The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) launched a new search feature on its website to better highlight members with domestic manufacturing capabilities. The new search feature was unveiled at the semi-annual meeting of the AAFA domestic manufacturers, many of which manufacture for the U.S. military.
"One of AAFA's goals is to facilitate a discussion that makes it just as easy to source across the street as it is across the ocean," said AAFA Chairman Rick Helfenbein, President of TellaS, Ltd., Luen Thai USA. "The ability to identify 'Made in U.S.A.' partners is essential to building a viable business case that incorporates domestic manufacturing into the commercial supply chain. Our new database functionality makes that process easier."
"With a declining military market, the U.S. apparel and footwear domestic manufacturing base must continually seek out new opportunities to grow their business," said AAFA Government Contracts Committee Chairman Michael Mansh, President of Pennsylvania Apparel Company. "The introduction of domestic search capabilities in to the AAFA database is one in a string of many steps AAFA is taking to support and promote the capabilities of our domestic manufacturing member companies."
AAFA continually creates tools and resources for AAFA members to drive the competitiveness of the U.S. apparel and footwear industry. As one of the most utilized tools on the AAFA website, the AAFA Resource Directory enables the industry to search for manufacturing partners and service providers. The new search feature equips users with the ability to sort search results by a company's ability to manufacture in the United States.
Over the last few years, U.S. brands and retailers have increasingly explored sourcing from within the United States. In 2012, domestic apparel and footwear manufacturing increased 8.6 percent and 9 percent respectively. This growth builds on the gains made in 2011. Since 2010, overall domestic apparel manufacturing has grown more than 15 percent and domestic footwear manufacturing has grown 17.6 percent.