has a tremendous impact on the cost of garments."
 
According to him, around 35,000 workers in the North Carolina have lost their jobs after the implementation of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which includes Mexico.  “It does not matter how cheap your jeans and t-shirts are if you do not have a job,” he adds.
 
Optimistic about the prospects of the US apparel industry, he says, “We are seeing a big uptick in business, as more people are now focused on where their clothes are made."
 
“The consumer is the best change agent and they should take responsibly to where their dollars are going,” he concludes.  
 
TS Designs entered the clothing business by printing shirts for apparel leaders such as Gap, Nike Polo and Tommy Hilfiger. However, after the implementation of NAFTA, the company witnessed its customers flood to Mexico for its lower labor cost. Instead of following many of their peers and calling it quits, the company continued its production in the US.
 

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India


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